Ah, traditional family values: Daddy goes off to his job, Mommy stays home, raises the kids, cooks the meals, keeps the house clean, and they all sit around the table for supper, say grace, and enjoy the comforts of a warm and loving nuclear family together. No homos, no lesbos, no mixed-race marriages ...
Here is a term that has never meant much to me, viz, how the Republicans use it. But I can offer this: Governor Sarah Palin, recently chosen to be John McCain's running mate for the upcoming Presidential election, does not seem to be the embodiment of such things as the R's like to wave about.
She has five kids, Palin does. The baby has Down's, and the oldest of the teenaged girls, seventeen-year-old Bristol, is at least five-, and maybe seven-months pregnant. While Daddy is out fishing and Mommy is running the state house and for VP, who is taking care of those kids? (Sarah Palin opposes sex-education in the schools, by-the-by, and it seems evident they didn't talk enough about it at home, either.)
Wherein the "family values" that the Republicans love to wax rhapsodic about?
Mommy needs to drop by the house once in a while, you know? Just on the "family value" front, it seems as if maybe those kids could use a little more hands-on help ...
At the risk of sounding paternalistic -- since it seems somebody needs to in this case -- a woman with five kids still at home, including a baby, ought not to be spending the next few months 24/7 on the road -- if "family values" means anything close to what the R's claim it does.
Sure, Obama has two little girls, too. And he's been quick to say this unfortunate pregnancy has no place in the campaign.
But he's also a Democrat. They tend not to slap you in the face with such phrases as "family values." They know that it sometimes takes both parents working to keep the wolf from the door, and they don't sneer at families who have to do it. And that kids make mistakes.
Understand, I know that kids make mistakes, too, and that parents can't always stop them. A pregnant teenager is, by itself, no big deal, and not something that ought to matter in a political campaign -- unless you make a big deal out of "family values," or think that sex education ought not be taught in the schools.
I do think his choice for a running mate is going to come back and bite Senator McCain on the ass, though.