Saturday, July 17, 2004

The Values System

President Bush, citing government stats, makes the shocking declaration that strong families and strong communities lead to lower crime rates, less kids getting knocked up or shot, and less general mayhem.

To which I'd say okay, file it under "no shit, Sherlock" and move on, but for the unfortunate way Preznit Master & Commander makes an argument he's been screwing backwards from day one of his preznitcy. Play along with me:

Preznit words: Children raised by married parents are less likely to live in poverty.
Preznit actions: Tries to deny marriage to thousands of couples, some of whom would likely raise children in that marriage.

Preznit words: Schools can "send the right message" to American children.
Preznit actions: Proposes drug testing in schools and "character curricula," and cuts afterschool programs.

Preznit words: The lot of children in America is improving.
Preznit actions: Presided over the first increase in child poverty in a decade.

I could go on all day with this nonsense, but the real reason it irritates me is that every time Bush talks about "values," it's code word for God, manners and pissing in a cup after lunch hour. And if you need child care, or housing assistance, well, those aren't subjects to be talked about under the guise of "values." Those don't "strengthen communities."

From the article:

Bush and Democratic rival John Kerry are trying to define and dominate the debate on gay marriage, abortion, gun rights and other values issues.

It's time for a radical redefinition of what constitutes the "values issues" in this election. Instead of trying to be slightly less craven than the other guy, slightly less offensive on what Bush defines as "values issues," we should raise our own, what we consider "values." And then make him try to out-liberal us.

It's not that crazy. The reverse has been working for years.