Monday, February 12, 2007

With Malice Toward None (Void Where Prohibited. Some Restrictions May Apply.)

"This is a world of compensations; and he who would be no slave, must consent to have no slave. Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it." Abraham Lincoln

“The basic rationale for depriving people of their rights in a dependency relationship is that certain individuals are incapable or undeserving of the right to take care of themselves and consequently need social institutions to safeguard their position…….. Along with the family, past and present examples of such arrangements include marriage, slavery, and the Indian reservation system.” Hillary Clinton

The first quote comes from the man whose birthday is today (though this year we celebrate it February 19). This man faced the evil of real slavery in his day; in a letter he wrote to his friend Joshua Speed, he said of the sight of chained slaves that ...(t)hat sight was a continual torment to me..." We can, and do, dispute Lincoln's commitment to ending slavery, but we can't deny that he saw slavery as something unequivocally wrong and unjust.

The second quote comes from a woman who badly wants to be President; in fact, I believe that her naked ambition borders on the pornographic. For this woman, all the evil that was slavery can be sanitized into the phrase "dependency relationship" and then trivialized by being compared with the family and the institution of marriage. I often wonder if she realizes just how ludicrous that insidious comparison really is?

Do housewives call each other on the phone, first checking fearfully to see if their husbands are watching, and then communicate using code words like "Go down, Moses?" Is there an underground railroad for children who don't want to be scolded when they've failed a math test? Are valiant preachers throughout our land calling for the abolition of marriage? Do these new abolitionists write stirring articles about the tyranny of laundry, the torments of housework, the injustice of having to cook when you don't particularly feel like it?

What's even more frightening about Hillary Clinton's views are her views concerning children, and the relationship between children and their parents. The whole "children's rights" movement believes that children are capable of making their own decisions and should be facilitated in doing so through the agency of lawyers provided independently of the family. That this would set parents and children in a relationship inherently antagonistic to each other seems not to matter.

Most rational people see a great deal of difference between the master/slave relationship and the parent/child relationship. Parents, generally speaking, do have their children's best interests at heart. If a preteen wants cosmetic surgery, for instance, parents are the best people to discuss the matter rationally and decide it based on what really is best for the child; but child advocates mention this situation as one where it may be necessary for the child to have his or her own lawyer. Apparently, anything less is slavery.

Lincoln's quote above bears repeating, at least in part: "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it." But central to the idea of freedom is the notion that families should be able to exist without undue government intrusion, and parents should be able to raise their children as they see fit. People who believe as Hillary Clinton does believe that 'real' freedom would pit spouses against each other, parents against their children and children against their parents. Gone from the family would be the trust of each member for the others which is necessary for the family's very survival. The only people who would be truly 'free' in such a nightmarish scenario would be the lawyers.

Like Hillary Clinton.


Faith said...

I really like your blog. It contains the kind of essays that you have to sit down and appreciate. This is the kind of blog I'd like to write. Thanks for doing it for me.:)

Red Cardigan said...

Faith, thanks so much! :)