20 years ago, First Lady Hillary Clinton uttered perhaps her most memorable and politically-revealing declaration, “It takes a village to raise a child.”
Borrowed from an ancient African proverb, “It Takes A Village” quickly became her mantra, frequently repeated on talk shows and speeches throughout her husband’s presidential campaign. A book by that title was published in 1996, and while Mrs. Clinton claimed to have written it by herself “in longhand,” it was ghost-written by Barbara Feinman, who was none too pleased that she received practically no acknowledgment for having done all of the heavy lifting.
Clinton’s assertion that “it takes a village” has been the subject of conservative derision and outrage pretty much ever since. Bob Dole summed up the reaction of conservatives when he addressed the 1996 Republican Convention: “… with all due respect, I am here to tell you, it does not take a village to raise a child. It takes a family to raise a child.”
Clinton doubled down on her contention when she unsuccessfully ran for president in 2007 and tripled down this year in her presidential campaign launch speech, saying, “It takes an inclusive society. What I once called “a village” that has a place for everyone.”
My local newspaper today includes an article about “Operation Backpack.” Now in its third year, the York County Sheriff’s Foundation program provides backpacks and school supplies to county schools who pass them on to families “in need.” It is one of literally dozens of similar programs in the area.
School supplies and backpacks are now one more thing that parents are no longer expected to provide for their children.
I am more baffled every day by the change in our culture. There was a time, not long ago, when we expected parents to take care of their children and be responsible for meeting their needs. Today, it apparently does take “A Village” to care for many of our children. Parents (single mothers) are no longer asked to feed their children, with SNAP, WIC, free school breakfasts and lunches provided by the leaders of The Village, year-around. They don’t have to buy Christmas presents thanks to the many generous gift programs. There are clothing drives and free entertainment and camps and cultural opportunities. Housing is free under Section 8. Minority children are usually offered free college educations, regardless of merit, and enjoy hiring preferences. Ours has become a culture of entitlement for anyone who is deemed “needy” by the leaders of The Village, and those who acquire the title are considered courageous and honorable – held in high esteem by the liberal media and the undiscerning.
A single mother who is hooked into today’s benefit programs has practically no responsibility for raising her children. She can spend the family’s cash benefits entirely on her own entertainment, since everything her children could possibly need or want is provided by The Village.
In Hillary Clinton’s world-view, this arrangement works perfectly. Parents can’t be trusted, so The Village must raise the child according to the directions of its leaders. The child learns to depend on The Village and the system is perpetuated, generation after generation. The leaders of The Village are permanently empowered.
I have a soft spot for disadvantaged kids, and I know that many of them aren’t blessed with parents who are able to give them what they need. Been there. The Village can be a life saver. Unfortunately, it’s the leaders of The Village and their self-centered ambitions that worry me. Forgive me if my family chooses to take full responsibility for raising our children, providing for them on our own, and teaching them to be independently responsible for the welfare of our future generations.
Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side
Those of you who follow my blog regularly know that I always associate a song performance with the topic of my rant. This is, to date, the weirdest one ever. Thinking of “the Village”, I couldn’t escape a childhood memory. My single-mom family didn’t have a television, and I spent many hours listening to my mother’s eclectic (to say the least!) record collection. Prominently included was an album by Martin Denny featuring “Quiet Village” – a set of gentle, somewhat Latin but ambiguously Polynesian compositions, featuring guys doing bird whistles and monkey howls. It was corny but mysteriously cool. Check it out!