Home > motherhood, Politics > The connection between politics and parenting

The connection between politics and parenting

I think that this post on Slate’s Big Sort really says it all. 

The Big Sort, in case you’re not a political junkie, is looking at the ideological divide that’s really doing some interesting things to this country. Basically, the blog contends (and has some interesting statistics to back that contention up), the blue/red divide is between two completely incompatable paradigms. 

Now, my own personal interpretation of this divide is pretty slanted: basically, the right is all about taking right and choices away from people, and giving them to corporations. The left is all about allowing people to have personal choice and limiting those choices for corporations.

I know that everyone is always saying that we should “come together” but those folks over in the red states want to tell me how to live my life. I’m going to have trouble even thinking of them as “rational humans” for as long as they shouting imprecations at me and trying to take away my daughter’s choice. Not just abortion, btw: What she’s taught in schools, how she controls her fertility, when and how and who she marries. Hell, they don’t want to give her a choice over whether or not she eats tuna with heavy metals in it!

But the nice folks at the Big Sort have found a more interesting dichotomy that really delineates the difference here.

Republicans spank. They think children should be quiet, repectful, obedient, well behaved, and well mannered. 

They do not value curiosity, thoughfulness, independence, compassion, and consideration. 

Now, it’s 7 a.m. when I’m writing this and I’m well rested. You may get a slightly different answer from me at 1:30 when she’s refusing to nap even though her eyes are glazed and she’s staggeringly tired. But right now, and I think almost all the time, I would prefer to have a curious, thoughful, caring child to a quiet, obedient, respectful one.

Not that I think that those are mutally exclusive, mind you. And The Child is very well mannered and very compassionate and very curious and very independent. But I find it interesting that the qualities that I find most engaging in her, the ones I’ve worked so hard to nurture — curiosity and independence and self-reliance — are the ones that the Republicans devalue.

Categories: motherhood, Politics
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