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Labor and Leisure That Bush Strategery

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Women are Fickle, You Say?

by Christopher Chantrill
September 09, 2007 at 4:09 pm

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LISTEN TO the ladies in Iowa.

Stephen Spruiell did, and what he heard isn’t good news for Republicans. Stephanie Frederick, who’s “always been a Rush Limbaugh listener,” says of Sen. Barack Obama: “A lot of what he had to say really made a lot of sense to me.”

Of course, Frederick has a problem with Obama’s position on abortion. Her friend Heidi Kelding, “a self-described conservative,” she said she was drawn to Obama’s candidacy because “We need something new,” but that she would find it hard to get past his views on abortion.

These ladies are tired of the Republicans. For Kelding:

In addition to the usual gripes about Bush, she added that Romney seemed arrogant and out-of-touch, McCain was too old to be president, and Giuliani had done amazing things in New York City but wouldn’t know how to solve America’s problems.

Woman is fickle, sang Luciano Pavarotti, now departed. But women are not fickle about the things that matter to them: relationships, children, health care, houses, and education.

It’s interesting though, that if we try to enumerate the big domestic problems in America, leaving aside minor problems like uncontrolled immigration and terrorism, they would be marriage, neglected children, sky-high medical costs, ruinous house prices, and useless education.

Perhaps women have failed to pay attention to the things that matter because, in the last half century, they have listened to teachers like Simone de Beauvoir. They have been taught that the essence of life was “shaping the world” through participation in “productive labor” in the public economy as recommended in The Second Sex.

Only in the special world of Beauvoir where woman’s maternal role makes her the “victim of the species” does this make sense.

Generation X women are starting to walk back from the feminist fantasy. Penelope Trunk, “Brazen Careerist” from Yahoo Finance, tells it like it is.

Generation X knows that... girls can grow up to be anything, and boys can start companies and become millionaires. But there’s a limitation that no one talks about: Two parents working more than 60 hours a week each is bad for the marriage and bad for the kids... Gen X takes care of family at the expense of top-tier careers, and it’s paying off .

The challenge for conservatives is to learn to speak the language of the new Generation X-ers. Because what we offer gives them what they want. If families and children are returning to first place in the hearts of women—even educated women—then it’s time to conduct a national conversation.

Why is it that women, who know that no two children are alike, can abide one moment longer the failing system of government education devoted to the principle of one-size-fits-all?

In his Ways of Seeing, lefty John Berger sneers that in western art “[A] woman’s presence [in a painting] expresses her own attitude to herself, and defines what can and cannot be done to her.”

Apparently what you can do to a woman in 2007 all across the world is take her children from her and dump them into a barely functioning government school for twelve years and all she does is lie back and think of England.

Even slum-dwelling mothers in the Third World have more self-respect than that. In Newsweek Jason Overdorf writes that

In Hyderabad, 60 percent of the schools serving poor neighborhoods are private. None of them get state aid, and two thirds are not recognized by the government at all... In Lagos, in three different slums, the figure jumped to 75 percent.

This means that 60 to 75 percent of poor slum-dwellers are paying private school tuition! Can Gen X mothers be far behind?

The conservative independent women of Iowa tell us that they are not listening to Republicans this election cycle. It looks like they will get a President Clinton, a Speaker Pelosi, and a Majority Leader Reid.

When these ladies are ready to listen to Republicans again, and it may be sooner than we think, we had better be ready with a story that women want to hear. Republicans want what mothers want, an education system that responds to the individual needs of every child.

When mothers get to send their children to the school of their choice then other beneficial things start to happen. Parents won’t have to move to the high-priced suburb to get good schools; that means they can save on housing costs and spend more time with their children. Women will be able to open their own neighborhood schools and teach neighborhood children. Adults in the neighborhood would regain authority over the neighborhood children. Maybe rich philanthropists will start endowing ordinary schools instead of plutocratic universities.

Then we can say that America respects its women—as mothers as well as productive laborers.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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Chappies

“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust


Hugo on Genius

“Tear down theory, poetic systems... No more rules, no more models... Genius conjures up rather than learns... ” —Victor Hugo
César Graña, Bohemian versus Bourgeois


Education

“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State


Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990


Conversion

“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


Postmodernism

A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ’merely relative’, is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy


Faith and Politics

As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable... [1.] protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; [2.] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family... [3.] the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006


China and Christianity

At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing


Religion, Property, and Family

But the only religions that have survived are those which support property and the family. Thus the outlook for communism, which is both anti-property and anti-family, (and also anti-religion), is not promising.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit


Conservatism

Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority — the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says ‘we should...’.
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity


US Life in 1842

Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


presented by Christopher Chantrill

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