Campaign Crawlers

It Takes a Snow Job

Hillary Clinton continues to have a V-chip on her shoulder.

By 3.10.05

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Hillary Clinton is a reminder that self-described children's activists pose one of the greatest threats to children. Many children's activists are just feminists who don't particularly like children, and certainly don't want to stay home and raise them. Their children's activism amounts to an attempt to shift responsibility for children from mothers to the state. Recall Hillary Clinton's book, It Takes A Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us, the subtext of which was: How do we feminists get the state to raise the children we don't want to?

It doesn't take a socialistic village to raise a child; it takes a traditional family. It only takes the state to raise a child if feminists like Hillary Clinton have overthrown the family. No children's activist who opposes the traditional family and the moral laws that support it is worth listening to. Whatever such activists propose as "good" for children is dubious given their refusal to acknowledge the primary good children need, a mother and father. For decades they have waged war on that good, promoting nontraditional families and a culture of divorce.

Ever since the Republicans in 1992 mocked her for equating marriage with slavery, endorsing the right of children to sue their parents, belittling cookie-making mothers and stand-by-your-man wives, Hillary Clinton has worked hard to recast herself as motherly.

She returned to this Dick Morris-tutored mode of motherliness this week. Appearing with a few Republicans happy to stand within the compass of her star power, she spoke of the "epidemic" of violent media in the lives of children. "It is a little frustrating when we have this data that demonstrates there is a clear public health connection between exposure to violence and increased aggression that we have been as a society unable to come up with any adequate public health response," she said, calling for legislation to study the impact of media on children.

In other words, Hillary is back to the V-chip. Notice that Hillary Clinton is always careful to emphasize the harm violent television poses to children, while appearing more agnostic and less vocal about the harm sexual content does to them. She has never called for an S-chip. This allows her to reach out to Middle America while making sure not to alienate too many constituencies within the Democratic Party. After all, her friends in Hollywood like to pride themselves on being troubled by the prospect that children might imitate the glamorized violence they see (or a scene involving smoking, nicotine, not marijuana). But that children might imitate the glamorized promiscuity they see -- a far more likely prospect than a teen going out to buy an Uzi after seeing Rambo -- is a proposition her friends in Hollywood won't consider and she knows it. If she were really worried about public health problems arising from media rot -- say, rising levels of illegitimacy and venereal disease -- she would broaden the scope of her concern, and stop supporting the First-Amendment extremism of her party that threw the country into a ubiquitously rancid culture.

Her children's activism has always been highly selective. She will protect children against violence on television but not against the violence of abortion. In one hand she offers parents a V-chip, in the other she offers their children condoms. This is the arbitrary nanny state that takes its cues not from any natural moral law but from the will of an elite that seeks to impose its ideology on families. Proponents of the nanny state will invoke parents but really have no use for them. "We'll take it from here," is the attitude. The chilly social-science-style pronouncements of Hillary Clinton in It Takes A Village revealed her contempt for parenting untutored by the State.

"Imagine a country in which nearly all children between the ages of three and five attend preschool in sparkling classrooms, with teachers recruited and trained as child care professionals," she wrote. "Imagine a country that conceives of child care as a program to 'welcome' children into the larger community and 'awaken' their potential for learning and growing."

In her mind parents aren't "child care professionals"; only teachers trained by the state are. Children don't necessarily need the nuclear family, she says in It Takes A Village. "Discussions of modern families often miss the point. Although the nuclear family, consisting of an adult mother and father and the children to whom they are biologically related, has proved to be the most durable and effective means of meeting children's needs over time, it is not the only form that has worked in the past or the present."

Hillary Clinton's comments this week are not a new foray into family values but a recycling of the nanny state nostrums of her tired children's activism.

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About the Author
George Neumayr, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is co-author, with Phyllis Schlafly, of the new book, No Higher Power: Obama's War on Religious Freedom.