GOP: Party of Family Values

ed46417cf0828f4b7aaed40fa5b89059As the number of GOP candidates running to be our next president grows and grows each one starts out by invoking what they call traditional family values. Yes traditional in the sense that once included the holding of slaves, making women chattels and property, segregation and a host of hate and bigotry items. And once even the Democratic party seemed to invoke and believe in those type of traditional family values.

But as the Labor Movement started to grow, it was Democrats along with a few progressive Republicans who went against the grain and included unions in its traditional family values. Then along came the Women’s Movement and again it was overwhelmingly the Democratic party who began (albeit slowly) to include women’s rights into its traditional family values. This lead to the Social Security Act that would provide a safety net for millions of our seniors.

When the Civil Rights Movement began to assert itself unto the scene via Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks and others, again it was the Democratic party along with a very few liberal Republicans that sought to include the civil rights of black America into their ideas of traditional family values. Meanwhile on the other side of the aisle the liberal and progressive Republicans began to disappear and were replaced by those in the Grand Old Party of Lincoln with the old style traditional family values of the past that did not include minorities women in their so-called ideas of traditional family values. The civil rights movement lead to the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act and Medicare.

There was a huge white flight of former Democrats over to the GOP in the 60s and 70s mostly in the southern tier of states and they left the Democrats because of their embracement of the new family values that was inclusive of all comers into the fold much more in the tradition of Jesus Christ, Mohandas Gandhi and Dr. King.

The new tradition of family values eventually began to embrace even the LGBT community. And now except for a very few members of the GOP there has become a wide gap between the two parties in terms of what traditional family values are and what they embrace and what they stand for.

And because of this stance by the GOP there has developed a wide gap in this nation playing out over party lines and it has given rise to an open return to the hate and bigotry of the past that many Americans had thought was finally coming to an end with the election of our first Black president Barack Obama.

The GOP candidates constantly try to downplay that they aren’t bigots or racists saying they want to take America back to traditional family values. But those traditional family values no longer exist and they no longer should because they embraced bigotry, hatred and racism. They also like to proclaim that they are Christians but that do doesn’t wash with the facts, because Jesus was inclusive. He did not preach hate even against the evil Pax Romana. He was about love for all regardless of who you loved, who you worshiped and His traditional family values did not exclude anyone from the mix.

Jesus preached and practiced love and peace not hate, bigotry or war. He did believe in giving the state what was due the state, which included paying your taxes and being taxed according to your ability to pay. He also said that for a rich man to enter heaven was less likely than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. I believe that is saying something about where he stood on the issue of the poor and disadvantaged of this world.

No, the traditional family values that these people are invoking are not true family values if they include continuing to marginalize whole segments of our society and if they attempt through devious means to try to prevent parts of our society from participating fully in the good works of this nation by the exercising of their right to vote. A right that has often required an act to make sure it is not taken away and that every member of our society has that right.

No, the call for returning to traditional family values of the past is simply put, trying to take this nation and its citizens back to a time when whole segments of our society were relegated to second class status and are not true traditional family values nor are they Christian family values. Christ was inclusive not exclusive.

Bob Bearden


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