My mother bought a new Toyota Tacoma the other day and she was raving up and down to me about how awesome it was to have Bluetooth and Pandora for her drive to and from work. However, she found it puzzling that Pandora would play political ads for Bernie Sanders to her, something I explained to her as being based off her Google searches and joked that Pandora played it because she needed to hear his message. She’s a staunch conservative Catholic, and sadly, she’d vote for a lunatic like Michele Bachmann over Bernie Sanders any day of the week based on the fact that Republicans claim to be “pro-life” and they’ve used the term “family values” to push their agenda for decades.
When you scrutinize the Republican Party and what they describe as family values, there’s really not much there that is really pro-family at all – which is what Bernie Sanders has been trying to tell people for years. Now, Bernie Sanders wants to take back the term “family values” from the GOP and make them part of his platform.
“I will be talking about family values, but not the family values that my Republican colleagues talk about, which for them means that a woman cannot have the right to control her own body or that gay people should not have the right to get married or that women should not have access to contraception. That is what their concept of family values are about. That’s not my concept,” Sanders said at the breakfast, sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor Breakfast in downtown D.C.
“My concept of what family values is about is that the United States should not be the only major country on earth that does not guarantee paid family and medical leave when a woman has a baby. So that right now we’re seeing a situation where a woman is having a baby and a week later is forced to go back to work because she doesn’t have the income to stay at home and bond with her child,” Sanders said. (Source)
If Republicans were really the party of family values, why would they do everything possible to make sure a child is brought into this world, but then oppose the ideas that Bernie Sanders is proposing like guaranteeing paid maternity leave? Cutting government assistance programs for needy families while voting against policies like raising the minimum wage or job programs which would help lead people out of an endless cycle of poverty and dependence sure doesn’t sound like “family values” to me. Neither does sending soldiers to war after war but then refusing to take care of them or their families when they return home, or opposing the adoption of children by gay parents.
For all of this time, the Republican Party has talked about “family values” and being “pro-life” when they clearly ignore the importance of families, or human life after birth. They portray themselves as moral crusaders while cozying up to twisted far-right Christian fundamentalists like the Duggars, and claim to be defenders of American liberties against cultural Marxism or those evil liberals who are coming for your guns and freedom while they give tax breaks to companies who ship our jobs overseas. There’s very little that the GOP is currently doing to help families or protect human life after birth – it’s big business and the uber-wealthy that they care about.
Bernie Sanders is right, the Republican concept of “family values” is an old platitude that is simply designed to keep gullible Americans like my mother voting for them based solely on their opposition to abortion and gay rights. Too bad Republican voters are so blinded by all of these years of slick talking points that they can’t realize that the party of family values sure as hell isn’t the GOP.
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