The anti-austerity forces say, “Pump in some money now, get things going again, then put us on the fiscal diet we know we need.” Only, it doesn’t work that way. The party that pushes for this can’t and won’t then campaign on the theme of, “Now, let’s get our books in order.” It’s going to say, “We saved you by increasing government spending.” That idea about restoring fiscal order doesn’t get revisited until the next crisis.
As for the abstinence-only program, I have swapped emails, comments and tweets with a variety of people this week who criticized the president for allowing this program to receive federal funds. The Nation wrote about it, and an online petition has been launched to convince President Obama to remove the program.
It’s the usual litany – abstinence-only doesn’t work; kids are going to “do it” anyway; best to show them how to do it safely and to provide birth control pills, condoms, etc. I made the case I usually make: Government doesn’t tell kids to smoke only light cigarettes or drink only wine coolers or do only “light” drugs, such as marijuana. And fewer kids do these things as a result.
But a number of commenters took me to task on this. They said sexual urges are natural – as opposed to drinking, smoking, doing drugs, etc. – and we should not discourage people from acting upon these natural urges. Even kids in high school. One person told me only sociopaths would think the urges of high schoolers to have sex should be suppressed.
So, in other words, as I’ve long suspected, the left opposes abstinence-only education not because it doesn’t work but because it does. People can be persuaded to hold off on sex until they are emotionally and financially prepared. They can respond to practical as well as moral appeals. They can think about it, want to do it, but restrain themselves. They can take the long view because they are not animals and thus slaves to these urges.
But the point is, how short-sighted can you be? How can a thinking adult believe sex among high schoolers is a desirable outcome?
Perhaps that is what we should talk about from now until November. It’s our vision of restraint, of taking the long view, of recognizing there will be a future and we need to prepare, versus theirs of spend it all now so Sandra Fluke can have free birth control, every high school can be equipped with a “love room” so students can act on their urges and we can continue to mindlessly finance the longest, most expensive kegger in the history of mankind without consequence.
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