In 2005, I wrote a book, called "It Takes a Family," about the importance of a strong family in raising children and imparting virtue. The title was in contrast to a well-known book Hillary Clinton wrote, "It Takes a Village," which offered a very different approach to raising children. She believes, as many on the left do, that the family is secondary to institutions and governments when it comes to looking after the interests of children. Karen and I disagree. We believe in the primacy of families and have worked throughout our careers on creating and promoting policies and ideas that make stronger families. The fact is that without stable families as the bedrock, our country will fracture and collapse.
Since those books were published, we have seen an expansion of at times well-meaning early-childhood programs and laws that subtly replace parental responsibility and discretion with government indoctrination and edict. Well, if MSNBC's latest offering is any indication, it appears the left feels that the need for subtlety has passed. Last week, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry, a professor at Tulane University, said in a network promotion spot: "We haven't had a very collective notion of, 'These are our children.' ... We have to break through our ... private idea that kids belong to their parents, or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to whole communities. Once it's everybody's responsibility and not just the household's, then we start making better investments."
So we go from telling the small-business man that "you didn't build that" to telling parents that "they don't belong to you!" It harks back to Marxism's trumping of the family in favor of the state. It's only a matter of time before we hear another MSNBC promotion message advocating the construction of collectives for children to be properly indoctrinated.
Former Senator Rick Santorum is the author of Blue Collar Conservatives: Recommitting to an America That Works.
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