11.10.2006

It Takes a Family and a Village

Maybe I'm the last person to write about this, but doesn't it take a
family AND a village to raise a child? Hillary Clinton and Rick
Santorum famously dueled in their book names, with Clinton writing "It
Takes a Village" and Santorum countering with "It Takes a Family."
Clinton's point was to argue for a government compassionate enough to
care for our kids, while Santorum argued that it's the family that has
the responsibility to raise a child.

We all side with one perspective more than the other, but in doing so
let's not lose sight of the good of the other side. If you want the
government to do better in this role, you also want it do that in a
way that strengthens, rather than replaces or stunts families. And if
you want families to take responsibility, you also want your
government to back that up in ways it alone can act.

Again, I'm not arguing that everyone should be in the middle: I'm
pretty far on the right on this one, and have friends who I respect
who are pretty far on the left on this one, and I have no problem with
the gap between our opinions. But our goal here shouldn't be to be
correct at the expense of those with whom we disagree, but to do
what's best for our society and our children. And what's best would
seem to be not family at the expense of village, or village at the
expense of family, but family and village, each playing their parts,
for the sake of our children.

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