Scarborough: I’m not jumping on the ‚Äö√Ñ√≤abstinence only’ train. I’m just saying I don’t want Linda Ellerbee, who has always had a pronounced left of center world view, getting on talking about‚Äö√Ñ¬∂talking to 6, 7, 8, 9 year olds about sex. [..]
Schuster: Joe, why are you against sex education? I don’t understand that.
Scarborough: I’m not. I’m against people going on and having a high-falutin’ attitude. People like you, speaking in condescending tones to those of us that are raising children in the heartland, telling us that our 12 year old kids should be able to have sex, but they just need to have contraceptives.
Ah, yes…the absolute certainty of your own correctness and self-righteous is a beautiful thing, ain’t it? Well, no, it really isn’t…but it can be a comedy gold mine when properly parsed. In the case of Joe Scarborough…well, the man really ought to be checking his knuckles for scabs, knowhutimean?
It’s often been said (generally by me) that Fundamentalism is the sound of a mind slamming shut. The metallic CLANG!! that shuts out all reason may be a hallmark and defining characteristic of Fundamentalists, but it’s hardly limited to those on the Rabid, Religious Right. There are far too many talking heads- like Joe Scarborough, f’rinstance- who believe they have an absolute lock on “family values”, and that anything that falls outside of their narrow, fear-based beliefs is evil, wrong, and of the Devil.
Scarborough is the perfect example of a Right-wing talking head who already knows it all…so why should he even have to listen to a differing point of view? The idea that people like him who are “raising children in the heartland” are somehow at the pinnacle of the moral iceberg is both offensive and wholly inaccurate. These are the folks who prefer ignoring reality to actually having to deal with it, and his elevation of this sort of ignorant dismissiveness represents everything that’s wrong with Right-wing politics today.
No one is denying Scarborough his right to hold whatever views he chooses. What I am disputing is his right to elevate his views over all others as morally superior and therefore unworthy of any further debate. The reality is that children today, whether people like Scarborough choose to admit it or not, are bombarded by sex in all aspects of their lives. We can choose to ignore it, and treat this issue as if ignoring it will make it go away, or we can prepare our children to make intelligent decisions based on sound values. Burying your head in the sand is little more than a recipe for waking up one morning to discover that your precious 16-year-old daughter is pregnant.
Reality is what it is. Ignoring it or wishing things were different will change nothing- and in fact is a recipe for making things even worse. Determining yourself to be morally superior to “those damn Libruls” is merely a symptom of the ignorance that accompanies this point of view. You can ignore reality, or you can deal with things as they actually are. No, you may not like reality, but that isn’t going to change anything- unless you want to buy a ranch in Idaho and ring it with Claymores and razor wire. Just keep in mind, though, that your responisibility as a parent is to prepare your child to be a successful adult. If you ignore the realities of the world your child will grow up to inherit, you’ll have only yourself to blame. Then again, if you think like Joe Scarborough, you’re not much for taking personal responsibility. There will always be something- or someone- to blame your problems on- and “Godless Libruls” will generally be somewhere in that mix, right?