Friday, October 24, 2008

Conservatives & kids

An excellent post by Matt Yglesias on one area where conservative philosophy really breaks down in a way that only the hardest of the die hards would every admit (but, sadly, probably many more think). Here's one part, but if you have the chance, read the whole thing. Indeed, this post gets to a fundamental problem with an everyone for themselves attitude -- through no fault of your own, your parents can majorly screw up your life (mom, dad, this is not an incredibly passive-aggressive attack on your parenting!)
It would be one thing if conservatives had the courage of their convictions and just said, “hey, government intervention in the economy is so terrible that we don’t care if children suffer.” But when you see candidates out there on the hustings talking about how we need to take care of special needs children, well, it makes me mad. Of course we need to take care of their needs. But kids, special and otherwise, need all kinds of stuff. They need decent childcare and nutritious food and they need to see doctors and dentists and they need clothing and they need decently maintained houses that are heated in the winter. They need parents with job opportunities and schedules that are flexible enough to take care of them. Nobody seriously denies that kids need this stuff. But lots of people are just indifferent to the fact that a huge proportion of our children don’t get their needs met. And it’s appalling. McCain says that rather than spreading the wealth around, he wants to have equal opportunity. But what kind of equal opportunity do have when mom’s pulling in $21,500 to support three kids and President McCain is slashing spending on child and family services left and right?