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Presidential Parents: Who Speaks for You?

This week in Parent Chat we're taking on presidential politics, and talking about how well the campaigns are addressing your parenting reality.

Conventional wisdom holds that in polite company it is best to avoid talking about politics, religion, or money, or you are apt to offend someone.

I’d probably add parenting philosophy to that list as well. 

But this is an election year (which is anything but polite), so that means conventional wisdom is suspended to make way for the political conventions, debates, sound bites and ad campaigns that position all of these taboo topics center stage.

In an election year family values becomes an especially loaded topic. The candidates try to show themselves, by way of their spouses and families, as simultaneously "just like us," as well as aspirational figures.

Like most political posturing, “just like us” resonates to wildly varying degrees depending on the demographic.

Janice D’Arcy in one of her recent Washington Post On Parenting columns made some interesting points when she called out both parties for their political campaign conceits showing their relatable family values in action.

She observed that both campaigns like to show how their families are just like our families—they have chores, and take pains to show how they raise them with values “regardless of, even despite, their vast wealth.”

But, D’Arcy observes, are they really just like us?

“These parents do seem to be like us in many ways. They appear to be devoted to their families and committed to raising responsible kids and grandkids. The real difference between them and the vast majority of us is that they have been able to provide their children boundless opportunities and educations. Why pretend otherwise?” Janice D'Arcy, The Washington Post 8/28/2012

To her point, a more accurate “just like us” message for many American families would include showing the multiple checks written, and the endless necessary annoyances of fundraiser after fundraiser to provide for basic programs, like science, that wouldn’t be offered at all, or nearly as well, if parents didn’t pick up the tab.

This is the reality in the affluent communities of the San Ramon Valley, a place where there is a greater probability of the candidates finding families that indeed look just like their own, who are more able to provide superior educations and endless enrichment activities. How much worse is it elsewhere where providing paper for the classroom isn’t a given?

Are the candidates adequately showing how they are addressing the issues that, unlike the majority of us, they do not face?

This week in Parent Chat we’d like to hear from you about how effectively or ineffectively the Obama and Romney campaigns are resonating with you as a parent, with the things that concern you, and with the things your family values?

Also, weigh in on how candidates in our local races are performing by this measure?

Smedley Butler September 29, 2012 at 06:28 PM
@ Follow the Money, Thank you for the refreshing truthful point of view! We are on the same page, and I feel it is about time the Sheeple in the United States WAKE UP. We are divided by a fake two-party system that either gives us the left or right wing of the same bird of prey! Did these people get their Obama phone, or do they support Romneycare? We have no choice, now that the RNC changed the rules underfoot to COMPLETELY sideline the effort to restore Constitutional Values and get a real Statesman in like RonPaul.
Smedley Butler September 29, 2012 at 06:38 PM
To all those that think there is a difference in the two puppets that are controlled by the same Moneyed power: -the federal reserve(that CONTROLS OUR Government) is NOT any part of our Federal Government!!!, yet sets policy which we as a Nation are FORCED to abide by. The Fed was dreamed up by international banksters like Rockefeller, Morgan, Warburg (big daddy warbucks), Schiff, and others along with their paid off man in Government; Nelson Aldrich. They were in Woodrow Wilson's pocket also -right from the start-no one knew who this Woodrow Wilson was, -but he was catapulted into office with bankster baking to help pass the Federal Reserve Act on DECEMBER 23rd 1913!!! If this doesn't raise red flags! When it's TWO DAYS before Christmas, where do you think good men are? RIGHT! With their FAMILIES! The men in congress that day would pass the bill to destroy America as we knew it, and by 1933 (just 20 years later!) THEY HAD MANAGED TO BANKRUPT THE COUNTRY INTO RECEIVERSHIP!!! After this they managed to coerce the government (which was mostly all on the take by then) except Senators like Charles Lindbergh, and Louis T. McFadden who knew all about their scheme to install a central bank forcing Americans into submission, just like the one Andrew Jackson had thrown out for "the Den of Vipers" they were, and remain to this day sucking the life out of America.
ElectraDaddy September 29, 2012 at 07:03 PM
And, I'll bet neither Romney, nor Obama, has ever had to endure the morning drop-off traffic insanity at their kid's elementary school. Until they live through that nightmare for a month, I'll never believe they're real parents.
Charlotte October 04, 2012 at 03:21 PM
LMAO. ElectraDaddy I believe people should do drop-off for a week before getting a driver's license.
Tom October 04, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Hello ElctraDaddy. One issue only voter? Well of course it is your right. I hope someday the GOP grows up and abandons some of their views but on fiscal matters the DNC has some big problems. Can we have a third party?

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