Last night I was watching The Daily Show and saw John Stewart poking fun at the Lieutenant Governor from South Carolina for his comments on welfare. Mr. Bauer apparently compared welfare moms to stray animals by saying if you stop feeding the stray animals then they will die off. The analogy can only be appreciated by watching that clip. John Stewart is obviously not paid to treat every issue with sensitivity and Mr. Bauer obviously did not treat the issue with the care it deserved.
I say this because I happen to agree with Mr. Bauer in substance even if I don’t agree with the way he presented his ideas. The problem is that when we picture the welfare mom we have a particular picture in our head. So, any talk about the issue is quickly squashed in favor of political correctness. Mr. Bauer was fairly pegged as a redneck, but it also unfortunately pegs those that agree with him as a redneck.
I’ve discussed issues like this before and it all comes down to standards of behavior we all should abide by. Based on comments, I am a victim of political correctness as much if not more than anyone else. This is one of the reasons why I was a bit put off by Stewart’s treatment of the issue. I find John Stewart to be highly intelligent, but there is always something off-putting about his show and that was a good segment to highlight it. His audience blindly applauds whenever he does anything. It is a lot like the worst parts of Rush Limbaugh’s ditto-heads. It’s one of the many reasons why I prefer The Colbert Report.
Making light of the issue because Mr. Bauer clumsily presented it doesn’t solve the issue. I see it all the time. You have mothers with four, five, and six kids from four, five, and six fathers. You have “octomom” with fourteen kids and no way to support them. Yet, she has convinced herself she is not on welfare. The kids are on welfare. Ah, I love the distinction. I have parents that don’t pay their phone bill and can’t even bother to utilize services that are free because it would require too much effort. These are the folks having multiple children by multiple fathers.
Before I go any further, we need to ask ourselves what to do with the fathers. It might be easy enough to force them to own up to their children one “Maury Ppvich Show” at a time, but there has to be something more than that. Government should never legislate behavior, but it also should never subsidize behavior most people would agree is irresponsible. See, I can make this argument without bringing stray animals into the conversation. We should be able to talk about unpleasant things without stifling our opinions because it might offend somebody.
People in my generation our the victims of political correctness. We walk around and stifle our own opinions because we are often made to feel inferior for having them. I hate to peg something on ourselves, but this is one of the hallmarks of classic liberalism. It is the main reason I call myself a progressive instead of a liberal. We need to be able to disagree without people judging one way or the other. We need to let our grasp of facts judge us rather than one side automatically being considered enlightened or not. That being said, let’s keep the talk about strays out of the conversation.