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It Takes a Parent, Not a Village - March 5, 1997

Richard Brian McCarty

At the White House Monday, the President and the First Lady unveiled an ad they produced on television to promote a web page for various children's organizations. Besides the fact they nosed their way into others' acts to be a part of the credit due to charitable activities, they both said some disturbing things.

The First Lady said " It indeed takes a village to raise a child." Perhaps it did with her. Perhaps she was too busy being Hillary Rodham Clinton to raise her child,and it took a village of staff, nannies, and school mar ms to raise her child. I am sure that the staff of Friends school done a wonderful job raising the Clintons' daughter while the two of them were busy being the most powerful couple in the world. But, just because they chose to let the village raise their child does not mean that we should all follow their example. Most of America is not selfish enough to rely upon or blame the village for raising their children.

Further, the President said we are responsible for raising our children. I have chosen, to this point in my life, not to be a parent. Why am responsible for someone else's choice to have a child? Why can't we tell them they have to sacrifice? Why can't we tell them that two careers, a new vcr, and two nice cars just might have to be sacrificed to raise the children?

Besides, when did the President have children? As I understand it, the President has one child--his daughter. He is responsible for raising her. That's it. He, even in possession of the lofty title of President of the United States, has no right to tell someone how to raise their child, providing they are not abusive or negligent. And, those standards are spelled clearly by the courts across this nation. The President does not need to comment on this. Further, often overzealous executive agencies are reigned in when the interfere with a parent's right to raise his or her children because of their own view, not the legal view, or parental rights.

The state does have some role in the rearing of children. Sexual and physical abuse can not be tolerated. Kidnapping can not be tolerated. Exposure to continued danger, such as to a crack house, can not be tolerated. But, that is not what the President and the First Lady are after now.

They want to decide, and to be a "partner" in how average Americans raise their children. The way your children believe about life should be influenced by them since they are the chiefs of the village. Stalin had the same idea. The children of the parents who were the most cooperative got to wear little red scarfs. And, the children of the parents who weren't cooperative found themselves without parents. I wonder if they called it an action to terminate parental rights?

But, I don't believe that the President and First Lady want to be raise the nation's children because of sinister Communist implications. No, it is more simple than that. They have some streak of insecurity in them about their own lives that leads them to want to be a part of everything of our lives.

When Cal Ripken broke baseball's Iron Man record, the Clintons were there. When an elderly woman in Alabama gave her whole life savings for scholarships, the Clintons got involved. They could not let the nation applaud her without them. When the Grammies were given, Hillary had to enter her book in the competition and be there. They could not let America have a night of national awards without their mark on it. The list goes on and on of the this First Couple making every effort connect themselves to whatever is a big event in national life--even if it is irrelevant to the Presidency or to government. They have broken new ground in overexposure.

But, we have learned to ignore them. The networks, for all the liberal bias heaped upon them, don't cover every move they make anymore. But, Bill and Hillary still need the spotlight. They need you and me to actually have to deal with them in every thing we do. Somehow that gives them a feeling of completeness. Such is the likes of those who insecure inside.

So, now, they are going after the core of American life--the raising of children. Every parent of a child, whether good or bad, has to face what do with his children. And, what a great way for people who need to be the center of attention to plop themselves right in the middle of others' lives.

I feel sorry for them. They don't have the peace inside needed to let other people run their own lives. They must have their beliefs validated by forcing them upon others. How pitiful.

If they want to be better parents to their child, I suggest they do it. But, they have only one child, and they should face that and face whatever insecurity lies in their heart that makes them want to be part of every child's raising.

It does not take a village, Mrs. Clinton. It takes a parent. It takes love. It takes sacrifice. It takes faith. It takes guts. It takes putting a child before anything else in your earthly life. Even the White House.

Richard Brian McCarty has worked on several political campaigns of conservatives. He holds a Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina and a BS degree from Lander University. An experienced writer, McCarty's columns are written from a distinctly Southern point of view. He is sometimes Southern, sometimes conservative, sometimes humorous, and sometimes all three.


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