I would like to address the notion of ‘family values’ as a Conservative hallmark. This is one of the largest myths that serves the GOP. The term family values has been assigned as a core issue for the Republican party but the truth is that it has a never been one of their cornerstones. In fact being Republican means you are positioned against family freedom, opportunity, and are being pigeon-holed into a support system of antiquated family values that have no place in modern society.
When the GOP discusses ‘Family Values’ they mean only one thing; controlling your family’s values. They want to control the definition of what your family is and force you into a narrow contradictory Republican ideology that is defined by their frequently anti-family platform.
The GOP platform is not in support of empowering families to have better lives. They wish to limit the choices and freedom of families. They wish to put their boots on the necks of women’s choices and rights. And they seek to deny and limit the definition of what makes up an American family.
The War Against Women:
Republicans do not wish to grow and do what is is right for our American women. Republicans stood firm against equal pay for women. They stood firm against allowing women to have access to birth control in all places of employment. They deny mothers twelve weeks of paid maternity leave. And they seek to deny women the chance to make their own choices when they are raped.
Republicans allow only one sort of marriage in their narrow definition of family and they seek to define all families according to the standards they set. But since when has that become the trademark of a free society? Where do families get to make their own choices about what is right for them?
The role of Government in regards to families should be one to empower all families to make their own free choices for their children, their lives, and what they choose to define as their own personal set of ‘family values’.
Republicans are quick to jump on anyone who does not meet their standards and support their ‘family values’ platform. The Republicans would have you believe that Bernie Sanders is some anti-family socialist and mad villain.
The truth is that Bernie Sanders is a champion of the family. Sanders is a champion and pioneer for working class Americans in general; he seeks to strengthen the backbone of the poor and middle classes which make up a majority of our American families. You need to look no further than actual legislation this socialist has championed in order to understand who in this 2016 election will empower families:
- Cosponsored Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s FAMILY Act, which would guarantee every employee twelve weeks of paid family and medical leave. This program would be funded through an insurance program, the way Social Security is today. Workers would pay into it with every paycheck, at the price of roughly one cup of coffee per week.
- Introduced legislation requiring employers to provide at least 10 days of paid vacation per year, as is done in almost every other developed country in the world.
- Cosponsored Sen. Patty Murray’s Healthy Families Act, which would guarantee seven days of paid sick leave per year for American workers
- Supported the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009
Not only is Senator Sanders championing women’s rights like equal pay, empowering them to making choices about their body, and letting them determine what happens to them when they are raped; he is also looking to empower the American family with opportunities to grow and succeed.
Bernie wants to give everyone the opportunity to attend a public university without amassing debt. Parents and children alike searching for opportunities are being held down by student loan debt and Bernie is seeking to help families by giving them equal access to education.
Bernie wants to target our staggering youth unemployment rates. Currently one-third of white and Hispanic youth and fifty percent of African-Americans are unemployed and searching for work. Bernie Sanders introduced the ‘Employ Young Americans Now Act’ to provide $5.5 billion to help employ and train one million young Americans between the ages of 16 and 24.
Bernie is also seeking to upgrade our American infrastructure and introduced legislation that spends $1 trillion over 5 years to modernize our country’s physical infrastructure. This would create 13 million jobs for American families and it would provide better roads, bridges, and important infrastructure that will benefit American families for generations to follow.
There is a fundamental difference between the GOP and Bernie’s platform. The GOP wants to define and limit the definition of family to a dated and anti-American set of values while simultaneously denying women an equal opportunity in our society. The GOP wants to force down our free throats the definition of what a family MUST be under no exceptions. The GOP wishes to empower billionaires while letting the majority of the American families suffer as they lose money, jobs, and their voice in their own government.
Bernie Sanders is standing against the tide. He is holding the banner of American families and will do so as a matter of a principle with or without us. Senator Sanders is trying to start a revolution that will allow us to take control of our own families while providing us with every opportunity to be successful, safe, and in control of our own destinies as we participate in the American Dream.
Bernie Sanders stands for Family Values. So do I. I hope you’ll join us.