What ‘Parents’ Magazine tells us about the State of the Union

My wife and I are grandparents to four (and one on the way) grandchildren. So we were surprised when we got two issues of Parents magazine in the mail. We figured that we got on a list because we ordered children’s toys online for Christmas. I started paging through the two issues and noticed that nearly every page had an ad on it. I don’t mind. That’s how they were able to send my wife and me a free year’s subscription.

As I was paging through, I came across a “Parents Platform” for the 2012 election that included “five issues they care most about — and expect the candidates to address before Election Day.” ((“The Parents Platform,” Parents (Nov. 2012), 152.)

  1. MOM’S WANT a president who can fix our broken educational system.
  2. MOM’S WANT a president who can protect families from environmental hazards.
  3. MOM’S WANT a president who can help hardworking families get out of their financial rut.
  4. MOM’S WANT a president who finds smart ways to make government more efficient and less polarized.
  5. MOM’S WANT a president who will minimize the role of the government in their personal life, financial life, or both.

There is no consideration of what the President’s duties and limitations are. It’s all about “what can the president do for me.” If everybody wants the same thing, how does anybody get what he or she wants? The answer is simple: get 51 percent of the vote, and you’ll get what the other 49 percent will be made to give up.

Look at the first point: education. There is nothing in the Constitution about education. Furthermore, why would states thousands of miles from Washington want to entrust their educational system to a bunch of bureaucrats when D.C. has the worst graduation rate in the nation?Only 59 percent of high school students who started as freshmen in the 2006–2007 school year graduated four years later from District of Columbia schools, according to the data, which details state four-year high school graduation rates in the 2010–11 school year.”

There’s more I could write on this topic, but while reading through the December 2012 issue, I came across in interesting chart. There is a center box surrounded by nine smaller boxes. The center box had the following:

“The percentage of parents who say that when it comes to ensuring our kids’ well-being, these groups get an F.”

Keep in mind that the percentage numbers refer to people who believe these groups deserve an F. This means that the lower the number, the better the group evaluation. High number bad grade, low number good grade: faith-based organizations (7%), extended family (5%), teachers (7%), parents (6%), nonprofit charitable organizations (6%), business (12%). Now we come to the worst groups: state government (19%), local government (19%), and finally, federal government (24%).

So the first list of what Moms Want and the chart of F-Graded groups seem to contradict one another. More people (24%) thought the federal government deserved an F-grade, while the moms wanted government to do a whole bunch of stuff for them. I suspect that the What Moms Want group are in the 76% that didn’t give the Federal Government an F grade.