DATE: 12/20/2004 01:06:00 PM
"Pro-Family" Groups and the War - Thanks to a sore knee and the spectacular ineptitude of a certain community charity agency, I'm in a somewhat grouchy mood this afternoon. Reading the latest nonsense from so-called "pro-family" groups made me even more annoyed. Various anti-porn groups are complaining that outgoing Attorney General John Ashcroft and the Bush administration have not used the vast resources of the federal government to fight porn. Now, I'm all in favor of prosecuting the dirtbags who peddle smut with children or underage models. I think pornography is generally destructive and does hurt families.
Okay, disclaimer over. However, it's this type of myopic vision that makes "pro-family" groups so politically ineffective. Organizations with a single focus tend to look at all issues through the rather distorted lens of their own interests and fail to see the bigger picture. Both conservatives and liberals are guilty of this, but conservatives are more likely to allow their own personal beliefs about one issue keep them from supporting a candidate or officeholder who agrees with them on 99 percent of other issues.
I'm sure the Bush administration agrees that pornography is a problem and they have used the powers of the Justice Department to deal with the worst offenders. However, what these "pro-family" groups have to realize is that we are in a war with people who want us dead. Porn is troubling, but not as troubling as the thought of terrorism within our borders. Rather than issue useless press releases about the 'poor record' of the Bush administration when it comes to porn, why don't these groups actually...you know...do something about it? Conservative interest groups seem to have grown just as dependent on government action as their liberal counterparts.
Yes, only the government can prosecute and punish those who offend. But these groups can educate on the dangers of pornography and how parents can protect themselves and their children and provide legal and other assistance to municipalities dealing with local porn shops. They can't solve the whole problem on their own, but they can do quite a bit. The government has other, more important, things on its plate right now. These groups should perhaps gain a sense of perspective and some patience.