Thursday, July 17, 2008

Traditional Family Values

A few different episodes over the past week have me wondering if the term “Traditional Family Values” is applicable any more. You hear it batted about during political campaigns and whenever someone is making a decision that might portray them in a less than favorable light.

The Fond du Lac County Board this week tabled a decision on whether or not to support a diversity initiative’s statement of principles. It was done for a couple of reasons, one of which had to do with objections to the term “sexual orientation” in the statement. It was implied that there might be a hidden agenda and some supervisors said outright that they wouldn’t condone gay, lesbian, and bisexual and transgender lifestyles.

Actually the initiative was started as a way of attracting more talent as the County faces an aging workforce. It was felt if the community were more welcoming it would attract a diversity of talent. County Executive Al Buechel says the statement was also designed to be an umbrella that would cover everyone.

Supervisor Jim Kiser objected to the statement saying he’d run for office on a platform that supports “Traditional Family Values.” I have no problem with that. What I do question is just what is considered a “traditional family” these days. With more than half of marriages ending in divorce and a growing number of single-parent households the “traditional family” is in danger of being redefined. Not to mention how are “values” seem to be evolving as well.

I attended the Democratic Party’s campaign headquarters kickoff in Fond du Lac last Sunday and heard a lot about families. Not surprisingly the typical family is struggling to handle rising expenses for gasoline, education, health care, etc. Plus or minus campaign rhetoric there are some truths in what is being said. Though I was there to cover it as a news event, I have to admit it also provoked some thinking.

Lastly one of my favorite non-traditional family’s is making too much news these days. Can’t the Green Bay Packers and Brett Favre get along? Yeah I know professional football is a business, but nobody is coming away a winner in this struggle. I’ve always considered the Packers more than just a football team, maybe part of the family. It’s the worst case of public sibling-like rivalry I’ve ever seen. Please make it go away!


Anonymous said...

My take on this issue is that some felt that this "initiative" was little more than a foundation for later "affirmative action" style resolutions. Kiser mentioned about construction companies sometimes being required to take subcontractors who are mamaged by minorities or women (which is true; they are called Disadvantaged Business Entities, and there usually is a quota of DBE contractors associated with a construction job.)

Moreover, Goldsmith implied at the meeting that other measures would follow should the initiative pass the county board. She did not get into details, though.

I personally am against affirmative action policies. I do not believe that employment opportunites should be given based on race, religion, gender, or sexuality. Jobs should be awarded to people based on the skill level and competence of the candidates seeking the position.

Anonymous said...

The "initiative" has proven to be a major mistake in Milwaukee. What happens when one-hundred imaginary/fake charges are made. There is a huge group of people who live on/ or try to live on settlements for "bias". What a disaster this will be. "Cause followers" with another "policy tool" to pervert the court systems.