I'm zooming down the highway, happily listening to the news, when a wave of nausea overtakes me. Is it something I ate? I don't think so.
No, the source of my nausea is something I just heard on the radio. An interview with a political candidate. And, no, it's not the candidate himself who makes me ill, it's what he just said. It's two words. Brace yourself, I'm about to utter them.
Family Values. Am I the only one who gags at hearing those words? Candidates are hitting me over the head with: family, family, family. I suppose it's intended to give me a warm, fuzzy feeling and want to vote for them so I can be included in this family thing.
There are people who have run for office - and won - who managed to say absolutely nothing about any issue, all the while yammering incessantly about families. "My opponent spent the last term in office undermining family values: A vote for Joe Schmoe is a vote for the American family."
Oh, bite me!
Tell me, Mr. Schmoe, how does this distinguish you from anyone else who's running? Who is NOT part of a family? Who are you trying to exclude, here, huh? Orphans? It's like saying, "A vote for Joe Schmoe is a vote for human beings!" Well, duh, who else would you be representing? Martians? Rocks?
I truly believe that, if the spin doctors and advertising people told these candidates that talking about fuzzy ducks would win them votes, they'd say, "A vote for Joe Schmoe is a vote for fuzzy ducks! Look at my opponent's voting record...he has done everything possible to undermine fuzzy ducks."
I'd like to witness a political race where the word family was verboten. What would they talk about then? Oh my God...they’d have to talk about issues. They'd have to talk about which laws they plan to create and, better yet, which laws they plan to get rid of.
Picture a candidate getting up and saying, "You know, those sodomy laws are an invasion of privacy, I'll get rid of them if you elect me."
Or, how about this one, "Let's rethink this whole policy of sending people to jail for using drugs. Maybe there's some other way we can help them."
Hah, that ain't gonna happen.
But think of the controversy! Imagine the lively debates! Now that would be an election that everyone, whether pro or con, would find engaging. And a lot more people would vote.
Hey, I have an idea: Maybe we can get them to lay off this Family Values thing. What they need is feedback.
Whenever a candidate starts braying about families, wouldn't it be great if someone in the crowd would start quacking like a duck? If only one person quacks, people will just think he's nuts, but if two people quack, we may be onto something. And can you imagine fifty people - I said fifty people - standing up and quacking like ducks.
Pretty soon, the whole crowd will be quacking. And friends, when that happens, we'll have ourselves a movement.
Which is kind of like a family, only louder.