Guest Author - Janine Queenin
For years, political consultants and advertising agencies have tried to stuff all women into neat, labeled packages as they fought for the all-important “women’s vote.” The last twenty years have seen the manufacture of soccer moms, hockey moms, helicopter moms, and most recently “Mama Grizzlies.”
According to the women who wear this label, there is no one more fierce or determined to protect her cubs than the Mama Grizzly. Those mamas are something else: conservative Republicans.
Does this mean that Democrats care less about providing their kids with a bright future? Of course not. Would most of us Democrats do whatever was necessary to protect them? Of course we would. So what’s the difference?
Republican women candidates, who defined themselves as a Mama Grizzlies during the last election, decried the moral decay of the country and excessive intrusion by the government. Many claimed that the only way to stop the ruin was to elect conservative Republicans and repeal many of the social and health programs passed by Democrats.
They were wrong.
If their true goal were to protect this nation's children, they would work to fortify many laws and programs created during the last century. The so-called intrusion they revile led to laws that safeguard our young. From the creation of mandatory sex offender registries to national nutritional standards for school lunch, the government has provided an important foil to the vagary (and sometimes horror) of everyday life.
For most of the twentieth century, the Democratic Party instituted changes to protect our "cubs," think Roosevelt and the "New Deal" and Johnson's "War on Poverty." Somehow the Mama Grizzlies, without a similar history, have co-opted the Democrat’s traditional pro-family and pro-children platform.
Mama Grizzlies do care about kids -- their own kids. But that's not how it works. As part of a civilized society, we must act to protect the vulnerable among us, even if the parents of those children are troubled and seen by some as unworthy of help.
Maybe some "Mama Grizzlies" should take a lesson from the real animal kingdom. I read somewhere about a tiger in a China zoo that cared for several abandoned piglets. In most parts of the world, a tiger would call a baby piglet lunch. But that particular tiger nursed them along with her own cubs
As it turns out, that foster tiger was abandoned by her mother at birth and survived because a pig nursed her. Does the tiger remember that time in her life? Who knows? But she has managed to do something that humans struggle with. She put aside her natural instinct, overlooked the obvious differences and cared for a creature that was vulnerable and in need.
Maybe the next time Mama Grizzlies growl in protest about government subsidies that aid the poor or provide health care to the uninsured, they should think about that tiger, and not devour someone else's young.