I don’t write exclusively about my experiences as a parent here, and I wonder if that makes the title of the blog a little misleading. I would think that most of my audience isn’t here because of the parenting talk, but because of our existing relationships. still, should I consider renaming the blog?
In an abstract way, everything that I do or experience is filtered through the parental lens. Being a dad gives me a set of absolute boundaries and a code of conduct that informs every decision I make, so when I fret over money, jobs, writing, or even politics, my opinion is my dad opinion. I don’t even think I have a non-dad opinion anymore, which is probably for the best. My non-dad opinion would run towards being selfish and retaliatory. My dad opinion always has to consider “How would I want my son treated in the same situation” and because of that I have to dismiss the angry or petty indulgences AKA why I don’t give other drivers the finger.
For a while, I tried to tell myself that all parents made decisions based on their kids, in an effort to humanize people I disagreed with on social and political issues. I would tell myself to remember that “Stephen Harper loves his kids too”, and that did lessen my fury for a bit. But it’s not working for me anymore. Maybe he loves his kids, sure, but he doesn’t give a tinker’s damn about the kids below the poverty line, and I can’t let that slide.
6 thoughts on “On Titles and Roles”
Is it a Prime Minister’s job to look after people’s kids or is it government’s job to run the country and leave parenting to the parents?
It is our duty as a society to eliminate any and all poverty that affects children, and responsible government is the tool that we use to accomplish that goal.
You might consider a view that it is not the role of government to eliminate poverty, it is the role of government to provide a country where the people can prevent poverty from happening.
I’m not sure what you think I’m arguing in favour of. I agree that government should create conditions that allow each and every Canadian to succeed to the best of their ability and motiviation. Those conditions are:accessible education, comprehensive healthcare (including preventative healthcare, dental care, and mental health care), a fair and equitable justice system, clean water.
To quote Dickens:
“Business! Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”
“A Christmas Carol”
The detail is there, and it’s critical. It is not the role of government to provide for all the wants of the people or solve their problems. The purpose of government is to establish the means that people can achieve great things and solve their own problems. We have perverted the role of government into a parent, expecting it to shelter us from the things that are hard in life. It is spoiling us. Government should establish the basic essentials of civilization and then get out of the lives and out of the way of people to face the hardships of life and overcome them. Through all people working and accomplishing things as free individuals – not government – do all people benefit.
Government can’t solve child poverty. But it can stay out of the way of people creating jobs that lead to better employment and fewer impoverished families.