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Failed Conservative Values: Arianna Huffington on Family Values Hypocrisy

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Arrianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington is a well know progressive speaker and activist.  She started the popular Huffington Post website and it seems you can't turn on a progressive TV show  without her popping up on it and taking a swipe at the conservatives. I saw Arianna at our local bookstore where she was promoting her new book, The Right is Wrong. During the Q and A, I asked her how conservative values have failed. She had plenty to say.

Failed Conservative Family Values: Arrianna Huffington

 My name's Edwin Rutsch, and I'm from, and I'm working on a documentary on how conservative values have failed. Conservatives have talked a lot about their values as a pillar of their movement, and so I'm looking at how those values have actually failed, and I'm wondering if you have some thoughts about that. You started talking about the failed conservative value of fear, for example. I’m wondering if you could expand on that, or on other failed conservative values.

Arianna Huffington:  Well, of course, we can see how the conservative family values have failed, ranging from senators caught in bathroom stalls at airports, to congressmen caught sending sexy emails to pages. We've seen the hypocrisy of the party that claims to be the party of family values.

And also, the whole idea that the Republicans are the party of morality and moral values, because they are opposed to same-sex marriage and abortion, is something that progressives need to tackle head-on. Because the Bible, the real spiritual values, are primarily based on what we do for the least among us. That's the essence of the Bible. How do we deal with what John Edwards called "the Other America"? That's the essence of real values.

If you look at the states where there were Living Wage initiatives in the fall, those did very well. Conservatives tend to focus on how the same-sex marriage initiatives did, but how about the Living Wage initiatives?

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So I think if you want a battle of different moral values, just put the values of those who care for the poor, of those who care for those who have no health insurance, against the values of those who care about denying the right to marry somebody of the same sex. And let's see who wins.

See the full talk video at;
Arianna Huffington Reads from 'Right is Wrong'
Book Passage May. 19, 2008

Family Values at Wikipedia:
Family values is a political and social concept used in various cultures to describe values that are believed to be traditional in that culture and in support of the idea that families are the basic units of culture. The phrase has different meanings in different cultures. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the term has been frequently used in political debate, especially by social and religious conservatives, who believe that the world has seen a decline in family values since the end of the Second World War.  Because the term is vague, and means different things to different people, "family values" has been described as a political buzzword, power word, or code word predominantly used by right-wing or conservative political parties and media providers.

Some Questions for Discussion:
Family Values is this vague undefined term. It somehow implies that you support healthy and functioning families. However, conservatives seem to use it more as a self-righteous whip while their actual policies undermine family life.

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What are Conservative Family Values?
What are the actual values that conservatives support?
What are Progressive Family Values?
How can progressives reclaim the discussion about Family Values?

Failed Conservative Values
I ask for your assistance to systematically build the arguments and tell the stories that reveal how Conservative Values have Failed. Join in our effort to create a documentary and book on the subject by contributing  articles, posts, chapters for the book and video clips. Check our website for more information and a growing outline of tasks that need to be done on this project. 


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Founder of the Center for Building a Culture of Empathy. The Culture of Empathy website is a growing portal for resources and information about the values of empathy and compassion. It contains articles, conferences, (more...)

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