Don’t vote for a return to ‘traditional values’ – Shaw Local

For the editor:

The words “back to traditional values” evoke warm, fuzzy feelings about the way things used to be. We remember “Leave it to Beaver” and “The Andy Griffith Show”. Do our memories also include the way things really were?

Before the 1970s, women couldn’t have a credit card in their name or sign a mortgage without a man. In society, homosexuals felt inferior and condemned; they could not marry or have children. Jews and Muslims were judged and ostracized. Blacks couldn’t buy homes in some areas because of government redlining and couldn’t drink from the same fountains or eat at the same restaurants as whites. Religious organizations concealed child abuse.

The phrase may be intended to elicit nostalgia, but the intent is dangerous. The politicians who use this expression today to collect your vote want to return to a world where their religious beliefs are superior and legally binding, women cannot control their own bodies and same-sex marriages are prohibited. In their world, false narratives, hatred, exclusion and corporate domination are the norm.

For my part, I don’t want to go back to the way things were in my childhood. I much prefer a world of acceptance, kindness, inclusion, protection of the rights of individuals, and the many other freedoms and opportunities we currently enjoy. Look beyond the words dressed in the window. Vote for candidates who believe in a better way of life than the “traditional values” some would have us return to.

Denise Burrs


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