To the Editor:
Much has been said this election year on the Republican “War on Women.” Some believe it exists while others doubt it.
I have believed for some time that it exists, beginning with Rush Limbaugh’s “slut” comment. There are local examples as well. Just the past week, N.C. Sen. Jim Davis (R-Franklin) was quoted in an article regarding funding cuts for pre-K programs for low income children as saying that the government shouldn’t be in the business of “making up for poor parenting.” Sen. Davis was also quoted as saying “I think the greatest gift a father can give his kids is their mother at home.”
Well Sen. Davis, as a single parent, I find your comments personally insulting and really believe you live in some sort of alternate universe. Just because parents are low-income and in some cases single doesn’t mean they are bad parents. I have seen good and bad parenting among all income levels and marital statuses. The low income children need the Pre-K program because their parents can’t afford an expensive pre-school where their higher income peers have the advantage of getting ready for public school. Our world is much more complex these days and kids need to be ready at an earlier age.
As for the comment about the kid’s mother at home, haven’t you realized that the “Leave it to Beaver” show hasn’t been produced for some time? In most instances, it takes both parents working just to make ends meet, much less pay for pre-school. Even if the mother – or father for that matter – is at home, there’s no guarantee they are educating their child or have the ability to do so.
As for the Pre-K programs being “free babysitting services” that simply isn’t the case. The workers are well-trained professionals who engage the child in meaningful activities throughout the day. They aren’t just plopped down in the front of a television screen.
I share your belief that the government can’t solve all of society’s ills, but this is one program that will give future generations a head start and enable them to become productive members of society rather than living off the welfare dole. It’s not hard for me to decide who I’ll vote for in this election.