Poverty of values

I know there are thousands of people who remember Dan Quayle as vice president, and most remember him for misspelling potato. However, there is a quote from one of the best speeches I have ever heard that bear repeating 21 years later:
But too many people feel they have no hope and nothing to lose.
Photo from Wikipedia-public domain
This poverty is, again, fundamentally a poverty of values.
Mr. Quayle was talking about inner city families without fathers, and those who live in poverty-stricken areas in urban America. Here is what he said before the quote above:
Our inner cities are filled with children having children, with people who have not been able to take advantage of educational opportunities, with people who are dependent on drugs or the narcotic of welfare. To be sure, many people in the ghetto struggle very hard against these tides and sometimes win. 
This is still true today. We haven't come very far have we? This is also true of rural areas, and those places where drug addiction and alcohol addiction prevail over church going and leaning on Jesus. One might ask, "Where are the Christians? What are they doing about all this?"

Is the problem too big? Are there not enough Christians -- those true believers who are the Church in hearts and minds -- to go into the world to offer helping hands?

In fact, Mr. Quayle voiced something that social psychologists are only now realizing. "When family fails, society fails." I believe this comes from the "Me" society norms, and the feel-good mentality that rose out of the turbulent 60s and 70s. He mentions this, too, and I heartily agree with him.

This speech that I am quoting from is called "The Murphy Brown Speech." Do you remember that one? It caused quite a stir among the liberal media. He said it was because it isn't fashionable or popular to talk about it. Here is that section about Murphy Brown.
Bearing babies irresponsibly is simply wrong. Failing to support children one has fathered is wrong and we must be unequivocal about this. It doesn’t help matters when primetime TV has Murphy Brown, a character who supposedly epitomizes today’s intelligent, highly paid professional woman, mocking the importance of fathers by bearing a child alone and calling it just another lifestyle choice. I know it’s not fashionable to talk about moral values, but we need to do it! Even though our cultural leaders in Hollywood, network TV and the national newspapers routinely jeer at them, I think most of us in this room know that some things are good and other things are wrong. And now, it’s time to make the discussion public. It’s time to talk again about the family, hard work, integrity and personal responsibility. We cannot be embarrassed out of our belief that two parents married to each other are better, in most cases, for children than one. That honest work is better than handouts or crime. That we are our brother’s keepers. That is worth making an effort, even when the rewards aren’t immediate.

So, I think the time has come to renew our public commitment to our Judeo-Christian values in our churches and synagogues, our civic organizations and our schools. We are, as our children recite each morning, one nation under God.
We were publicly reminded about this two decades ago, but somehow nothing has changed. How sad.

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