You get a much better result when you inculcate virtue on a private and individual basis than when you attempt to impose it from above. That’s why we conservatives are so concerned about the breakdown of the American family. It is within the context of a family that we are meant to learn to difference between right and wrong. In the absence of stable, socially supported family units, many people lose their way morally — and government dependence increases.
Here’s some more awesome commentary from Mike Rowe. This time, he uses his experiences shooting a rather infamous episode of Dirty Jobs (involving lamb castration) to segue into a discussion of how our popular culture is systematically denigrating vocational work:
Rowe’s message really resonates with me because I know my family heritage. Dad does “brain work,” but his dad before him rose from poverty into the middle class through hard, dirty, physical labor. Indeed, it was Pop-pop (with a little help from his children) who built Dad’s family homestead in Blue Bell, PA. Did Pop-pop ever try to “follow his passion”? Somehow, I doubt it. I think he just had the character necessary to recognize what needed doing in his local community. And while his son is now a “white collar” professional and relatively affluent, Dad has still absorbed the lesson that is his father’s life. That’s why he’s always emphasized to us the importance of having a job – any job – no matter how much it supposedly sucks.
(And you know what? Sometimes those “sucky” jobs aren’t so sucky after all. Years back, I worked a near-minimum-wage job at Kohl’s, and I’d probably go back there again if my arthritis weren’t so advanced. I found the task of cleaning up the racks and hanging up the returns oddly relaxing.)
Rowe’s right to assert that our larger culture has lost the ethic that once built a house from scratch in Blue Bell. As I noted in the comment I appended to the Jay Leno video, we’re all about pushing our kids into college so they can avoid “back-breaking labor.” And ultimately, I think that attitude is profoundly wrong-headed. We still need people who can make things — who can work with their hands.
(Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds, by the way.)
Not only do we need welders, but we also need plumbers, carpenters, chefs, etc. Yet we’re encouraging our kids to obtain useless degrees in sociology and womyn’s studies. How screwed up is that?
I will always love your blunt honesty, Governor Christie.
This is a great ad:
Please help it go viral!
Thanks to the following clips, he’s starting to grow on me:
The guy has some serious baggage, but there’s no doubt he would kick Obama’s ass into next week in a debate.