When The Left Gets Dumb And I Feel Sort Of Conservative
It all started when I pointed to this story about a prostitute who was arrested in a hotel and had her 4 year old son present. This seems like a pretty cut and dry case of a mother involving her child in what is very clearly illegal activity.
Boy was I wrong.
According to numerous people on Twitter, it was very wrong for me to point out this story. Their reasoning? Well it was a little all over the place, but the main thrust was that this woman had been forced into a life of prostitution and was forced to bring her child along.
This storyline assumes some pretty horrible things. It assumes that a criminal career is legitimate and that it is okay to involve a child.
Whether you believe prostitution should be illegal or not is mostly immaterial. The point is that prostitution is illegal everywhere in America except some parts of Nevada. That’s not up for debate. It is illegal, whether you like it or not.
Once someone engages in prostitution, you are committing a crime. There isn’t a whole lot of wiggle room there.
But the more appalling section of this argument was the collective shrug at the idea that someone is committing a crime, as if it’s okay if they’re poor. It’s immoral, but it also works as evidence of lowered standards for poor people. It assumes that’s the only way a poor person can get ahead and that their moral core is less honest than middle-class and rich people. And that’s supposed to be okay.
My personal experience is quite different. The poorest among us tend to be the most hard working and honest. I speak from personal experience with this, raised by a single mother who never broke the law save perhaps a speeding ticket and who raised me on her own without committing a single felony.
It’s degrading, quite honestly, to make the assumption that a poor person must break the law to eat and that that’s somehow okay. For God’s sake, no.
I know I’m somewhat old fashioned on these things (one person made fun of me because I never drank alcohol before I turned 21) but I believe in right and wrong. I don’t have a whole lot of use for shades of grey and I believe in absolutes.
I don’t think some things are okay when done by a rich person, but verboten when done by someone who is poor. Or vice-versa.
Otherwise you have no moral guidance, no right and wrong. Also known as anarchy.
There’s an element of the left – a small one based on electoral returns and overall influence – that believes in this moral wasteland. One in which a mother can’t be judged for exposing her child to a criminal act if she’s poor, no matter how repugnant it actually is. It’s a part of the left I reject and will deride as hard as the right-wing who want to make it tough for poor people to get ahead in America.
Because they are related. They both assume that wealth, especially at the lower end, is subject to different rules of morality, that we can’t all be moral actors who make good decisions and work hard towards a better future.
It’s a sick way to look at things, even worse when you find yourself defending a mother subjecting her child to things a child shouldn’t be subjected to – in effect abusing the child. You shouldn’t just shrug and basically say “poor people, oh well.”
We should strive to be better than that.