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Once again a politician has blasted a popular sports figure for providing a ‘poor role model.’ To politicians, every societal ill in American is an outgrowth of our lack of heroes. Politicians attack sports figures for arguing with officials, rock stars for promoting drug use, rap artists for promoting violence and ethnic tension, and so on. Politicians feel that today’s youth lack the cowboys of the 1950’s. Politicians chastise virtually every high-exposure occupation...except for their own.

On of the first things teachers try to teach to small children is the concept of sharing. Society tell kids to talk out their differences, not fight. Children are expected to be polite, respectful, and studious. But where are the role models promoting these values? Certainly not in Washington.

Sharing: "You have to share because it’s nice."

If kids heard this phrase two thousand times a day, it would be no more effective than hearing it twice. Society has 17 hours on school days to destroy what was learned in 7 hours of school.

We urge our children to pay attention to the news; they see:

1> The Israelis and Palestinians can’t share Palestine.

2> The Serbs and Croats can’t share ‘Yugoslavia.’

3> The rich countries won’t share food with hungry countries.

4> The rich won’t share money with the poor.

Talking v. Fighting: Fighting Never Solved Anything.

Again kids find this statement untrue. In school they are told to ‘work problems out.’ When they turn on the television after school, they see ‘adults’ who don’t accept ‘peace’ as a solution. They see:

1> Arabs v. Jews

2> Serbs v. Croats

3> U.S. v. Iraq, Cuba, Syria, etc.

4> Murders/armed robbery in their own city.

Respect/Courtesy: "Please go fuck yourself."

A young child might get a detention for using the above quote, but thirty minutes later he’ll be home flipping channels. When he stops at MTV, he’ll be bombarded with racial slurs, cursing, and disrespect towards police. If he stops on CNN, he may see a video clip of a Senator warning the President that he’s ‘unwelcome’ in Virginia, and implying that the Virginia National Guard would chase him out. Jerry Springer and Jenny Jones give the kid daily doses of nuts.

If a child has a thirty minute classroom visit from a police officer, then watches 3 hours of music videos urging him to kill cops, which has more impact on how he views the police?

Without a doubt our country lacks role models. The few that we have are rarely as visible as entertainers or athletes. Congress is willing to censor music, rate television, and demand religious indoctrination in school. In fact, Congress appears willing to do anything except stand to the challenge and provide good examples to youth.

The problem is real, and the solution is attainable; we’re just looking for few people willing to practice what they preach.


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