John Edwards on Families & Children
2004 Democratic Nominee for Vice President; Former Jr Senator (NC)
EDWARDS: Yes, we have taught our children when they were young how to look for the signs of wrong touching, any kind of what would be sexual abuse, inappropriate touching. And we have taught our children as they got older, all that they needed to know to be properly educated.
Q: [to Obama]: Mitt Romney has accused you this week of saying that 5-year-old children should be getting sex education. Was he right?
OBAMA: Ironically, this was actually a proposal that he himself said he supported when he was running for governor of Massachusetts. Apparently, he forgot. And it makes the exact point that John made. I want my daughters, aged 6 & 9, to know if somebody is doing something wrong to them, encroaching on their privacy, that they should come talk to me or my wife. And we’ve had that conversation, and I think it’s important that every child does, to make sure that they’re not subject to the sexual predators.
To strengthen families, we should address the marriage penalty that still hits many poor workers with a massive tax increase if they choose to get married. Welfare reform has helped reduce poverty rates among single mothers., but too many young men, particularly young black men, remain cut off from the hopes and routines of ordinary American life. We need to finish the job of welfare reform by encouraging young fathers to work and take responsibility for their children. Low employment levels for single men are linked to low levels of marriage and high levels of out-of-wedlock births.
Strengthen America’s Families
While the steady reduction in the number of two-parent families of the last 40 years has slowed, more than one-third of our children still live in one- or no-parent families. There is a high correlation between a childhood spent with inadequate parental support and an adulthood spent in poverty or in prison.
To strengthen families, we must redouble efforts to reduce out-of-wedlock pregnancies, make work pay, eliminate tax policies that inadvertently penalize marriage, and require absent fathers to pay child support while offering them new opportunities to find work. Because every child needs the attention of at least one caring and competent adult, we should create an “extended family” of adult volunteer mentors.
Family breakdown is not the only challenge we face. As two-worker families have become the norm, harried parents have less time to spend on their most important job: raising their children. Moreover, parents and schools often find themselves contending with sex- and violence-saturated messages coming from an all-pervasive mass entertainment media.
We should continue public efforts to give parents tools to balance work and family and shield their children from harmful outside influences. For example, we should encourage employers to adopt family-friendly policies and practices such as parental leave, flex-time, and telecommuting. Public officials should speak out about violence in our culture and should press the entertainment media to adopt self-policing codes aimed at protecting children.
The Christian Coalition was founded in 1989 by Dr. Pat Robertson to give Christians a voice in government. We represent millions of people of faith and enable them to have a strong, unified voice in the conversation we call democracy.
|Other candidates on Families & Children:||John Edwards on other issues:|
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP V.P.: Gov.Sarah Palin
Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Socialist: Brian Moore
Independent: Ralph Nader