Procrastination Nation

Things that Robert is thinking about that keep him from accomplishing anything.

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Thursday, November 11, 2004
What Now?
Krugman's latest op-ed piece in the Times says Democrats can't succumb to defeatism or parrotting the Repbulicans' family values schtick. In particular, he suggests the following:
Yes, Democrats need to make it clear that they support personal virtue, that they value fidelity, responsibility, honesty and faith. This shouldn't be a hard case to make: Democrats are as likely as Republicans to be faithful spouses and good parents, and Republicans are as likely as Democrats to be adulterers, gamblers or drug abusers. Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate in the country; blue states, on average, have lower rates of out-of-wedlock births than red states.

But Democrats are not going to get the support of people whose votes are motivated, above all, by their opposition to abortion and gay rights (and, in the background, opposition to minority rights). All they will do if they try to cater to intolerance is alienate their own base.

I wonder if perhaps there needs to be an equivalent of a foreign exchange program within the nation. Instead of sending our kids to live with a family in Belgium and taking in a teenager from Switzerland, we should swap kids between Kansas and Vermont. Given the popularity of all these family-member swapping programs, there seems to at least be cultural interest in it, though that may be driven by the fact that it's other people doing it for our own entertainment.

Still, it would be interesting to start a cultural exchange program among high school students (maybe 10th graders?). Maybe it's a just a semester. Maybe you pair kids between families so the two kids experience each others' hometowns. And sure, you could turn it into a t.v. show if necessary.

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