My Point of View: Supporting traditional family values in the state

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2023

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My Point of View by Brad Kramer

One of the saddest testaments to our society is the breakdown of the traditional family structure. It’s within a healthy family structure that children learn trust and stability, how to communicate and negotiate, boundaries and values, and much more.

Brad Kramer

Like many in my generation, I was not raised in a traditional family. During my childhood, I had experienced several divorces, frequent moving, stepparents and extended families, followed by the awkward role of “ex” stepfamily members. My first marriage ended in divorce, and my wife was a single mother when we met. It took a good part of my adult life to learn how to have a healthy and successful marriage. I now know many, many adults around my age who are trying to learn what it means to be a good parent and spouse because we were raised in the cesspool of what came out of the 1960s.

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One of the reasons that many conservatives look to the Republican Party is because we embrace and promote the traditional family as one of our pillars. That does not mean that Republicans are immune from divorce, scandal and other shortcomings. I have certainly failed at times, as have many others, but it does mean we aspire to something better. There is a strong correlation between the marriage and divorce rate, and the overall conditions of society.

Parents should have the role of deciding what is right for our children in terms of faith, values and other belief systems. Not the school or teachers, not politicians and certainly not government bureaucrats.

During the last election, we saw many more highly contested school board elections because parents are becoming fed-up with the indoctrination instead of education taking place in schools that overstep the school’s (government) authority. This is not a jab at teachers and educators, but rather government bureaucrats and activists who keep throwing more and more garbage into the curriculum and funding bills in the name of social justice or environmentalism, distracting teachers from teaching useful life skills.

How your family operates is your decision. Republicans are not interested in legislating how your family functions, but we also do not want ideas we are opposed to forced upon our children. As a parent, I’m always trying to learn to be better. Our youngest child has a far different childhood than our older children, who didn’t have the same stability and strength that my wife and I provide now. We see many differences in our children because of their core personalities, but also the effects of that stability and family structure are evident.

While there are certainly families that experience domestic violence, drug addiction,= and other forms of abuse and dysfunction that necessitate divorce or splitting up, these are not the norm, though are all too common. What we learn growing up, is often the behavior we model as adults. Certainly, there are many people who grow up to be the opposite of what they observed (for better or worse), so how you are raised is not your excuse to perpetuate dysfunctional behavior (nor is being raised in a good home a guarantee that you will be successful), but there is no question it is a significant influence.

The Republican Party brings together millions of Americans of all faiths and ethnicities. We all cast our vote for different reasons and propose slightly different ways to achieve our goals. Protecting our ability to raise our families according to our values is an important part of why many of us get involved in politics. It is not to control other people or force our beliefs onto others. However, when unelected bureaucrats think it’s OK to push their beliefs onto our families that erode our ability to parent our children or exposes children to sexualized activities like drag queen story hour, that is what causes many conservatives to push for legislation. Most conservatives I know have no desire to legislate morality.

Free-will is a fundamental part of our human condition. Deciding what your values are and how you will raise your children is your own business. I don’t want the government in your bedroom or mine, but we also cannot let government swing to the other side of the pendulum and promoting values to our children and using public policy and taxes to force ideas on the public that wouldn’t pass at the ballot box, much like Gov. Walz used his pen to push Minnesotans into compliance with California’s auto emissions standards that will be a disaster.

I don’t just want you to join the Freeborn County Republicans so we win elections. I want you to share your values and what is important to you, to help us find, build and elect quality candidates who you believe represents your values. Our county has done a marvelous job, and we should only get better!

Brad Kramer is a member of the Freeborn County Republican Party.