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The
Fatherhood

Coalition

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... Shannon O'Brien

By Mark Charalambous, November 8, 2002


Shannon O'Brien's attempt to convince voters that she was the one candidate who could clean up the mess on Beacon Hill collapsed with a resounding thud yesterday. "You can fool some of the people some of the time..." the saying goes.... but only a truly brain-dead voter could believe that Shannon was the solution to the state's fiscal mess, rather than the problem.


Shannon probably did have moral convictions and core beliefs owing to her Catholic upbringing when she entered the Statehouse over a decade ago, but she has long since been assimilated into the Borg-like, social-engineering, Democratic Party gestalt.

Shannon is very much an integral part of the Democratic machine that has controlled Beacon Hill for as long as I can remember. She is incapable of transcending the Democratic Party mentality. She is in Beacon Hill and Beacon Hill is in her. Shannon probably did have moral convictions and core beliefs owing to her Catholic upbringing when she entered the Statehouse over a decade ago, but she has long since been assimilated into the Borg-like, social-engineering, Democratic Party gestalt.

Her prior moral stands on abortion and gay marriage quickly evaporated under the assault. This is best illustrated by her notorious blunder on the last debate when she vociferously championed the right of sixteen-year-old girls to have abortions without their parent's consent.

It became evident at that moment that Shannon no longer had any moral center, and could only parrot the party line of her supporters at N.O.W., Emily's List and NARAL. That parents -- even liberal parents -- would agree that their sixteen-year-old daughters should have the right to have an abortion without their knowledge, was simply assumed to be so by Shannon. There can be no limits placed on a woman's right to abortion. This is the party line, and Shannon can stray from it only at the risk and peril of losing the support of these feminist organizations that hold sway in the Democratic Party.


That parents -- even liberal parents -- would agree that their sixteen-year-old daughters should have the right to have an abortion without their knowledge, was simply assumed to be so by Shannon. There can be no limits placed on a woman's right to abortion. This is the party line, and Shannon can stray from it only at the risk and peril of losing the support of these feminist organizations that hold sway in the Democratic Party.

The defeat of Shannon O'Brien was also a defeat for the aforementioned various feminist groups that supported her. They are part of the liberal Democratic Party regime in Massachusetts that thrives on identity politics. They believe that the role of government is to socially engineer its citizens to redress past societal ills and achieve "social justice." The name of the game at this point is still "victimization."

Up until recently, the victimization pool was monopolized by women and African Americans. The more recent additions include Hispanics and homosexuals. All issues are viewed through the lens of victimization, which requires one to ask the question: "What victim group fits me best for this particular issue?" followed by, "and which group is responsible for my victimization?"

A bizarre twist to this campaign was that several fathers rights activists adopted Shannon as their candidate of choice because of a statement by a campaign staff member and spoken statements by Shannon herself that supported the concept of "shared parenting."


For the victimization mentality to accommodate male victims of sexism in custody cases and female domestic violence would be to embrace the seeds of its own destruction. If EVERYONE is in the victim pool, the very concept of a victim pool loses all sense of purpose and reality.

The Democratic Party speaks only one language on social issues: "victimization." For a Democratic administration to support "shared parenting," or even more significantly, reform of the domestic violence laws and policies, would require that (heterosexual) men be admitted into the victimization pool. However, this can never happen because the entire victimization paradigm requires a oppressor class, and that class is and always must be: white, heterosexual males.

For the victimization mentality to accommodate male victims of sexism in custody cases and female domestic violence would be to embrace the seeds of its own destruction. If EVERYONE is in the victim pool, the very concept of a victim pool loses all sense of purpose and reality.

The Democratic Party marriage to victimization as the paradigm for social justice is, unfortunately, not the end of the story. The next slouching step in this road towards Gomorrah, to use the language of Robert Bork, is egalitarianism.

Victimization, via discrimination, is the reason given for inequality in society. Not too long ago the feminist hue-and-cry about the lack of women in the hard sciences was attributed to girls being shortchanged in K-12. Now that more women than men enter and graduate college, their attention has turned to the underrepresentation of males in traditional female occupations and fields of study. The emphasis is on encouraging students to pursue non-traditional/opposite-gender careers. No one bothers to ask, "Why?"


Equality of opportunity -- that no one should be denied the opportunity to achieve anything they desire because of the accidence of their birth, has transmogrified into affirmative action, the promise of equality of outcome. Now, if there is not equality of outcome, it must be due to discrimination, and it must be corrected. And that requires an ever-growing state bureaucracy.

The goal of egalitarianism is quite different from the noble goals of the civil rights movement. Equality of opportunity -- that no one should be denied the opportunity to achieve anything they desire because of the accidence of their birth, has transmogrified into affirmative action, the promise of equality of outcome. Now, if there is not equality of outcome, it must be due to discrimination, and it must be corrected. And that requires an ever-growing state bureaucracy.

And it's here's where that other leg of the social-engineering, Democratic establishment comes into play, the education industry: academia and the teachers unions.

The facts speak for themselves. The quality of education has been severely dumbed-down in Massachusetts. Dozens of sections of what used to be called "remedial" English and Math classes fill up the pages of class schedules at our colleges. This is now referred to by its politically correct, non-stigmatizing euphemism: "Developmental Education."

The mushrooming numbers of parents electing to home-school their children is further evidence of the failure of the education establishment. And here's the problem: The driving principle in education is no longer academic excellence, but fear. Fear that not all students will reach similar levels of achievement. This fear is most pronounced when results are categorized by race, ethnicity and sex. The worst fear of educators is that stratification of achievement along racial, ethnic and gender lines will persist despite all efforts to eradicate it. Hence the almost hysterical opposition by teachers unions to standardized testing. Their only solution is to pound down the spikes of high achievement in the distribution curve. This is, in actuality, what the dumbing down of education is all about. For further explanation, refer to George Orwell.


The fact that Shannon was incapable of articulating any real political vision whatsoever was, of course, the final nail in her coffin. How many times did Shannon say during the debates that the reason we should vote for her was because, "I will be a strong leader," and "I will fight for you." What kind of idiotic message is this?

Though I would love to believe that the defeat of Shannon O'Brien was due to the rejection of the socially-engineering, identity politics of the Democratic Party, I know better.

In the final analysis, the thoughtful, sane voters looked at the two candidates and chose the one that seemed best able to solve the very real financial problems in our state. Much of this was due to pure physical appearance and presentation skills. Romney looks presidential, and speaks in a presidential manner. Shannon is simply not Governor material. Plain and simply, she overreached. If this sounds "lookist," well, it's been said that everyone over the age of forty is responsible for their face. I don't know Romney personally, but he gives all appearances of being a physically and psychologically healthy human being.

The fact that Shannon was incapable of articulating any real political vision whatsoever was, of course, the final nail in her coffin. How many times did Shannon say during the debates that the reason we should vote for her was because, "I will be a strong leader," and "I will fight for you." What kind of idiotic message is this? Did she really believe this was going to negate Mitt's message of capable financial management skills that he will bring to bear?

The saddest thing in this election is that Romney had to betray a core moral belief in order to win the election. There is no one that can convince me that Romney truly believes in a woman's right to abortion on demand, but the political reality is that with an electorate that is 54% female, no politician can at the present time be elected Governor unless they support the party "choice" line on abortion.

Shannon thought she could ride this point into victory with "pro-choice" voters. She was mistaken. She went over the top with it, and it deliciously backfired when she whimsically equated a sixteen-year-old's getting a tattoo with getting an abortion.

Mitt's greatest challenge is not fixing the state's budget, but rejuvenating the Republican Party in Massachusetts. God speed, Mitt!


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