Hard work

I wonder what Eugene Robinson could mean by this:

>There are, as he ought to know, plenty of black conservatives. There are plenty of African American parents teaching their children the same lessons of hard work and self-reliance that Thomas’s grandfather taught him. The black church, I would argue, is one of the more socially conservative major institutions in the nation.

“Hard work” and “self-reliance” are uniquely conservative values? Frank Luntz couldn’t have said it better.

4 thoughts on “Hard work”

  1. Robinson’s implicit argument in this quotation seems to be that if one is a social conservative, one teaches hard work and self-reliance.

    Perhaps that’s part of what “social conservatism” (vs. the political or fiscal varieties) means. But I could imagine someone who thought that abortion and gay marriage were wrong (both of which I take to be “socially” conservative positions) but taught their children to rely solely on God and “let Him do the work.”

    Wouldn’t such a person be “lazy” and “God-reliant,” yet still a social conservative?

  2. Good one. What floors me is that somehow Robinson believes hard work and self-reliance are typically conservative values such that it makes sense to use them to define a conservative upbringing. It might be more accurate to say something like solitary, non-unionized, not safety or environmentally regulated labor, and reliance on oneself alone, not the laws, not the justice of the society, for one’s success in life. Few would value that.

  3. Across the street from my apartment here in Milwaukee is an abortion clinic. All day, every day, rain or shine, there are at least three people that stand outside and hold up giant pictures of aborted fetuses for all the passing cars to see. I have to admit, these people are exhibiting some extremely conservative values: tenacity, perseverance against all bounds of human decency, intractable dogmatism, and sacrificing their precious time, which could be used for paid work or charitable volunteering. It must be hard work to stand all day and hear the derisive heckling or angry admonishment coming from every tenth car passing by.

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