- The Washington Times - Friday, August 4, 2000

'The Bush vision'

"This week in Philadelphia, for the first time, American conservatism is going on the offensive in the culture war. This Republican National Convention will be infused from beginning to end with compassionate conservatism an idea that hopes to reshape our cultural idea of social virtue. How did this party of traditional values and economic discipline develop such an ear for culture? It had to.

"The liberalism that came out of the 1960s has enjoyed one profound advantage over even moderate forms of conservatism: moral authority. Social inequality was established in the 1960s as the single greatest threat to the moral authority of our democracy… . This battle transformed our culture in a way that we are just beginning to understand. It made social morality, more than personal morality, the test of moral authority in American public life… .

"George W. Bush is the first conservative on the presidential level to understand that he is in a culture war, that moral authority requires an explicit social application of conservative principles to problems of inequality and poverty… .

"In the Bush vision there is a way to restore moral authority to timeless American values."

Shelby Steele, writing on "A New Front in the Culture War," in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal

Smart? Yes. Sex? No.

"Pro-contraceptive activists have persuaded many school administrators that theirs is the only rational agenda since this generation of adolescents cannot be taught to say, 'No.' That line of argument looks deeply suspect in light of a study recently completed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In data collected from 12,000 teen-agers enrolled in the seventh through 12th grades, researchers uncovered evidence that 'higher intelligence operates as a protective factor against early sexual activity.' …

" 'The effects of higher intelligence are not limited to coital behavior,' report the researchers, who find that 'even early behaviors, such as holding hands and kissing are inversely related to [intelligence] scores,' suggesting that 'higher intelligence is associated with a generalized delay in the onset of all partnered sexual activities.' …

"The sexual restraint of highly intelligent teens may … reflect their 'stronger attachment to conventional values and institutions, and higher expectations about goal attainment.' "

from "Doing the Smart Thing," in the July issue of the Family in America

Barbarian boys

"Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan once wrote that every civilization faces an invasion of barbarians every couple of decades. The barbarians are adolescent boys. With testosterone coursing through their veins and aggression hardwired into their brains, boys can be dangerous. Hence every society adopts a variety of means of controlling and civilizing them. Usually these efforts accept masculinity as a fact of life and try to channel it into healthy expressions.

"[W]ith the earnest support of the Clinton administration's Department of Education, our society has been attempting to defame and in some cases even extinguish boyishness… . [F]eminist theorists routinely attribute all the evils of the world to unchecked masculine power. Proceeding from this premise and armed with grants and spurious research, they have sought to create school environments that will force boys to be more like girls… .

"Our entertainment media have glorified and encouraged the very worst male tendencies their urges toward sexual promiscuity, aggression, and irresponsibility. Our schools have responded by trying to force boys to act like girls by sewing quilts, talking about their feelings, and playing games no one wins."

Mona Charen, writing on "Girls Will Be Boys, and Boys Will Be Girls," in the summer issue of American Outlook

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