The government has issued a big report saying that the entertainment industry is marketing sexually explicit and violent programs to our kids. As a parent, I only wish I could muster up some shock at this revelation. Our culture is often unhealthy. And that makes it tough on parents trying to rear healthy kids.
But the problem won’t be solved in Washington. What can politicians do in a free society? Censorship isn’t the answer. Nor will election year lectures from politicians change the industry. Are we going to ban all violence in the media? Some of us liked Saving Private Ryan , which portrayed the horrible violence of war. It’s anti-violence. What about Hamlet or Gone With the Wind ? We all have different values. One person’s “excessive violence” is another’s “object moral lesson.”
The V-chip or other technology can help but it certainly won’t create a world where anyone’s morality agrees 100 percent with what’s produced as entertainment. That’s why the real answer is parents relying on their own sense of right and wrong and exercising moral judgment in their own households. It’s up to us as individuals to reward entertainment that is life affirming and to punish the rot that degrades our society. That may mean boycotts, talking with neighbors and other things that government can’t do. But you and I can.
In the free marketplace of ideas, we have that power not in Washington but in our wallets and in the hearts of our kids.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.