by David Safier
For decades, conservatives have condemned schools for teaching Moral Relativism. It's also called Values Clarification.
A Values Clarification question might be something like, "How should you punish someone who steals food to feed his hungry family?"
That's terrible! scream conservatives. Right is right. Wrong is wrong. The law is the law! We shouldn't be teaching this kind of relativism to our children!
But it looks like Ed Supe wannabe John Huppenthal is a real Moral Relativist when it comes to campaign signs.
Hupp's signs were among the many swept up in Mesa for code violations for where they were stuck. And he can't plead ignorance of the law. All candidates with illegally placed signs got a warning letter June 23 telling them they had 2 weeks to take them down. Then they were given a one week grace period after that.
Let's listen in as Huppenthal clarifies his values, explaining why it's OK to leave up illegally placed signs, even when you know they're illegally placed.
Remember, this is the guy who wants to instill conservative values in Arizona's schools.
Huppenthal said he knew Mesa was concerned about the profusion of campaign signs "but I didn't know they were actually taking them down."
Huppenthal said it's not as if candidates deliberately violate sign laws.
"You sort of go by what you see in terms of the practice," Huppenthal said. "People putting up signs – they look and see what's up there and follow the trend." If a corner has no signs, he said, candidates will think no signs are supposed to go there and stay away.
But if the corner already has signs – legal or not – more will go up. Huppenthal didn't quibble with Mesa's enforcement other than to say it should have come earlier.
"If a city's going to take a hard line it would be a lot better off if they took it early," he said. "Signs are expensive, and it's very hard to get volunteers to put them up. It would have been nice if the city had done this early on before a lot of people put in a lot of labor."
Huppenthal said he understands people's concerns over clutter, but said, "It's the practice of democracy, and signs are the least expensive way for a challenger to penetrate the marketplace. . . . We need to be as accommodating as we can to a competitive political culture even if we find it a little disturbing," Huppenthal said.
To put Huppenthal's statements in the terminology of teenagers who, I'm sure if Hupp were asked, he would say should be taught clear morals, not this evil, secular liberal moral relativism stuff:
- Hupp was told he was violating the law, but, "Hey, man, I didn't know it was against the law. I didn't do it on purpose!"
- Hupp knew he did something illegal, but "Everybody's doing it, so why can't I?"
- Hupp figured, if he was going to be punished, it should have happened earlier. "Hey man, that ounce cost me a lot of money! Why didn't they take it away when I just had a joint?"
- And even if it's illegal, "Hey man, it's a free country. That's how we do things here!"
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the man who wants to be our next State Superintendent of Education.
I don't know, though, maybe it's not his fault. Maybe he went to one of those public schools, and the teachers twisted his mind with all their secular liberal ideas.