Karl Rove Slipping

Bush political architect Karl Rove revealed more than he intended last week. Referring to immigration policy, he reportedly said this:

"I don't want my 17-year-old son to have to pick tomatoes or make beds in Las Vegas."

The White House quickly claimed that Rove's comment was being taken out of context. Maybe so, but at the very least it was a monumentally stupid thing for someone in Rove's position to say, regardless of the context. It makes me wonder whether he really is such a political genius, or just lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.

Anyway, let's think this through. Obviously someone has to pick tomatoes and make beds; the question is who will do it and under what conditions. That is something we can argue about. Whatever the right answer to the problem may be, though, Mr. Rove is quite sure it should not include his son.

There was a time when it was considered virtuous and useful for young people to learn firsthand the value of manual labor, even if they were likely to move on to a more intellectual career. It helps us to appreciate the efforts others make on our behalf. Even later in life it keeps us humble to sweat a little sometimes. Reagan knew this - remember all the pictures of him chopping wood on his ranch?

For many in our society, and Karl Rove sounds like a good example, physical labor is regarded as something to be done by members of a lesser class. This is wrong. Those who pick tomatoes and make beds are people, too, and they deserve more respect than comments like Mr. Rove's give them.

As for Mr. Rove's son, if he is 17 he should be just about out of high school. I wonder if Karl is encouraging him to visit the local recruiting station and sign up to serve his country? Surely college can wait while young Rove does his part in the War on Terror.

1 comment:

Oberon said...

.....i like chicken too and was born in texas.....and the gregorian chants are fabulous.