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Jewish World Review April 17, 2000 / 12 Nissan, 5760

David Limbaugh

David Limbaugh
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Consumer Reports



Elian, Marx and
parental rights -- AFTER RECEIVING e-mails on my Elian column, I decided to revisit the issue in an attempt to answer some of the criticisms that have been leveled against those of us who oppose Elian's automatic return to Cuba.

Some have alleged that conservatives are so blinded by their hatred for Bill Clinton that they are willing to ignore the sacred parental rights they are so fond of championing. They say we are allowing politics to interfere with our judgment about what is in the best interests of the child.

First, let me reiterate my position. Janet Reno and the INS, despite probably having the legal authority to send Elian back without even considering what is in his best interests, ought not to do so. Instead, they should follow their originally stated position of allowing the family courts of Florida to make the determination.

Next, I must tell you that I did not arrive at my opinion immediately, based on some knee-jerk reaction against communism, though I have an unapologetic aversion to that godless system. I agonized over this matter for some time before finalizing my opinion.

My initial thought was that Elian should be returned to his father. I even wondered whether some of my fellow conservatives weren't guilty of forming their opinions too hastily, and without giving due consideration to the father-child bond.

I place a very high value on parental rights and strongly resent undue encroachments on those rights by any government, including our own federal and state governments. I've been involved in cases where I was appalled by the degree to which paternalistic government agencies sought to impose their will on families, all in the name of doing what is in the best interests of the children. Absent abuse and the like, parents ought to be allowed to raise their children as they see fit.

As I studied this more deeply, it finally dawned on me that I was viewing this through my lenses as a parent living in a free nation and as a lawyer who used to handle child-custody cases in the state of Missouri. This case is not quite that simple.

For me, this is not a political matter, in the sense of Republicans against Democrats. My opinion has nothing to do with my feelings about Bill Clinton. It has to do with what is in the best interests of this child, giving due consideration to the father's parental rights. But here's the catch: Those who keep clamoring for Juan Gonzalez's parental rights are in desperate need of a reality check. There are no parental rights in Castro's communist Cuba. Elian will be a ward of the state. For those who love liberty and care about children, this is simply unacceptable.

Unfortunately, liberals seem to have a pronounced learning disability when it comes to recognizing the evils of communism. How can we expect Bill Clinton to be concerned with Elian's eventual plight in a communist country? He has shown no respect for the spiritual foundation and liberty that makes the United States the greatest nation in the history of the world. Why, then, would he abhor a nation, such as Cuba, whose government is bereft of both spirituality and freedom?

Castro is a committed Marxist. Marx was dedicated to the proposition that the family unit must be abolished for the sake of the primacy of the state. You don't believe me? Then listen to what Marx himself had to say about family and parental rights in his notorious Manifesto:

"Abolition of the family! Even the most radical flare-up at this infamous proposal of the Communists. On what foundation is the present family, the bourgeois family, based? On capital, on private gain. In its completely developed form, this family exists only among the bourgeoisie. ... The bourgeois family will vanish as a matter of course when its complement vanishes, and both will vanish with the vanishing of capital. ... The bourgeois claptrap about the family and education, about the hallowed correlation of parents and child, becomes all the more disgusting, the more, by the action of Modern Industry, all the family ties among the proletarians are torn asunder, and their children transformed into simple articles of commerce and industry and labor."

Do any of you still want to talk to me about Juan Gonzalez's parental rights?

JWR contributor David Limbaugh is an attorney practicing in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and a political analyst and commentator. Send your comments to him by clicking here.



04/10/00: Elian, freedom deserve a hearing
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04/03/00: Bush: On going for the gold
03/29/00: Phantasma-Gore-ia
03/27/00: Treaties, triggers, tobacco and tyrants
03/22/00: Media to Bush: Go left, young man
03/20/00: Stop the insanity
03/15/00: OK Al Gore: Let's go negative
03/13/00: Deifying of the center
03/08/00: The media, the establishment and the people
03/01/00: McCain's coalition-busting daggers in GOP's heart
02/28/00: Bush's silver lining in McMichigan
02/24/00: A conservative firewall, after all
02/22/00: Bush or four more of Clinton-Gore?
02/16/00: Substance trumps process
02/14/00: The campaign finance reform mirage
02/09/00: President McCain: End of the GOP as we know it?
02/07/00: From New Hampshire to South Carolina
02/02/00: SDI must fly
01/31/00: Veep gores Bradley
01/26/00: The issues gap
01/24/00: GOP: Exit, stage left
01/20/00: Nationalizing congressional elections
01/18/00: Do voters really prefer straight talk?
01/12/00: Media's McCain efforts may backfire
01/10/00: Conservative racism myth
01/05/00: Just one more year of Clintonian politics
01/03/00: McMedia?
12/27/99: Al Gore: Bullish on government
12/22/99: Bradley's full-court press
12/20/99: Bush: Rendering unto Caesar
12/15/99: Beltway media bias
12/13/99: White House ambulance chasing
12/08/99: Clinton's labor pains
12/06/99:The lust for power
12/01/99: In defense of liberty
11/29/99: Are Republicans obsolete?
11/24/99: Say you're sorry, Mr. President
11/22/99: Architects of victory
11/17/99: Trump's tax on freedom
11/15/99: GOP caves again
11/10/99: Triangulation and 'The Third Way'
11/08/99: Sticks and stones
11/03/99: Keyes vs. media lapdogs
11/01/99: Signs of the times
10/27/99: The false charge of isolationism
10/25/99: A matter of freedom
10/20/99: Clinton's mini-meltdown
10/18/99: Senate GOP shows statesmanship
10/13/99: Senate must reject nuclear treaty
10/11/99: Bush bites feeding hand
10/06/99: Jesse accidentally opens door for Pat
10/04/99: Clinton and his media enablers
09/29/99: Reagan: Big-tent conservatism
09/27/99: The Clinton/Gore taint?
09/22/99: Have gun (tragedy), will travel
09/20/99: Hillary's blunders and bloopers
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09/13/99:Time for Bush to take charge, please
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09/07/99: Pat, savior or spoiler?
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08/25/99: Dubyah's drug question: Not a hill to die on
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07/26/99: Itís the 'moderates', stupid
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07/14/99: GOP must be a party of ideas
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06/10/99: Victory in Kosovo? Now What?