Question: I am concerned about violence in popular media, but as a believer in the First Amendment I've been troubled by some candidates' proposed solutions. What specifically would you do, and how can you claim any government sanction isn't a form of censorship?
Submitted from Steven of St. Paul, Minnesota through America Online (10/25/00)
Answer from Patrick J. Buchanan:
Parental Control And Private Solutions
Everyday we see new evidence of the corruption of our popular culture:
Filthy art financed with tax dollars. Television steeped in raw sex and romanticized violence. Movies that mock religious faith. Music that extols social chaos.
If we want to put an end to the sex and violence that is so pervasive in our popular culture, we must empower parents to be involved in the lives of their children. Many parents want to be more informed; however, due to a high tax burden and a job market that makes people work more hours to make ends meet, they often do not have enough time or energy to effectively police the forms of entertainment chosen by young minds. We must rebuild our economy with jobs that pay a living wage and reduce the oppressive tax rates that force parents out of the home, leaving their children as open targets for Hollywood marketing.
As President, I would close the National Endowment for the Arts. I would use the bully pulpit to encourage private investment in theaters, museums, artists and musicians. The arts enhance life and the beauty of a people’s culture. Therefore, we must not only seek an end to the junk art that mocks the values of most Americans; we must replace that art by supporting artists who are truly great, those whose works inspire and reflect the true spirit of our culture.
When Americans are involved in the fine arts and informed about popular culture, we will see a change in the type of entertainment that is marketed to our children and poured into our lives.