Pornography Cannot Become Just Another Political Issue

When I’m up with the dogs at 5:30 a.m., letting my wife sleep an extra hour because she has to head for a job outside the house and I have a leeway in catching a nap if need-be, I’ll browse headlines in the Google News feed. I rarely ever read stories unless it’s good news, but an article on pornography was featured today and I’m not sure what to think.

I stopped reading halfway through to be honest because there wasn’t a ton of substance to it. Essentially it said that there are a small handful of Republican members of Congress who have been making waves about doing “something” about pornography. It talked about how this issue was more one of the radical liberals in the 1970s and 80s, but seems to have evolved as the other side’s cause in recent years.

Most of you know my stance on the pornography industry. You can’t fight it. Much like prohibition, it would be destined to fail. And unless it involves children or animals, porn may be immoral or unhealthy, but it’s not illegal. I don’t want the government defining what is or isn’t pornography. That’s not its role. Pornographic magazines are failing not because of any government interference. They’re dying because print media as a whole is collapsing. Let the market define its needs.

I would like to see an embrace of some kind of health curriculum in schools that makes basic pornography addiction education mandatory. A middle school teacher could literally spend only 30 minutes on it in one class per semester and I believe it could change a generation. If Congress is willing to pony up the money for that, I don’t care if it’s a Republican or Democrat; it’s a bill I can get behind.

As an ex-journalist, my former life before recovery was consumed with news and like almost everybody with access to social media, I didn’t mind sharing my opinions on whatever the topic of the day was. I think that was done far more to see myself pontificate and get like-minded people to tell me how right I was vs. truly changing anyone’s mind.

In recovery, I largely limit myself to headlines and stay off all social media except LinkedIn. I suppose I have my website to expound on issues, but it’s still 97% politics-free. I do this because despite my disconnect, which has moved me even further into the middle of the political spectrum, it has certainly not been lost on me that this country is divided more than anytime I can remember.

Now, it doesn’t worry me too much. As a student of history, this is a cyclical occurrence, not an anomaly. If you think politics seems bad now, go read the Hamilton biography by Ron Chernow upon which the musical was based. That was a disgusting, divided time that makes today seem much more civil. I guess it can and may get worse, but I don’t worry about it bouncing back eventually.

Unfortunately, the issues of pornography, pornography addiction and pornography addiction education are coming along during this time of people dividing into little tribes and circling the wagons. I’ve mentioned this before, and I think most people truly in the middle agree, but there’s very little difference between the two political parties except for the small details. Both sides act completely boorish, make unintelligible statements, pander to their base and are far more about power than figuring out solutions. You’ll know if you’re one of these people if you immediately thought, “That’s not me! That’s the other side!” Sorry, buddy, it’s also you.

I’m concerned that if conservatives take up this cause right now, liberals will fight it simply because they feel they’re supposed to fight whatever conservatives want. Similarly, if the liberals were to take up porn, whatever position they took would be opposed by the conservatives not because of facts, but because that’s just the way things are done today.

I know I have people from both sides of the aisle who read my articles, and plenty of folks in the middle, too. I urge you, do not make whatever fight against pornography that may be on the horizon a political one. I know that’s easier said than done, but there are some issues that should bridge the political gap.

Do not let your party affiliation dictate your stance on pornography and if you’re active in your political community (boy, I don’t miss those days) be a voice of reason. If your side is for it, reach out to the other side. They’re probably not against it – just against the idea of agreeing with you. If your side is against it, explain to your brethren why this may be an issue that needs partisan walls to come down. And let’s be honest, you don’t want to be on the side that is trying to frame the argument pornography is not a problem. There’s far too much data against that position…although facts and data just don’t mean what they once did.

This cannot turn into just another political issue. It’s too important.

 

10 thoughts on “Pornography Cannot Become Just Another Political Issue

    1. It’s ironic, but one of the only things that might fix that is a massive porn addiction epidemic. That’s what we needed for opiates and opiods. You’d just think they might want to get in front of things once. The proactive society wins, not the reactive.

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  1. I agree. Governmental controls is not the issue. I believe the heart and minds through education (awareness and instruction of what morphs in the brain of an addict) and moral standards (to resist) is the only help there may be. People have to be empowered to either watch, knowing its damage or resist watching, knowing its damage. It is every person’s choice, but they need to realize they are making it.❤

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    1. It’s hard to point to much the government gets right. Once they built the infrastructure of the country, they largely stopped serving their usefulness since they can’t even keep that running well!

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      1. True. Thank God Jefferson distrusted men in power and put lots of checks and balances. Too bad men in power corrupted even that. Better to start over with term limits and pay only while in office. But I hate to go political. Just my opinions. People do need to care more though and maybe apply that care to better their communities. There is one area we can actually be effective.

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  2. “Addiction” issues should be taught in the school under one rounded topic. Porn, substances, food etc. We can barely get schools to talk about Substance Use Disorder. Hell, most schools won’t even show free suicide prevention presentations brought into the schools!! FREE!! Brought to them. REAL life topics are NOT being spoken about and we wonder why our children are dying. Suicide is the second leading cause of death with adolescents in our nation and our school refuse to accept FREE presentations. Same with addiction presentations. Believe me when I say that they will NEVER talk about pornography addiction. Can we approach it differently? Put all addictions together in one group? Doing small segments on each?

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    1. This is a brilliant idea. We are a puritanical country that would like to see what it wants in the mirror and pretend that bad things don’t happen. Thank you so much for sharing your idea. And the thing is, they may talk about pornography addiction in 2065, but by then, it will be way, way, way too late and they’ll still be congratulating themselves for being proactive.

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