The title of the children’s book It takes a Village, which had been ghost written for Hillary Clinton in 1996, came to mind recently. It’s fifteen years since the book has been published. Much water has flown down the Danube. As this country goes through the most drastic retrenchment in investing in public education that the world has ever seen—just what do people nowadays think it takes to raise a child? Well to-do parents apparently… Private schools, private lessons, Scandinavian au pairs, privatization of child rearing.
Hillary, of course had been a working mom. There is no doubt that the impetus for this book—as well as the theme, came from her. What did she mean then; what does she seem to mean in retrospect? She must have thought that in some way village life provided a network of caring people which is very difficult to achieve today. One imagines that a good bit of soccer-mommying involves building something resembling imaginary villages.
Of course there is a bit of irony here. If there are four villages in America they are more than likely in Northern New Mexico—this is a country that is built on small towns—Our Town—on metropolises, on suburbs, on ranches… whatever… four villages perhaps. Why this nostalgia for something most people (least of all Hillary) have never experienced?