When we hear the rallying cries for "traditional values", is it any wonder that we sense the underlying racism that was a vile feature of that very tradition? Isn't that the dog whistle that's also being sounded when those cries go up? "Traditional values" is a bankrupt notion that, by definition, is a reactionary twitch of fear when faced with the prospect of an unsettling future. Fear of the queer, fear of the non-white, fear of the West's decline, fear of the poor (and of being poor)---all provide a fertile ground for the worst kind of leaders: those who would lead us by playing upon those very fears. We are easily led to forget how lousy the "good old days" really were for many of us, in so many ways.