American Conservatism in the 21st Century- Part 2: The Family

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Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
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The traditional family is no more.  Today, fewer than 25% of all “families” consist of a mother, father and child or children.  The number of out-of-wedlock births has skyrocketed over the years.  In 1960, fewer than 500,000 couples were co-habitating; today the number stands at over 5 million.

The root of the problem can be directly traced to the sexual revolution of the 1960’s and the era of free love.  As traditional values and mores regarding sex were torn down, these newfound sexual freedoms came with a price.  Divorces skyrocketed.  The first major event was the pill in 1960.  This contraceptive was supposed to set women free and unmarried partners enjoyed a sense of false security.  Whether it was because it was not 100% effective (no contraceptive other than abstinence is) or whether the woman forgot to take it, the dad rationalized it was not his fault so why show any responsibility?

And there lies the crux of the problem.  The sexual revolution did not set women (or men) free; it enabled them the means to avoid responsibility for their actions.  Monogamy was jettisoned for being single, or cohabitation.  What the feminist movement fails to mention or acknowledge is their dirty little secret: being single is not the key to happiness.  Many researchers over the years have discovered that the single most important institution that provided happiness was marriage.  Incidentally, the second most important institution is religion, but that is another story for another time.  The feminists like to paint women as victims, so how dare they be happy and married?

The second most important feature of the sexual revolution was Roe vs. Wade which, in effect, did not discourage the formation of human life through contraception, but codified the killing of human life.  As a result of that ruling, the teenage abortion rate skyrocketed and eventually plateaued.  There’s only so many babies to kill, one supposes.  In effect, abortion became the ultimate form of birth control.  The big three reasons accepted by all for abortion are in the cases of rape, incest, or whether the life of the mother is in danger.  According to most statistics, many provided by the pro-death crowd, these three criteria taken together account for perhaps no more than 5-6% of all abortions annually.

If not rape, incest or the mother’s life being in danger, then that leaves only one other reason for an abortion: convenience.  In other words, the avoidance of responsibility for one’s actions was given the stamp of approval by the Supreme Court in 1973 all in the name of a newfound right NOT to be found anywhere in the Constitution.  And the American public has become numb to the ramifications.

Given the plethora of options available to all in the realm of contraception, it is appalling the number of abortions performed every year in this country.  Abortion is not birth control; it is government condoned killing of an innocent human life.  Some will argue that many poor women and girls lack access to contraception.  That argument is bogus from the start.  There are numerous clinics- both private and public- that provide that service at minimal or no cost to people.

The third ramification is the proliferation of single-parent households either through divorce or choice.  On the one hand, a conservative cannot rail against abortion and then on the other hand rail about single-parent households.  Lost in that entire discussion is the role of the father who sired that child.  Again, this is simply avoidance of responsibility for one’s actions.

Only recently have states begun to crackdown on absentee fathers.  Why haven’t they before?  The reason is simple:  Uncle Sam became Daddy Sam.  Through generous welfare programs that actually encouraged out-of-wedlock births, the government became the de facto father.  Often, it is the government that actually discourages paternal responsibility (that word again).  And nowhere is this more noticeable than in the black community where close to 70% of all births are out-of-wedlock.  The higher rate of poverty within the black community is not due to institutional racism or any other such notion; it is due to the fact that black children born out of wedlock start out life at a serious disadvantage that sometimes is not overcome.  Of course, there are exceptions to this fact and whites, Hispanics and Asians are not immune to the ill-effects of out-of-wedlock births.

But, what was once considered “shameful” (and shame is not always a bad thing)- out-of-wedlock births- has now transformed almost into a badge of honor.  The reason is simple: the notion of responsibility has been removed from the equation.  The mother has responsibility removed because the government is there as the de facto father and the father has responsibility removed because the same government does not insist on paternal participation.  If one wants to restore some of the moral decay in this country, then it must start with restoring the traditional family.

Which brings me to the fourth ramification: same sex marriage.  Disney was one of the first companies to offer benefits to same-sex couples.  It is politically incorrect to state this, but the reason is based on pragmatism, not principle.  There is a disproportionate amount of gay people in the entertainment industry and for Disney to remain competitive and attract talent, it made perfect business sense for them.

But, because it makes good business sense for Disney or any other company does not make it a good policy decision for the government.  Disney is a private company operating in a competitive market.  The government is not.  When we leave aside all of Kennedy’s poetic prose in the Obergfell decision, overlooked was a very important solution to the alleged “problem.”

The definition and parameters of marriage were always defined by the individual states.  The Supreme Court case was not one of the inherent dignity of gay couples and that by denying them the right to marry somehow stigmatized them in society.  This was a state rights case, pure and simple.  This writer seriously doubts that a conservative state like Alabama would have ever approved gay marriage, although one never knows.  Regardless, does it make a difference if they didn’t while another state like Vermont or New York aspired to be a magnet for gay couples to marry?  Some would argue that Alabama would then have the right not to recognize that marriage within their borders, but that is false.  The Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution could have answered that question.

Regardless, we now see the Pandora’s box opened by that decision.  The discussion has moved beyond gay marriage and now extends to bakers, photographers, and florists.  The purpose of marriage is to provide a safe and secure environment for the raising of children.  Despite the ability of gay couples to adopt children (and God bless them for it), the still primary means of creating a family is through sex and birth and to the best of my knowledge, two lesbians or two gay men cannot procreate.

The argument was never about civil rights for gays.  The purpose was acceptance of a lifestyle antithetical to the traditional notion of a family.  There is a huge difference between tolerance and acceptance.  We tolerate many things we may find distasteful.  Acceptance means we find nothing wrong with it as a society.  Acceptance of homosexuality is slowly outpacing non-acceptance.  It is a slow, painful chipping away at an important building block of society to the point that the definition of one’s gender is whatever one says it is at any given moment in time.

What the government should be condoning is the procreation of children in as safe and secure an environment as possible.  Only a man and a woman can procreate, so that part of the equation is solved.  And most studies clearly indicate that a monogamous relationship between a man and a woman is the safest and most secure environment possible.  It is estimated that a child born out-of-wedlock raised in a single-parent home will earn, on average, about $125,000 less than their two-parent counterparts.  Given this huge disadvantage even before the child is born is what the Left has created.

The final point is that through so many women making the decision to forego bearing a child through either contraception, raising a child in a less than optimal environment, or simply terminating a pregnancy out of convenience, it has an effect on the future of this country.  The declining birth rate, which is not intrinsic to America, necessarily means a decreased population in the future.  In many of the most liberal states, the native population is declining at alarming rates and their population (and political clout) is buttressed by the influx of immigrants- both legal and illegal.

In conclusion, it must be recognized that the family in the traditional sense is the basic building block of society and a country.  Study after study has shown that children born into a traditional family results in a better life outcome.  American conservatism needs to get back to the most basic of basics in this area and insist that if there are to be government programs and benefits in this area, priority must be given to the traditional family unit.

Further, given the plethora of available and affordable contraception out there and the overwhelming percentage of abortions performed out of convenience, abortion should not be celebrated.  A pregnancy prevented is better than a pregnancy terminated.  And like most conservatives, gay marriage is not the end of the world in the practical sense, but foisting it upon the country outside the legislative process and through judicial fiat does all Americans a huge disservice.  A subject traditionally the realm of the states whose alleged problems could have been corrected through contract law (what is a marriage license but a contract?) and through the Full Faith and Credit Clause became a national subject with the stroke of a pen.  And it must realized that one can tolerate homosexuality without accepting homosexuality, a notion totally foreign to the Left.