Thursday, February 20, 2014

Surprise: look who supports traditional families!

We wrote about how progressive David Brooks of the New York Times won’t name marriage as a solution for our disintegrating families problem. Of course, there are liberals--non-conservatives anyway--who openly defend marriage. Here are a few:

1. Juan Williams, Hill columnist and FOX News contributor.

Williams is house Democrat on several FOX news shows. He’s also known as a strong proponent of active, involved fathers forming two-parent families. Williams offers these pro-marriage statistics:  

 U.S. poverty rate:
 --single parents with children: 37.1%
 --married couples with children: 6.8%.
∴a married family reduces child’s chance of living in poverty by 82%.  

 babies born out of wedlock:
--72.2% of African-American babies
--53.5% of Hispanic babies
--29.4% of white babies

71% of families living in poverty are single-parent families.

Patton (w/Princeton)
2. Princeton grad Susan Patton.

Patton is the author of Marry Smart: Advice for Finding “The One” out in March from Gallery Books, and is already controversial for recommending women grab their man at university, where the eligible pool is as large as it will ever be. Patton writes:
you have to start listening to your gut and avoid falling for the P.C. feminist line that has misled so many young women for years. There is nothing incongruous about educated, ambitious women wanting to be wives and mothers. Don't let anyone tell you that these traditional roles are retrograde; they are perfectly natural and even wonderful.

3. Kathleen Parker, Washington Post columnist.

Parker strives to be a true middle-of-the-roader. But when it comes to two-parent families, her bias comes through loud and clear:
[we live with] a continuing erosion of the traditional family and, consequently, what is best for children and, therefore, future society.
single mothers are more likely to be younger, black or Hispanic, and less educated. . . and they have a median family income of $23,000. In those families where married women earn more than their husbands, the woman is more often white, older and college educated and the median household income is $80,000.
children need a father. That not all get a good one is no argument against what is true and irrevocable and everlasting. Deep in the marrow of every human child burbles a question far more profound than those currently occupying coffee klatches: Who is my daddy? And sadly these days, where is he?

4. Micky Kaus of “Kausfiles,” supposedly the first political blog.

Kaus used to write for the left-wing “Slate,” ran for the U.S. Senate as a Democrat in 2010, but is a well-known contrarian. Kaus is unhappy with single-parent families, but more upset that meritocracy is creating a permanent underclass:
the rise of single-parent families. . . may in part be the product of Larger Forces. For example, it’s not crazy to think that prosperity itself enables more people to get by without traditional families in the shorter term (with possibly damaging long-range consequences). But it’s hard to blame government inaction, and Republicans, for that. It’s more what Marxists would call in internal contradiction–we want prosperity but then we get the problems of prosperity. . .
as inequality grows it becomes harder to climb the ladder because the rungs are further apart. The problem, for this argument, is that declining mobility is also what you would expect if the meritocracy were working perfectly, without race or class prejudice (and inequality were stable or even shrinking). In a meritocracy, after all, the best rise to the top, the least talented and industrious wind up at the bottom. At some point, after a number of decades, maybe most of the talented will be at the top and the untalented at the bottom! Or at least, once the meritocratic centrifuge has sorted everyone out, there won’t be that many talented people at the bottom to rise in heartening success stories (and those stories that do turn up will mainly involve immigrants). Worse, if you grant that a reasonable share of “merit” is inherited, then you are going to wind up with a more static class structure.
If you think I’m overdoing the point that progressives lack interest in marriage, I again give you the Post’s Kathleen Parker:
Democrats avoid the M-word for fear of trespassing on important constituent turfs, especially women’s. For many women, the push for marriage is seen as subterfuge for reversing their hard-won gains. [Republicans] shy away from the M-word for fear of being tagged Neanderthals who are wedded to old-fashioned gender paradigms and nurse secret desires to keep women pregnant, subjugated and in the kitchen where they belong (speaking as alleged, not as is). Or, God forbid, that they be accused of waging war against women.
But marriage, besides being the best arrangement for children, has the added benefit of being good for grown-ups. Half the pain, twice the joy. What’s not to love? [B]eing unmarried is one of the highest risk factors for poverty. And no, splitting expenses between unmarried people isn’t the same. This is because marriage creates a tiny economy fueled by a magical concoction of love, selflessness and permanent commitment that holds spirits aloft during tough times. In the absence of marriage, single parents (usually mothers) are left holding the baby and all the commensurate challenges and financial burdens.
we live in a culture that devalues and mocks marriage, reducing the institution to a buffet item. The lucky can hire a pedigreed baby sitter en route to the next dinner party, dropping a buck in the beggar’s cup, while the unlucky are strapped to a welfare check or low-paying job and a no-hope future. . . rebuilding a culture that encourages marriage should be part of the arsenal.

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