Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The marriage gap

This blog pointed out articles on the marriage gap, and now WSJ columist James Taranto writes:
The New York Times is at it again, making poor Katie Roiphe feel bad about herself. Over the weekend the Times published a piece by Jason DeParle making the entirely obvious, yet frequently denied, observation that children are a lot better off when they are reared by both parents than when a single mother has to make do on her own. They could've headlined the story "Dan Quayle Was Right," if The Atlantic hadn't beaten them to it 19 years ago.

"It is disheartening to see that the New York Times has run yet another puritanical and alarmist rumination on the decline of the American family disguised as a straight-news story," rails Roiphe, herself a single mother, in response. ...

Roiphe wants feel-good puff pieces about single motherhood: "It's time to run a story about the resourcefulness, energy, and intensity of these homes, a fair, open-minded exploration of these new family structures and the independent, tough women who run them." As in February, she accuses the paper of an ideological betrayal: "In the guise of writing a well-intentioned liberal piece . . . the New York Times is recycling truly retrograde and ugly moral judgements." ...

DeParle's argument essentially is that two parents are better than one. That is true as far as it goes, but the difference between a single mother and a married couple is qualitative as well as quantitative. Children who grow up without a father are deprived of--you'll pardon the cliché--a "male role model." A close relationship with both parents helps children understand the differences between the sexes, the better that a boy can learn to be masculine and a girl to be feminine. Such an idea defies feminist dogma. Good luck getting it past the editors of the New York Times.

There is a political as well as an ideological aspect to the left's disparagement of marriage and celebration of single motherhood. As pollster John Zogby notes in a Forbes.com column, the "marriage gap" between Democrats and Republicans is "even more dramatic" than the so-called gender gap: ...

The undeniable and possibly uncomfortable truths here are that kids do best on all measures with a biological mom and dad, and that married couples vote overwhelmingly Republican.

What the NY Times and its fellow liberals will not do is to draw the obvious consequences from those truths. They have a very strong incentive to destroy working class marriages and to mess up the kids in the next generation, because that is how Democrats get votes.

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