The GOPâ€™s Betrayal of the Pro-Family Agenda
By: Carey Roberts
I wish I had a dime in my pocket for every time I heard a Republican politician stand up and proclaim his support for â€œfamily values.â€
When we survey the current state of the family, we see that Americans are half as likely to wed compared to a generation ago, mostly due to a growing shortage of marriage-minded men. [source]
How did all this happen?
Over the past 40 years, the Sisters of Spinsterhood have cranked out the message that men are not needed or wanted. That message was eventually translated into a broad range of anti-family laws and policies.
First, Great Society programs forced poor women to choose between a husband and a handout. Then divorce courts routinely took children away from their fathers. No-fault divorce laws meant mom could dispose of dad and claim the kids as ransom money.
Next came the 1994 Violence Against Women Act that became a nightmare of false allegations and household evictions. The final blow was draconian enforcement by child support programs that began to stick low-income fathers in debtorâ€™s prisons if they couldnâ€™t pay.
The resulting marginalization of husbands and fathers lies at the root of the melt-down of the American family. No wonder that 53% of Americaâ€™s most eligible bachelors now say they are â€œnot interested in getting married anytime soon,â€ and 22% foreswear any desire to get hitched, ever. [source]
So what has the GOPâ€™s family values agenda done to reverse the collapse of the family?
Go to the website of the Republican National Committee and look at its list of Teams. Yep, weâ€™ve got outreach efforts to Blacks, entrepreneurs, the faith community, Hispanics, seniors, youth, and women. [source]
Great, but why no Team for men?
Mr. Mehlman, this is a slap in the face. As head of the Republican National Committee, you know that it was the male electorate that handed President Bush his margin of victory in both the 2000 and 2004 elections.
Now letâ€™s examine the Republican Platform: www.gop.com/media/2004platform.pdf. But wait, thereâ€™s a slight problem â€“ the document was done in 2004. Good morning, GOP, itâ€™s now 2006. Hasnâ€™t anyone come up with any new ideas lately?
And what does the Platform say about families? Promoting marriage, responsible fatherhood, the culture of life, and more. All the right buzz-words, but letâ€™s take a closer look.
â€œResponsible fatherhood.â€ Hmmm. Thereâ€™s an unspoken message that lurks in that phrase, as if to say, fathers are not naturally responsible.
Look at the litany of social welfare laws and programs that date from the Great Society, including no-fault divorce and the Violence Against Women Act. All these laws removed the father as the head of the family and replaced him with a government bureaucrat.
And now youâ€™re calling fathers irresponsible?
What does â€œresponsible fatherhoodâ€ mean in practice? The term was coined back in 2000 by President Bill Clinton who let it be known that responsible dads always make their child support payments. [source]
So to the bean-counters at the federal Office for Child Support Enforcement, responsible fatherhood translates into one thing: send us your child support money. We donâ€™t care if youâ€™re laid-off, injured, sick, poor, homeless, lack marketable skills, the mother refuses to let you see your child, or even if youâ€™re not the real father! We need to see that check, or else.
Thatâ€™s family values?
And earlier this year, the bureaucrats came out against a proposed law in North Dakota that would help divorced fathers stay involved in their childrenâ€™s lives. Why? Because it would cut into the stateâ€™s child support reimbursements. [source]
Now think hard — can you name a single Republican lawmaker who has spoken out against the reckless intrusion of government drones into private family matters? Or has taken a principled stand against the rampant violations of personsâ€™ civil rights? Or has sponsored a resolution decrying the plight of the American father?
And what about the Federal Marriage Amendment, designed to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman? Despite its majority status, the Grand Old Party couldnâ€™t get the bill through the House or Senate in either 2004 or 2006.
Over the past 12 years, the Republican base rested on the dependable votes of men, conservatives, and pro-family advocates. But alas, the GOP took its base for granted, went on a taxpayer-funded spending spree, and failed miserably when it came time to deliver on its pro-family promises.
And now that electoral block, disillusioned by years of fruitless happy-talk, has decided to take its business and go elsewhere.
Carey Roberts is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.