Primary casualties of the so-called new normal would be dignity, self-respect and personal responsibility.
Progressives: Dedicated apostles of the “lowest common denominator
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Sometimes one has to wonder if there’s any common sense or common decency left in the world. A piece in Friday’s New York Times, “For Women Under 30, Most Births Occur Outside Marriage” highlights that fact. So what does the article call this societal scourge? The “new normal.” In fact, illegitimacy is neither new or normal. The only thing new is the greater number of people who worship at the altars of rationalization and moral relativity progressives have championed for the last half-century.
I was too young to fully appreciate Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s ominous warning about where the changes wrought by Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” would lead us. In 1966, Moynihan was plain: if you create government incentives that make it more profitable for people to abandon their children than to stay with them — which is exactly what the changes made by Democrats to the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) did — you will reap the demographic whirlwind.
On the other hand, I was not too young when the same doyens of progressivism hammered vice president Dan Quayle for criticizing CBS sit-com “Murphy Brown,” when it had lead character Candace Bergen give birth to a child out of wedlock. I vividly remember all of the progressive spewing about “alternative family lifestyles.” For these witless champions of societal destruction, the nuclear family was little more than one option on a menu of equally viable choices for raising children.
Naturally, progressives want to share the blame for such idiocy with everyone else. The Times took its best shot: “The forces rearranging the family are as diverse as globalization and the pill. Liberal analysts argue that shrinking paychecks have thinned the ranks of marriageable men, while conservatives often say that the sexual revolution reduced the incentive to wed and that safety net programs discourage marriage.” Memo to the liberals: the latter begets the former. Kids raised in single-parent households do worse in school, commit more crimes, have more behavior issues — and are far more ill-equipped than kids raised in two-parent households when it comes to getting and/or keeping a job.
And that’s assuming one buys into the “shrinking paycheck” b.s. in the first place. According to Census Bureau data, during the height of the Great Depression, the illegitimacy rate was less than ten percent. The same graph shows a steady rise in illegitimacy beginning in the 1960s. No doubt it’s sheer coincidence that the progressive temper tantrum known as the sexual revolution began at precisely the same time.
That doesn’t stop the Times from trying to obfuscate the issue. The article takes us up to “Lorain, a blue-collar town west of Cleveland” where “the decline of the married two-parent family has been especially steep.” After conducting interviews, the article’s writers conclude both liberals and conservatives “have a point.” My favorite sentence: “Amber Strader, 27, was in an on-and-off relationship with a clerk at Sears a few years ago when she found herself pregnant.”
Found herself pregnant? This is prime example of how progressives manipulate language to avoid assigning guilt or responsibility to the guilty and/or (ir)responsible. And lest anyone think Amber learned her lesson, she had another child with another man three years later, claiming her “birth control failed.” Eleven paragraphs later, we get the real story, when Ms. Strader “described her children as largely unplanned, a byproduct of uncommitted relationships.”
Who is someone like Amber Strader? A far-too-typical byproduct of our morally relative society, in which children are little more than speed bumps on the road to “personal fulfillment.” And right on cue comes Andrew Cherlin, a Johns Hopkins University sociologist. “Family life is no longer about playing the social role of father or husband or wife, it’s more about individual satisfaction and self-development,” he contends.
Which brings us to my second-favorite sentence of the article, the one in which the true measure of individual satisfaction and self-development is revealed: “Others noted that if they married, their official household income would rise, which could cost them government benefits like food stamps and child care.”
Take a bow, Mr. Moynihan. Take a bow for recognizing that the primary casualties of the so-called new normal would be dignity, self-respect and personal responsibility.
Americans can argue other issues all they like, but pretty soon, none of them will matter. A society systematically destroying the fundamental bedrock of civilization, even as half of that society champions the destruction as “progress,” the “new normal,” “alternative family lifestyles,” or anything else that obscures the bankruptcy of their ideology, has nowhere to go but down. And make no mistake: it is progressives who are the dedicated apostles of the “lowest common denominator,” by which even the most minimal expectations of responsible or moral behavior must be kicked to the curb to accommodate the societal slugs among us. Slugs who would literally tailor their “lifestyles” around benefits conferred by government, rather than accept an ounce of responsibility for their own behavior.
The NY Times columnists characterize that destruction as “a symbol of the transforming family and a hint of coming generational change.” You wonder how some people can be so utterly clueless — until you realize which political constituency has a vested interest in ever-greater numbers of Americans becoming wards of an ever-expanding state. Like illegitimacy itself, that ambition is neither new or normal. It is nothing more than the resurgence of the communistic, it “takes a village to raise a child” collectivist impulse that has wrought destruction the world over. Those who would promote it under any of the aforementioned euphemisms are nothing more than the “useful idiots” who never realize how useful or idiotic they are, until it is too late.
It’s getting later every day.