Monday, January 27, 2014

Taking a Too Long Look at Ross Douthat (Well, Not Too Long)

Douthat: Love can buy you money?
To be fair to Ross Douthat, he's not the only conservative pundit (how can someone still in short pants as a writer be a "pundit?") suggesting that marriage is what will save our woebegotten culture in these desolate times. Brooks has tossed that cookie; Marco Rubio thinks marriage is a cure for poverty (okay, Rubio is not a pundit, he's an opinionator); our dear Kathleen Parker looks to marriage to keep the old man too busy working to wreck his life with drink and drugs.

Then, Echidne of the Snakes went and dug up a study that demonstrates both statistically and convincingly that marriage fails at a higher rate relative to how Protestant and Southern you are or relative to how surrounded you are by Protestants and the South.You don't even have to be religious, you just have to be around people who believe that marriage and marriage at a younger age, with children a major goal and with a stay-at-home mom the norm, for you to fall into the trap and do as they do.

We can't keep living like this. Wait, We still live like this?

This leads to all kinds of problems: One, the South is poor in relative terms compared to the Sodom and Gomorrah of the liberal Northeastern states where, counter-intuitively, divorce rates are much lower, and, two, the prospects for a young family dim when the young father gets a substandard job and the young mother is busy raising kids when she should be finishing her education to be ready for a solid career when she stops popping babies. And, three, Southern society believes this is the model, with the dominant father figure bringing home the bacon, which the little wifey then cooks and serves. Yes, you guessed it, this may sound like the Heartland Marriage, but it is also the leading cause of divorce in the divorcin'-crazy Bible Belt.

Read Echidne of the Snakes' take. She covers a lot of ground, and sound ground it is. I wish the pundits did their homework before opening their yaps, to paraphrase my long departed Pop.

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