Does Mitt Romney threaten your values? Is his life an affront to everything you hold sacred?
Apparently, Romney’s life defies the American counterculture. He is a threat to everything Nicole Rodgers holds dear.
You probably haven’t heard of Nicole Rodgers, editor a gender-bending feminist website called Role/Reboot. If so, you aren’t missing anything.
Nevertheless, I am grateful to the friend who drew my attention to her article, because it states, starkly, what so many other people believe but refuse to say.
While Democratic politicos and pundits are happy to pay lip service to Mitt Romney’s sterling personal character and exemplary private life, behind the scenes many of them are surely thinking what Nicole Rodgers is thinking, namely that Romney’s life represents a counterrevolutionary, even a reactionary force in American cultural politics.
Rodgers got herself totally lathered up because Romney dared to suggest, at the last presidential debate, that there would be less gun violence if there were fewer illegitimate births.
In truth, the point is not even controversial. Everyone but Nicole Rodgers knows that children who are brought up in families that look like the Romney family do much, much better in life than children who are brought up in any other family configuration.
This does not mean that we do not admire and respect the single mothers who shoulder the job of bringing up children in homes without fathers, but a mountain of sociological data demonstrates that illegitimacy contributes mightily to the crime rate and the poverty rate.
When she explains her thinking about traditional marriage, Rodgers drips contempt:
There is something telling about Romney’s advice to “get married to someone” that’s worth exploring. He didn’t say to marry your beloved, your partner, your boyfriend or girlfriend, or your lover, because the who is unimportant. Marriage is a palliative to all social ills: Want to reduce crime? Marry someone! Stuck in poverty? Marry someone!
For him, it’s the institution of marriage that is king, not the relationship. Suckering someone, anyone, into signing that old marriage license is, in itself, a victory. But he’s not alone in his simple-mindedness.
Actually, Romney’s not alone. None of the studies that measure the consequences of a stable family life distinguish between the different kinds of emotional attachment in marriage.
To my knowledge, no one, even certified Romney haters, has ever suggested that his is anything but a loving marriage.
Rodgers goes on to say that, somehow or other, marriage is not what it used to be. She suggests that the Romney family is no longer a reality, but is an “ideal.”
Apparently, she doesn’t know what the word “ideal” means. The Romney family is more or less the norm in most parts of the world and was the norm in America until the counterculture undermined it.
The new way of marriage is, at best, a social experiment. It will not be judged in terms of personal fulfillment but in the arena of international competition.
Other nations practice more traditional forms of marriage. The future will tell whether their cultures are more productive, more stable and more competitive than ours.
As of now, the crime and poverty rates among children who live in single-mother households far exceed those of children who are brought up by their married parents.
Rodgers uses the classical leftist rhetorical ploy. She suggests that a great wave of history is washing over us, dragging traditional marriage out to sea, leaving in its wake new forms of marriage and new family units.
In her words:
The important question for those of us in the reality-based community is how to meet people where they are. Just think about your own extended family: Do they all resemble Romney’s ideal of what a family should be? Do your friends? My guess is probably not. There is nothing inherently damaging or intrinsically problematic about family structures that deviate from some nuclear family ideal. Presidents Obama and Clinton were both raised in single-mother households, after all.
Rodgers is right to see that the counterculture has severely damaged the institution of marriage. When feminism arrived in the American consciousness it produced a massive number of divorces.
Surely, some children turn out just fine, but the Obama and Clinton examples are anecdotal, and thus, of little consequence. In this case reality lies in the statistical correlation.
To buttress her argument Rodgers trots out some research suggesting that only recently have people come to believe that marriage should be therapeutic.
Unfortunately, this asks marriage to do something that it was not designed to do, and thus, the requirement has made marriage more difficult.
Traditional marriage is an arrangement between families whose purpose is to produce children who will symbolize the union of the families. Belonging to both families, children embody the oneness and solidarity of a community formed of different families.
Since Rodgers suggests that the institution of marriage was changed irrevocably once it became about self-fulfillment, it is worth looking at history.
The most important change in the history of marriage occurred in the seventeenth century when the Anglosphere started granting women a free choice of husbands. Thus, they introduced personal freedom for women into the marital equation.
At the emphasis was on free will and a free choice, not on making marriage an expression of love.
Everyone knows that most women exercise considerable intelligence in choosing a husband. Love is a factor in the decision, but it is certainly not the only factor.
Let us be clear here. Even if you consider marriage to be the ultimate expression of love—it isn’t—the truth remains, that giving women a free choice was designed to grant them more responsibility for their choice of husband. It was an effort to solidify the institution, produce a more stable home life and make adultery less attractive.
Now, Rodgers is seriously threatened by Mitt Romney’s stable home and family life.
After all, if your life and/or the lives of your friends and neighbors is anarchic and dramatic, then a life manifesting good order, discipline, a loving family and harmonious relationships would clearly be a threat.
Surprisingly, Rodgers does not suggest that American should try to emulate Mitt Romney. She joins the chorus of those who would demonize him.
One thing I can guarantee you, when significant voices in the culture rise up to attack Mitt Romney’s family values they are encouraging people to have disordered and chaotic lives. They will be telling people that they need not live in harmony with their fellow humans, but with the Zeitgeist.
Why is this so threatening?
If a stable family life is an option, then one might choose to have it or not to have it. If you don’t have it, the reason is your own free choice. If the choice is free, then blaming it on the Zeitgeist is an evasion of responsibility.
If there’s one thing people like Nicole Rodgers hate more than they hate Mitt Romney, it’s their own freedom.