The Failure of the Family Widens America’s Economic and Cultural Divides

Here’s an excerpt from a great article by David French:

There is no longer a common American living experience. There is no longer even the possibility of consensus around the the proper role of government in American lives. The decline of the family is altering American life so profoundly that the two parties are increasingly forced to choose the demographic groups they aim to serve, and to win elections by mobilizing and turning out those groups rather than persuading undecided voters.

This is a bleak picture, but it’s perhaps the only reasonable conclusion one can draw from the leading social science, from the strategies of the two leading political parties, and from simple experience — from living outside our own bubbles and understanding the hopes and fears of fellow citizens.

Single parents and other economically vulnerable populations tend to crave security. A single mom of three public-school children working as the bookkeeper for a struggling small business may well, ultimately, be better off under an economic system that drives growth and creates better-paying job opportunities for her. But such a system must seem a remote concern when weighed against the need to pay the rent while her kids’ deadbeat dad is behind on child support, and the difficulty of affording health insurance when her employer’s contribution keeps shrinking. If the battle is between the hope of opportunity and the promise of security, won’t a rational person choose the latter every time?

Read more: National Review

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