For years I’ve said the problem with promoting conservative policies is liberal policies sound generous and compassionate, and conservative policies sound harsh and heartless. For example, Benjamin Franklin, one of the greatest political and scientific minds in American history, advocated helping the poor by making them as uncomfortable in their poverty as possible, motivating them to better their station in life (leaving the rest of society free to aid the truly poor, needy, and infirm, rather than the slothful and parasitic). Franklin’s philosophy sounds heartless, but nevertheless he is correct. When Republicans forced Bill Clinton to sign welfare reform into law, the liberal left wailed that poor people would be dying in the streets. Yet just the opposite happened. Realizing that feeding at the government trough would no longer be an unlimited proposition, millions of Americans came off the unemployment rolls, took advantage of job-training programs and other counseling, becoming productive members of society, and in the process gained a dignity and independence which they did not before possess.
Another example is the current furor over gun control. In liberal Democratic strongholds like Washington, D.C., and Chicago, private gun ownership has been forbidden for decades. Liberals claim their goal is to reduce crime, but if so, it has been an utter failure. Major urban cities controlled by Democrats (D.C., Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, New Orleans, Atlanta and others) have the highest level of gun-related murders in the country. An American is more likely to be killed on the streets of Chicago than in the war zones of Afghanistan. Chicago is already on pace to top 600 murders this year, up from over 500 last year. Likewise, New Orleans (a single city) has a higher murder rate (62.1 per 100,000 according to the CDC) than any other country in the world except Honduras (68.4 per 100k). So while Democrats continue their attempt to strip guns from the law-abiding (semi-automatic “assault” weapons account for around 3 percent of all gun homicides), the murder rampage continues in our inner cities, the vast majority of which is comprised of black and Hispanic youth killing each other. If per capita gun ownership was the problem, then logically the most dangerous areas would be those populated by those white country folk Obama so disdains (the ones clinging to their guns and religion). However, statistics show that the higher the level of gun ownership, the lower the crime rate.
Liberals worship at the altar of “green energy” and “renewable fuels” because they say it will create jobs and help the environment. “Green” energy often creates greater carbon emissions than fossil fuels, and in the meantime the Democrat-led war on fossil fuels has gas approaching $4/gallon and rising, and electricity prices climbing. This disproportionately hurts the poor and middle class, who have more of their income taken just to pay for basic necessities.
Perhaps nowhere in American life has the destruction caused by liberal policies been more evident than on the structure of the family unit from feel-good “welfare” programs. The Great Society programs launched by LBJ in his “war on poverty” have devastated our families, and predominantly our minority families, even as we now spend a trillion dollars annually to supposedly combat poverty. Whatever the intentions, the facts show that these policies have effectively replaced a father in the home with a slew of government programs, creating an explosion of fatherless children. Unwed mothers give birth to more than 70 percent of all black children, and to around 40 percent and rising in the white community. It is a disastrous combination. Recent in-depth studies have shown that the single greatest determinant of future poverty, criminal activity and incarceration is whether the child has a father in the home. It should be no surprise that when boys living in fatherless homes get older, they look for male guidance wherever they can find it, and in far too many cases that comes in the form of gang membership. That is a death spiral scenario for these fatherless boys and girls, and leads to a tragic end.
Fatherless boys are far likelier to join gangs, commit crime, drop out of school, and become mired in other destructive, anti-social behaviors. And girls suffer as well. Girls raised in fatherless homes don’t get to see a proper male role model against whom they can compare the boys and men with which they become romantically involved. They learn to be treated as a commodity, and don’t learn that they should demand that their boyfriends, and later husbands, should provide for, protect and respect them (an antiquated notion in our society, I know).
In a recent article, columnist and black conservative Larry Elder, who has seen the devastation wrought on the black community, told of a letter from a female counselor concerned about the plague of fatherlessness sweeping America. She told him, “No one is putting a gun to women’s heads and making them have intercourse with unworthy men prior to marriage. It is done willingly, leads to a life from hell and harms everyone involved, even the bum who has no motivation to shape up since he is afforded all the reward a good, respectable, hardworking husband would get without having to be a good, respectable, hardworking husband.
“The term ‘father’ used to be considered synonymous with the man who, in this order, a) courted a woman, b) married a woman, c) impregnated a woman, and d) stayed around for the next 20 years paying the bills, playing catch, disciplining the kids and loving the mom. Now, mere siring or donating sperm to the creation of a kid is called ‘fathering,’ when it’s barely more than breeding. It cheapens the meaning of the word ‘father.’
“Now picture this: If all women, black or white or whatever race, said to black men, ‘No marriage, sex, children or home-cooked food without toil and solid achievement first,’ do you really think any lowered bars that had been established would have stopped black men from achieving the finances and success required for romance? I don’t. They’d be working hard, wanting to get the top score and wanting to outshine others.”
But if you are still unbelieving and need proof from someone with “street cred,” look no further than iconic slain rapper Tupak Shakur. Before his death, in a documentary called “Resurrection,” Shakur himself revealed his understanding of the root of his suffering, saying “I hate saying this ’cause white people love hearing black people talking about this. I know for a fact that had I had a father, I’d have some discipline. I’d have more confidence.” Furthermore, he admitted that he joined gangs because it gave him an identity and a source of protection, stating, “Your mother cannot calm you down the way a man can; your mother can’t reassure you the way a man can. My mother couldn’t show me where my manhood was. You need a man to teach you how to be a man.”
Fathers are critical. Families are critical. Conservative principles work, and we have an enormous body of proof that they work. Too bad so few people know the truth. The Republican Party needs to find leadership that believes its own rhetoric and stands by those principles and defends them with greater eloquence and ferocity than the liberal Democrats attack them. Not to get better poll ratings, and not even to win elections; but because if we don’t reverse the moral decline of our nation, reverse this destruction of the family as the basic, essential unit of society, then our republic will fall, just as other great republics and empires have fallen throughout history … not through external force, but with its very foundation rotted from within.
Louis DeBroux is a Taylorsville resident, married, with eight children. He is chairman of the Bartow County Republican Party. He owns Gatekeeper data backup and recovery. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.