Gary Johnson Denounces “Family Leader Pledge”

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

Think any other GOP candidate will have the guts to do this?

Presidential candidate and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson charged today in a formal statement through his campaign that the Family Leader “pledge” Republican candidates for President are being asked to sign is “offensive to the principles of liberty and freedom on which this country was founded”.  Governor Johnson also plans to further state his position against the Family Leader pledge this afternoon in Las Vegas, NV at a speech he will deliver at the Conservative Leadership Conference.

Johnson went on to state that “the so-called ‘Marriage Vow” pledge that FAMILY LEADER is asking Republican candidates for President to sign attacks minority segments of our population and attempts to prevent and eliminate personal freedom.   This type of rhetoric is what gives Republicans a bad name.

“Government should not be involved in the bedrooms of consenting adults. I have always been a strong advocate of liberty and freedom from unnecessary government intervention into our lives. The freedoms that our forefathers fought for in this country are sacred and must be preserved. The Republican Party cannot be sidetracked into discussing these morally judgmental issues — such a discussion is simply wrongheaded. We need to maintain our position as the party of efficient government management and the watchdogs of the “public’s pocket book”.

“This ‘pledge’ is nothing short of a promise to discriminate against everyone who makes a personal choice that doesn’t fit into a particular definition of ‘virtue’.

I actually didn’t see this particularly nasty bit from that pledge:

“Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.”

Set aside the tone-deafness and holy crap offensiveness for a moment—is this even historically accurate?

Anyway, I do disagree with Johnson on one point. He says the pledge is “unrepublican.” Unfortunately, for about the last 30 years, this kind of thing has been all too Republican.

 

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61 Responses to “Gary Johnson Denounces “Family Leader Pledge””

  1. #1 |  Cornellian | 

    If Johnson ever had a shot at the nomination, he doesn’t now. The last thing the Republicans want these days is a limited federal government that respects the freedom of its citizens to live as they please.

  2. #2 |  MTB | 

    Good move imo, he never had a shot at that segment of the republican vote, this might help differentiate and highlight himself with the non religious right vote.

    Should have waited a bit longer though, there might be a couple moderate republicans who might have been pressured into signing this pledge not wanting to be the only candidate without morals, and now they won’t be the first and only not to sign.

  3. #3 |  JS | 

    Good post Cornellian!

    Yea even though he wasn’t gonna get nominated anyway its important to get these strange ideas of freedom and personal liberty out to the American people, to whom they must seem extremely foreign. That’s the best use of this running for president nonsense-it gives you a platform to introduce ideas that are taboo in the maintream media.

  4. #4 |  Fred Mangels | 

    Johnson never has had a shot at the nomination, but he’s still got my vote if he decides to run as an independent (or whatever) after the primary.

  5. #5 |  Fred Mangels | 

    Does anyone know who or what organization is asking the candidates to sign this pledge?

  6. #6 |  Luis | 

    Fred, the organization is called “FAMiLY LEADER” (weird capitalization theirs,not mine.) Details here: http://www.ifpcaction.org/

    Radley: even if the claim is numerically accurate (highly doubtful, given the frequent practice of the sale of slave children away from slave parents, or slave husbands/wives away from each other; Ta-Nehisi Coates states that c. 1820 30% of children were separated from parents this way; he didn’t provide a cite but he’s been researching this era lately) it’s completely insane to call a slave household a “two-parent household” in any way that is at all meaningful. You have to put aside the high chance that the child is the product of the rape of the mother; the fact that the parents don’t have any sort of independence; it’s… it’s just insane.

  7. #7 |  johnl | 

    1860 is cherry picking dates. Any kid born after 1855 would have been too young to sell before the market disruption. It is tone deaf but most likely correct that 2 parent households are more rare now.

  8. #8 |  Luis | 

    That clause in the report has a citation to a paper, which in turn cites to this paper: http://reengageinc.org/research/Af-Am-fam.pdf. That paper has extensive data … that starts in 1880. So basically they can’t even get their years right.

    It’s certainly true that the percentage of children living with both parents declined substantially from 1880-1980, according to this data set, but it also points out there was already a substantial gap between whites and african-americans on this front as early as 1880 (70% to 87%) suggesting that the roots of this issue go back a long, long way.

  9. #9 |  Bags by the Door | Maspik Teruzim | 

    [...] Reading Elsewhere – A GOP candidate with a spine. LikeBe the first to like this [...]

  10. #10 |  johnl | 

    Luis there isn’t a change from 1880 to 1960. The drop is all from 1960 to 1980. We can argue about what it is but it’s obvious that something really bad happened then.

  11. #11 |  GT | 

    Hmmmm… “FAMILY LEADER” (typical moralfag shouty allcaps) sounds a lot like a bunch of shitheads who need their servers destroyed after some nice cock-shots are displayed on their front page.

    The thing about these lunatic groups is that they are generally too busy fantasising about little boys to properly ensure that their cybersphincters are protected from – ahem – rupture. Let’s hope that their server security is as bad as Westboro Baptist Church (from all reports their security layer involved reliance on prayer).

    And for those who think that tearing holes in cybersphincters is ‘anti-free-speech’ – I agree 100%… but organisations that want to impose a Cartoon-Jeebus version of Shari’a/Halakha (same shit, different sammich) mark themselves out as antithetical to liberty and are therefore valid target candidates. Note – that doesn’t mean they will actually become a target: it just means their name goes in the hat.

  12. #12 |  DK | 

    I remember Walter E. Williams making the point about black illegitimacy on a Stossel show. He was arguing that the welfare state has been the cause of rise in rates. I think he too made some pointless comparison to slavery, but the numbers seem to back up the point about the welfare state. Luis’ PDF shows a relatively stable white illegitimacy rate, but the black rate dramatically increases after 1960.

  13. #13 |  Danny | 

    I really don’t think it’s out of line to label this crew “Taliban-lite.” By my estimate, they are advocating what is, by far, the most patriarchal and intrusive agenda for use of the government’s police powers across the political spectrum. Even the most dour and unforgiving left-wing speech-code P.C. warlocks do not quite rise to this level.

  14. #14 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    The comparison between slavery and the present day needs to be examined. If it is false, it should be widely denounced as cheap politics, but if it has any serious amount of truth to it we need to ask WHY. And we need to keep asking, loudly, until somebody comes up with a decent answer. The so-called ‘permanent underclass’ is the biggest stinking failure of our culture, and the usual suspects’ solutions have been tried extensively and do not appear to work.

    If poking at this offends some people, I would suggest that they are probably people who need to be offended.

    I just read somewhere that if you correct for single mother status, the arrest rate for African-Americans and Caucasians become remarkably similar. Now I am less persuaded that that is because it actually takes two people to raise a child than that the kind of people who marry and stay together are likelier to be good parents. But it should be a hot topic.

  15. #15 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    C.S.P. Schofield – I’m doubtful. Among other issues I have with that kind of study, I’d look at if there was a significantly different proportion of “singles” in the study because of criminal charges against the absent parent.

    I’m sure you can see where I’m going with that one.

  16. #16 |  skunky | 

    i would challenge any assertion that claims to speak to family demographic statistics of 1860s southern slave families. The data simply doesn’t exist to make any kind of comparison like this. It’s made up.

  17. #17 |  skunky | 

    And it’s about time someone in the Republican Party stood up for stuff like this. Of course he won’t win the nomination, but as a registered Democrat here in NYC (no point in registering Republican, as Democratic primaries decide everything here), I’d vote for him in the general election. To do that though, he’s gotta run as a libertarian or an independent.

    The modern GOP has no place for people like this. Ron Paul panders to the kooks, so he stays.

  18. #18 |  DHM | 

    It’s tone deaf, yes. Inaccurate insofar as the condition of the black family really cannot be laid at Obama’s feet. I doubt the numbers are worse after his election than they were after Bush 2′s eclection.

    Inaccurate on the point of the state of the black family in 1860 vs now, no.

    I’ve read a similar claim by Thomas Sowell. The data does exist.
    See his book Black Rednecks and White Liberals.
    Yes, it could be seen as cherry picking, though I disagree that this is the problem. A child born to a slave family in 1860 was unlikely to be sold away from his family before the end of the Civil War because the child would be too little to bring a good price- and by the time the child was old enough, the war had ended slavery. And after the Civil War, black families fought like tigers to find each other and reunite. They were fiercely determined to gather their stolen children and spouses. Slavery was an evil imposed on them from without, and they fought the shackles.

    The Welfare state is an evil that seduces from within, and yes, black families are far less intact now than they were after the Civil War.

  19. #19 |  MikeZ | 

    Heck I don’t think it even makes sense to argue. I would be fully willing to admit the data is true but also completely meaningless. If somebody is a slave they really don’t have much say in their living conditions, that kinda goes hand in hand with being a slave. Heck I’d guess the slave owner who rapes his maid probably counts as a nice traditional 2 parent family as he does technically still live in the same household.

  20. #20 |  NSM | 

    Victimhood: Rhetoric or reality?
    by Walter Williams

    …What about the decline of the black family? In 1960, only 28 percent of black females between the ages of 15 and 44 were never married. Today, it’s 56 percent. In 1940, the illegitimacy rate among blacks was 19 percent, in 1960, 22 percent, and today, it’s 70 percent. Some argue that the state of the black family is the result of the legacy of slavery, discrimination and poverty. That has to be nonsense. A study of 1880 family structure in Philadelphia shows that three-quarters of black families were nuclear families, comprised of two parents and children. In New York City in 1925, 85 percent of kin-related black households had two parents. In fact, according to Herbert Gutman in “The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom: 1750-1925,” “Five in six children under the age of 6 lived with both parents.” Therefore, if one argues that what we see today is a result of a legacy of slavery, discrimination and poverty, what’s the explanation for stronger black families at a time much closer to slavery — a time of much greater discrimination and of much greater poverty? I think that a good part of the answer is there were no welfare and Great Society programs…

    http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams060805.asp

  21. #21 |  La rana | 

    Yeah when I think about slavery, Jim crow, the great migration, ghettoization, and the war on drugs, I think how much those events pale in comparison to providing a small amount of income to the impoverished, who for some reason happen to be disproportionally black.

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you ascribe to that view, you’re either racist or retarded.

  22. #22 |  edmund dantes | 

    When did the Drug war kick into high gear and start to put a lot of people behind bars for non-violent offenses? I’m sure that doesn’t play a role in the 1960-1980 drop.

  23. #23 |  DHM | 

    La rana, racist and retarded are easy and meaningless insults. I am neither, though my young godsons are black (and live with us most weekends and holidays, including most of summer vacation) and I have a retarded daughter (adopted).

    I guess you’re ignorant of the fact that Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell are both black, and both believe the Welfare State did more harm than good for black families.

    Dantes, I’m willing to believe the war on drugs may have had something to do with it, too, but I don’t see how anybody could dismiss the influence of the Welfare State, which paid women more not to have fathers in the home, and penalized intact families.

    You could argue other causes. The point is, the question was about whether a black child in the latter half of the 1800s was more likely to be from a two parent family than a child born to a black mother after 1960 ( ‘is that even true?’), and the fact is, yes, it’s true. Black families were more intact in the late 1800s than after 1960. As horrible and evil as slavery was, once out of it, families fought to find each other. Whatever happened in 1960 has been even more insidious and devastating.

  24. #24 |  GregS | 

    Is his comment “tone deaf?” I’ve heard Thomas Sowell say the exact same thing.

  25. #25 |  albatross | 

    La rana:

    Slavery and Jim Crow laws pretty obviously can’t explain something that got worse for blacks between 1960 and 2011. I doubt ghettos can, either–I don’t claim any great expertise, but I don’t think that’s a span of time during which we saw an *increase* in segregation.

    The war on drugs might be an explanation. Certainly, having 1 in 15 black men behind bars (that’s from a Pew Center report as of 2008) has got to have a huge impact on the presence of fathers in the home. I gather we’ve massively increased the number of people we lock up generally over the last couple decades, but I think the illegitimacy rates started going up before we started locking up a bigger and bigger fraction of our citizens.

    The argument I’ve seen for welfare programs being responsible involves incentives. First, I gather that at least historically, it was easier to get AFDC money when the father of the kids wasn’t living with the mom than when he was, which pretty spectacularly creates bad incentives. Second, anything we do to support unwed mothers’ living expenses inherently makes being an unwed mother less bad, and so more women are likely to do it. (I can’t see any good way around that one, though–it’s not like we can just let the kids starve because their parents are jerks.)

    I suspect that incentives and prison both have something to do with it. (From that Pew Center study, an incredible 1/9 of black men under 35 are behind bars. That’s a substantial fraction of the total available population of men of normal marrying age, and it must have some huge effect on family formation.) But I’d bet the bigger cause is cultural–throughout the society, being illegitimate has lost most of its stigma, and being an unwed mother has at least lost quite a bit of its stigma. And that tracks with the broader breakdown in a lot of traditional morality, ranging from widespread divorce to people being openly gay. As widely held values changed, peoples’ actions also changed.

    From the Census Page, between 1990 and 2007, births to unwed mothers have more-or-less doubled among whites[1], from 17% to 35%. Between 1990 and 2007, the rate among blacks went from 67% to 72%. That seems to suggest some social change that went through the black community first, and the white community more recently. (1 in 106 white men are behind bars; I have no intuition for whether that could explain anything here.)

    [1] But that gets complicated by immigration–they didn’t differentiate hispanic and non-hispanic whites till 2000. In 2007, about 28% of births to non-hispanic whites were from unwed mothers.

  26. #26 |  BamBam | 

    http://c4ss.org/

  27. #27 |  BamBam | 

    Ron Paul

  28. #28 |  Kevin | 

    It is almost certainly historically accurate. The social experiments we decided to start conducting starting with “the great society” has resulted in two parent households becoming rarer than they have been since we have data, particularly in the black community. Where this is heading is unclear, though the trends don’t look good – and not just for blacks.

  29. #29 |  John David Galt | 

    Yes, I believe it is accurate; read Larry Elder. But you can’t really expect people to turn down a free lunch when the government hands it to them on a platter.

    The right way to deal with the problem of single parents who don’t give a darn about their kids is to eliminate the welfare subsidy for having kids, and the unjust child-support-enforcement laws that back it up. Remove the incentive for women to have these kids, and they’ll start either using birth control or aborting them, as they should be doing.

  30. #30 |  Doc Merlin | 

    “Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President”

    “Set aside the tone-deafness and holy crap offensiveness for a moment—is this even historically accurate?”

    Yes, unfortunately it is. Oddly enough, it applies to white children too, a white child today is less likely to be raised by both his parents than a slave child was.

  31. #31 |  Doc Merlin | 

    @johnl

    I think the most likely suspect is the birth of the welfare state, but the US fundamentally changed in the sixties.

  32. #32 |  edmund dantes | 

    But if nuclear families are so crucial to raising children effectively, how does one reconcile that with each new generation being more tolerant than the past one? a steadily decreasing crime rate, etc al. Perhaps the “nuclear” family isn’t quite so necessary as one thinks unless one looks fondly back on the past with rose colored glasses.

    All the ills we bemoan today existed back during the heyday of the “nuclear” family, 1950′s. It’s just that you didn’t talk about those things in polite company. So the fact that Mr. Johnson beat his wife was never really talked about. Or the fact that Mrs. Franklin really likes her wine. Or Betty Lou had a “miscarriage” after visiting Dr. Alleigh.

    Good parents are good parents and tend to raise good kids. Bad parents tend to don’t, and the fact that there are two, male-female, paired up doesn’t suddenly turn them into a good family unit.

  33. #33 |  niteowl | 

    Does Johnson know that this is not his grandfather’s Republican Party? Sounds like he still thinks it is. The wingnuts run the party now. Props to him anyway.

  34. #34 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    Many of the nicest and most successful people I know were raised in a creche on an Israeli Kibbutz. I’m suspicious as heck of any “nuclear family” arguments.

    Yes, I’m sure it does help to have more than one authority figure around for a kid, but I’m also utterly unconvinced that they need to be the biological parents.

  35. #35 |  Maggie McNeill | 

    “Set aside the tone-deafness and holy crap offensiveness for a moment—is this even historically accurate?”

    To the guys saying it is: Sorry, but no. Y’all really need to read Thaddeus Russell’s A Renegade History of the United States; one of the points he makes is that many abolitionists were against slavery not on humanitarian grounds, but because it “degraded the morals” of the slaves. Henry Stanton wrote, “The state of morals among slaves, especially in regard to licentiousness, is sickening!” James Thome, the son of a Kentucky planter who turned abolitionist, described slave life as “one great Sodom…[of] indiscriminate debauchery.” An 1826 abolitionist journal lamented that Southern law “takes no notice of Fornication, Adultery, Incest, Polygamy &c. among slaves…the sensual appetite is left to be gratified by promiscuous indulgence…” And a Georgia correspondent of William Lloyd Garrison (in a letter published in his Liberator magazine) described slaves as “…apt to disregard chastity – lewd to the last degree…their lewdness is extreme and appalling.”

    Remember, these were ABOLITIONISTS; they blamed this sexual freedom on the degradation of slavery. “Family Leader”, like every other moralist group, seems to imagine that promiscuous sex was invented during the 1960s when actually it has been common throughout history.

  36. #36 |  Bernard | 

    Ignoring the crassness of the issue for a moment, one thing this really shows you is just how far politicians will go to stay on the side of groups they think will influence their support base.

    It’s hard to imagine any of them actually wanted to sign this (going on my hypothesis that politicians tend to be amoral more than retarded), but wave the family values vote in front of them and its a done deal.

    It makes me wonder what other wording they’d have signed up to. Would they have signed up to wording promising not to allow a repeat of King Kong’s rampage through New York?

  37. #37 |  hooglyboogly | 

    #36 Bernard

    Michelle Bachmann gleefully signed this pledge because she is the perfect caricature of the intolerant Christian right which is exactly what the GOP has become. However I have to agree that most who would sign on to something like this do so not because they believe this shit (Bachmann wholeheartedly believes in this) but because they are simply pandering for votes.

    http://hooglyboogly.co/2011/07/08/more-proof-michelle-bachman-is-unfit-for-political-office/

  38. #38 |  Keith Emery | 

    The so called War on Poverty has been a abysmal failure. Talk about needing an exit strategy, in the name of compassion we have inadvertently destroyed the black family. Our entire society will pay the price as this cycle repeats itself–each generation worse off than the last. It is precisely because I am NOT a racist that I want to see the welfare state ended.

  39. #39 |  Steve Finlay | 

    The primary cause of one-parent black families is almost certainly the war on drugs. The figures may be accurate, but the reason is not that slavery was good. The reason is that the war on drugs is just about as destructive as slavery was.

  40. #40 |  Blog & news coverage: tolerance edition | 

    [...] The Agitator: Think any other GOP candidate will have the guts to do this? « Previous Post [...]

  41. #41 |  johnl | 

    @#18, that’s why 1860 is a cherry picked date. Anyone born after 1855 wasn’t born into slavery.

    It’s the whole weight of the modern state that falls most heavily on boys and men. The WOD, 0 tolerance, 3 strikes, and so much combine to incarcerate many boys and make them unemployable. The family court system and WOP push men away from their children, and make them unemployable. So now we have a generation of boys who have the planning and impulse control skills you would expect from a boy with no father.

  42. #42 |  supercat | 

    #32 | edmund dantes | July 10th, 2011 at 10:49 am “But if nuclear families are so crucial to raising children effectively, how does one reconcile that with each new generation being more tolerant than the past one? a steadily decreasing crime rate, etc al.”

    Incarceration rates may have something to do with it. While one factor in the high incarceration rates is the willingness of the state to lock up essentially-good people for drug use, another factor is an increase in the number of people who would commit real crimes (robbery, burglary, etc.) if not locked up. If hypothetically 5% of people go bad and one locks up 3%, one may have a higher crime rate than if 10% of people go bad and one locks up 9%. That doesn’t mean that society wouldn’t be better off if only 5% of people went bad.

    I don’t think anyone would seriously argue that it’s impossible for a child to be raised by a single-parent household and still come out okay. On the other hand, if 2% of children raised in stable 2-parent households go bad, while 10% of children raised in single-parent households go bad, wouldn’t that suggest that the promotion of stable 2-parent families would be a good thing? Even if prisons are capable of absorbing the children who go bad because they weren’t raised in a stable 2-parent household, that doesn’t mean everyone wouldn’t be better off if those children were raised in 2-parent households and went on to become productive members of society.

  43. #43 |  demize! | 

    OMG, the progeny of a slave was the masters “property” to do with as he would. Families where constantly broken apart in The Ante-bellum south. This is also ignoring the phenomena of slave women bearing the master’s child by rape. This is just stupid and made up shit.

  44. #44 |  supercat | 

    #25 | albatross | July 10th, 2011 at 12:16 am “Second, anything we do to support unwed mothers’ living expenses inherently makes being an unwed mother less bad, and so more women are likely to do it. (I can’t see any good way around that one, though–it’s not like we can just let the kids starve because their parents are jerks.)”

    Historically, it used to be that if a girl got pregnant and wouldn’t receive ample support from either a husband or her family, she would give the baby up for adoption. It really wasn’t seen as a hard decision–the mother, the baby, and the adoptive parents would all be better off than if the mother tried to raise the child herself.

    If one implements social policies that reduce by half the amount of suffering by each single-parent family, but such policies increase tenfold the number of mothers who decide to “go it alone”, can the policies really be said to reduce human suffering? When implementing any “social welfare” program, one of the most important questions one should ask is whether the program will influence people’s behavior in a positive or negative fashion. Unfortunately, such questions are almost never asked at all. If they were, the vast majority of welfare programs would never have been implemented in anything resembling their present form, because the perverse incentives they create far outweigh any good they may do.

  45. #45 |  demize! | 

    “it used to be that if a girl got pregnant and wouldn’t receive ample support from either a husband or her family, she would give the baby up for adoption. It really wasn’t seen as a hard decision–the mother, the baby, and the adoptive parents would all be better off than if the mother tried to raise the child herself.”
    Uhm, how do you quantify this? Are you just making shit up?

  46. #46 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    The issue isn’t that “welfare” (whatever you mean by that) is worse than “slavery” (another term with multiple meanings). The point is that if the condition of the inner city Black population is in steady decline (as it seems to be), then there is something wrong with how we are approaching the problems of the inner city.

    I have my own opinions about what the difference is; up until after WWII the people who were most concerned with helping poor Blacks were Blacks. After the War, and increasingly as the century drew to a close, efforts to “help” Blacks were carried out according to the social theories of White Western Intellectuals. And, let’s be blunt here, White Western Intellectuals have spent the majority of the last century in thrall to an appalling hodge-podge of claptrap.

    This ties in with something I have said for some time. We don’t owe Blacks reparations for Slavery, but we do owe them for allowing the Intellectual Left to pester them and ruin their schools. We should make a serious effort to pull together a plan for paying off that debt. For one thing, I want to watch Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton explaining to their followers why Blacks don’t really want control of their children’s education, but should demand more of the kind of hand-out that never seems to do them much good …. and mostly sticks to the fingers of the likes of Jackson and Sharpton anyway.

  47. #47 |  TomG | 

    Wow. Don’t look now, Radley, but Cole (from Balloon Juice) just highlighted this news and gave Gary a compliment. Somewhat back-handed, though.

  48. #48 |  Greg C | 

    The world has gone to hell because fewer 15 year olds are getting married…

  49. #49 |  Bill | 

    If courage and speaking the truth is a losing strategy, I’d rather lose.
    Save the economy
    Johnson 2012

  50. #50 |  B-Rob | 

    # 12 posted “I remember Walter E. Williams making the point about black illegitimacy on a Stossel show. He was arguing that the welfare state has been the cause of rise in rates.”

    Walter Williams is an economist; on this issue, he does not know what the hell he is talking about. A few points:

    1) Black illegitimacy rates started to rise long before the 1960s. They rose rapidly for Blacks, D.P. Moynihan pointed out, as a vestige of slavery, NOT welfare. Indeed, there was no liberal welfare system in 1965 when Moynihan’s report noted that the 30% Black illegitimacy rate was destroying families.

    2) Moynihan noted that illegitimacy was more of an urban phenomena than a rural one.

    3) The White illegitimacy rate today, after welfare reform, is where the Black rate was in 1965 before reform and before the liberalization of policies in the late 60s and early 70s.

    4) The illegitimacy rate for college educate Black and White women destroys any logical connection between welfare policies and illegitimacy. I would point to a White female 42 year old geneticist I know to make the point, but I am sure everyone here knows of another person who fits the profile.

  51. #51 |  B-Rob | 

    # 42 — You wrote “I don’t think anyone would seriously argue that it’s impossible for a child to be raised by a single-parent household and still come out okay. On the other hand, if 2% of children raised in stable 2-parent households go bad, while 10% of children raised in single-parent households go bad, wouldn’t that suggest that the promotion of stable 2-parent families would be a good thing?”

    I have an acquaintance, a Black female physician. She lives in a $300,000 brick four bedroom house, drives only Saabs, and sent her only son to private school from age four. She never married her son’s father, who is also a physician. What do you think the odds are that that kid would end up “going bad”? Slim and none, statistically speaking. Why? Because of money.

    The reality is that single parent children in wealthy households do not become criminals; but kids from impoverished two parent households do. To de-link socioeconomic status from the entire discussion of illegitimacy is a big no no.

  52. #52 |  Kristen | 

    o do that though, he’s gotta run as a libertarian or an independent.

    What, you do have write-ins in New York?

  53. #53 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    “FAMILY LEADER” (typical moralfag shouty allcaps) sounds a lot like a bunch of shitheads who need their servers destroyed after some nice cock-shots are displayed on their front page.

    GT is concise and to the point!

  54. #54 |  Carrington Ward | 

    @#35

    Not only might slavery have ‘degraded the morals’ of the slaves, it also encouraged debauchery amongst the slave-holders:

    Nb. the system was one in which a slave-owner benefited from ‘high fertility rates’ amongst his slaves. So there was an economic incentive toward something that latter-day southerners would term ‘miscegnation’ and inter-racial reproduction. Or that we might term sexual slavery and institutionalized rape.

    Family Leader really didn’t want to go there — family ‘structures’ in the slave were ‘biblical’ in the worst sense of the term.

  55. #55 |  dude | 

    I consider myself to be a ‘liberal,’ not a ‘democrat,’ and I must say that if it were to come to an election of Johnson vs Obama, I would be ecstatic for the victory of either candidate and, given further research, may even lean over to the Johnson side (I don’t know enough to say for sure).

  56. #56 |  albatross | 

    B-Rob #50:

    Illegitimacy rates went *way* up across the society from 1960 to 1990 or so, where they more-or-less stabilized. (Hispanics’ rates haven’t stabilized, but the population has changed massively due to immigration–the hispanic population of 1990 isn’t the same one as is being polled in 2005.) Blacks have been up in the high sixties/low seventies since 1990, I think. Whites have been in the high twenties/low thirties for that same time.

    For the rest of your comment, and the next one, you need to distinguish between one person and a distribution from which that person is drawn. The average college or pro basketball player is quite tall–much taller than the surrounding population. And yet, there are relatively short guys who are good enough to play college basketball, and quite tall guys who aren’t basketball players. You don’t refute the claim that basketball players are taller than non-basketball-players by finding me Nate Robinson (5’9″) and Paul Volker (6’7″) and pointing out which one is better at basketball.

    A related idea is correlation. If two variables are positively correlated, then they tend to move together in a linear way, but this is statistical. Height and weight correlate–taller people tend to be heavier–even though the world has 6’5″ beanpoles and 5’3″ roly-polys.

    So, yes, there are *wonderful* single mothers, and *horrible* married parents. And many people come out of very hard conditions and do okay, while others come out of ease and comfort to make a wreck of themselves. But finding a few examples of kids from unmarried mothers that did fine, or kids from married mothers who didn’t, doesn’t contradict the claim that kids of unmarried mothers do worse on average. To contradict that claim, you need to collect data on a large representative sample of children of married and unmarried mothers, and then see what the differences are in outcomes. (And then you can have all kinds of fun trying to correct for confounding variables….)

  57. #57 |  Mary | 

    Apparently, that icky slavery part has been removed from the pledge. Not, of course, before Bachmann and Santorum signed it though.

  58. #58 |  Sheldon Richman | 

    “is this even historically accurate?”

    I was wondering that too. But on TV everyone is too busy being offended. Does anyone have any facts?

  59. #59 |  Deoxy | 

    I have to say that I simply don’t see the offensiveness of the statement. At all.

    If it’s a complete lie, then THAT is offensive, but if it’s even close (the rate is similar instead of one or the other being noticeably worse), the point still stands. If racial slavery – a terrible, offensive, evil thing that we are agree was terrible and did terrible things to black people – did less damage (or even “merely” comparable) to the family structure of those being enslaved than modern policies, that is a serious and frightening point.

  60. #60 |  albatross | 

    Deoxy:

    Yeah, I don’t exactly get the offensive part, though I’m not clear on how anyone has enough data on the family lives of slaves to know what the unwed parent rates or whatever were.

    What seems very clear is that traditional family structure has taken a huge hit in our society, especially among blacks, but also among everyone else. At a guess, most of this is probably outside the realm of practical government action.

  61. #61 |  BK753 | 

    Gary Johnson is a breath of fresh air… not just in the GOP preliminaries, but in American politiucs in general right now. I’m dumbfounded by why he isn’t polling higher. Read his views: he is a candidate for everyone. Fiscally conservative, socially liberal… his “radical” ideas about reforming American education are dead-on! I’m a diehard Independent, but would vote for Gary Johnson in a half-a-heartbeat.

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