Red Families v. Blue Families
and Contraception

Book Review, Part 2

Read Part 1 here: Red Families v. Blue Families, book review by Dr. Morse.

The most logical conclusion to draw from these facts is that we have probably gone as far as we can go down the road of handing out contraception. We are trying to use a technological solution to what is plainly a moral problem. Cahn and Carbone are simply illogical to suggest that “changing the subject” from abortion to contraception has even a remote chance of being helpful.

But really, the most appalling thing about this very appalling book is the insularity of the authors. Cahn and Carbone simply have no clue what the actual lives of real people look like. I kept asking myself, “Have they ever met an HVAC repairman? Do they know any home-schooling mothers of eight or nine? Have they ever encountered a grandmother with full-time childcare responsibilities, because her daughter is preoccupied with her newest boyfriend? Do they have any idea that women have babies for all kinds of reasons that contraception and government policy will never touch?”

I am writing this in the Tulsa Oklahoma Airport, after helping my son set up his first apartment to go to welding school, in this reddest of red states with red families. During my trip, I had a chat with the cashier at Wal-Mart who told me her boyfriend makes good money as a welder. “But he travels from job to job. It is hard on our relationship. We live together. I don’t have to pay for nothing, he pays all the bills. But he don’t have nothing either. He spends all the money on fancy TV’s and stuff.” I said to her, “You all need to get married. You can help him manage his money and save some of it. You’d both be way ahead.” I’m thinking about the statistics: married men earn more, save more, and spend more on others and less on themselves. She said, with a grim look on her face, “I’m working on it.” The implication was clear: she had been trying to get him to commit to marriage for some time.

While I was taking a walk, I met a man who was resting from a bike ride. He had one shoe off and was massaging his foot. Turns out, he had a nerve injury and couldn’t put any weight on his foot. He rides the bike every day along the Arkansas River for exercise. I struck up a conversation with him about this devastating injury and his recovery process. I asked him if he lived with anybody. I’m thinking about the statistics: people who live alone (married or not) have a longer recovery process from illnesses and injuries. “No, this happened two months after I got divorced. It was a forced divorce. I didn’t want it. I put up with everything she dished out, because of the kids. But she found herself a rich old guy.” I’m thinking about more statistics: the vast majority of divorces take place against the wishes of one party, are initiated by women and do not involve any form of domestic violence.

This is the world that the elites have created for the lower classes: a world of loneliness, mutual suspicion and uncertainty. Contraception wouldn’t have helped either of these people. In fact, without contraception, the Wal-Mart checker would almost certainly not be living with the boyfriend who spends everything he earns and won’t commit.

Cahn and Carbone refuse to acknowledge that their preferred policies and lifestyles have greatly diminished the possibilities for a high quality family life for working class people. They have nothing to offer them, and they know it. But educated women still get to have the Leave it to Beaver lifestyle they denigrate in their classrooms and that they have done so much to destroy in the rest of the culture. They just get started at age 35 instead of age 18.

“The college educated, who postpone childrearing until the parents achieve a measure of financial self-sufficiency and emotional maturity, have become more likely to marry and less likely to divorce than the rest of the population, with two-parent families that remain intact, replicating the statistics that existed before no-fault divorce, the pill and legalized abortion.”

When I encountered this paragraph, I wrote in the margin, “Have these people no shame?” How dare Cahn and Carbone criticize the beleaguered and increasingly marginalized social conservatives who strive to bring back some semblance of structure to the lives of ordinary people? How dare the life-style left wine and dine these authors, and, with a straight face, claim to be “progressives” who care about the fate of the less fortunate?

After reading the entire book, that is still my question. Have they no shame?

This review originally appeared at in Sept. 2010:

Red Families v. Blue Families

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