- New Mexico Supreme Court rules same-sex marriage constitutional
- Blame Bush: 5 years later, that’s still the mantra, pollsters find
- Dutch prostitutes demand same retirement benefits as soccer stars
- John McCain to Harry Reid: I’ll ‘kick the crap’ out of you
- Dogs that talk: Researchers seek $10K for ‘No More Woof’ technology
- 1,000 firefighters called to battle stubborn Big Sur wildfire
- Black Friday brouhaha: Millions of Target shoppers hit by credit card theft
- Britain orders airplane to rescue citizens from violent South Sudan
- Mega Millions winner emerges as Georgia mom, in ‘disbelief’
- ‘Duck Dynasty’ Phil Robertson suspended ‘indefinitely’ for gay quip
Red vs. blue family in black and white
Book outlines stark divisions
Question of the Day
Young parents Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston may have gotten engaged again recently, but they are still a quintessential “red” family trying to swim against the tide of family change, say two family law professors who have launched a debate about “red” and “blue” American families.
The 2004 and 2008 elections showed a divided America — and that division extends even to families, Naomi Cahn and June Carbone write in their book, “Red Families v. Blue Families: Legal Polarization and the Creation of Culture.”
In blue states, families tend to be well-educated, have high-paying jobs, be tolerant of diversity and be politically liberal. They marry later in life, have children in wedlock and are dedicated co-parents.
President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are good examples of this “blue” paradigm, Ms. Cahn, who teaches at George Washington University, and Ms. Carbone, who teaches at the University of Missouri, said at a recent event at the New America Foundation think tank.
Red-state families, however, seem to be stuck in a time warp — they tend to be more strict in their religious beliefs and aspire to abstinence until marriage and marriage for life. But they often fall short of these goals: Red states have high rates of teen births, young (“shotgun”) marriages and divorce. Red-state families are also less likely to be college graduates, get top jobs or create households where husbands and wives share equally in parenting and chores.
“The blue paradigm is the other end of the sexual revolution. Its families have been remade and the remaking is a huge success,” they wrote. But red families are still trying to live in bygone times, and when children fail to live up to lofty aspirations, these families bear the consequences.
The Norman Rockwell-style “domestic” family has been “atomizing” for decades, meaning that parents and children quickly move into individuated lives, said Mrs. Morse, a former economics professor at Yale and George Mason University.
Such an atomized — or “blue” — family culture cannot sustain itself, and constantly calls for help from the state, she said. So a division is created, but it is between families that want the state in their lives and those that don’t.
A “domestic” family culture can regenerate, Mrs. Morse said.
But, as Mr. Zimmerman said, it reappears through a “counterrevolution” against the state.
Others have called “Red Families v. Blue Families” groundbreaking: “Cahn and Carbone have updated the old maxim that the personal is political, and enormously enriched it,” Margaret Talbot wrote in the New Yorker.
“[I]f you want to find two-parent families with stable marriages and coddled kids, your best bet is to bypass Sarah Palin country and to go Nancy Pelosi territory,” scholar Jonathan Rauch wrote in National Journal magazine. That’s because in modern America, the new mantra is “*on’t form a family until after you have finished your education and are equipped for responsibility. … Adults form families,” he added.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Cheryl Wetzstein covers family and social issues as a national reporter for The Washington Times. She has been a reporter for three decades, working in New York City and Washington, D.C. Since joining The Washington Times in 1985, she has been a features writer, environmental and consumer affairs reporter, and assistant business editor.
Beginning in 1994, Mrs. Wetzstein worked exclusively ...
- Tobacco down among youths; marijuana up
- We told you so: Conservatives foresaw polygamy ruling
- Mich. law makes women buy own insurance for abortions
- Study IDs reasons for late-term abortions
- Panel seeks 'surveillance' system for gay blood donors
Latest Blog Entries
- Pro-life, stem-cell bill signed into law by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback
- N. Dakota lawmakers approve tough abortion bill
- Pope Benedict XVI's successor should allow priests to get a new title: Husband, poll finds
- House votes to reject Obama welfare shift
- Report: Two out of three Democrats support gay marriage
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Fourth Amendment says Obama is not at liberty to collect metadata
- Homeland Security helps smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson suspended indefinitely for gay quip
- Obamacare 'pajamas boy' gets roundly mocked
- In court filing, NCAA denies legal duty to protect athletes
- Bill Gates: The Secret Santa disguised as a 'friendly fellow' on Reddit
- Democrats cite pope in call for minimum wage hike, jobless benefits
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- Half of America strips religion from Christmas
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up by Lisa King Dolloff and friends.
Entertainment News and Reviews from Washington, D.C. and beyond.
In a world that is increasingly complex, we need to seek greater awareness of the blending of cultures and America's changing role in a global community.
Find up-to-date information on the D.C. and Baltimore live music scenes and read interviews with artists and reviews of the latest releases and concerts.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow