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HAGELIN: What the left calls victory is cultural disaster
Culture Challenge of the Week: The Left declares victory
The culture wars are over, and the Republicans lost. So says liberal columnist Jonathan Alter.
He’s not the only one declaring victory. Over at the Daily Beast, one columnist judged the Republican Party to be “flat-out nuts” for taking on social issues and mocked presidential candidate Rick Santorum as “a refugee from the 16th century.” Daily Beast writer Andrew Sullivan takes things a step further, saying, “Republicans are losing the pop culture wars” played out in music, movies and art. Meanwhile, Salon, the predictable liberal voice, shrills about “the Right’s lost causes” and claims victory.
So what has been “won”?
Let’s look at two examples of the “achievements” wrought by liberalism:
• Fractured families and a soaring out-of-wedlock birthrate.
The liberals’ mantra that families come in all varieties (single parenthood, cohabitation, homosexual couples) and there’s nothing inherently better about a married mom and dad raising their own children has produced dismal results. According to new data from Child Trends, reported in the New York Times, 53 percent of children born to women younger than 30 (the age group responsible for two-thirds of the birthrate) are born out of wedlock.
The predictable result for children born outside the stable structure of marriage? Educational deficits; greater risks of emotional, psychological and behavioral problems; and a greater likelihood of being raised in poverty, according to researchers.
And the problems are not evenly distributed, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Minorities and women with just a high school education reflect startlingly high rates of unmarried births: 73 percent of blacks are born to single mothers and just 43 percent of women whose highest level of education is high school will give birth within marriage.
Those least equipped to overcome the long odds of unmarried parenthood are the most likely to shun marriage. In some schools and neighborhoods, the next generation of children will not only grow up without the stability of marriage, they also will encounter few examples of intact, married families. It’s a situation that is tragic for the children, destabilizes society and swells the ranks of folks dependent on government handouts for a steady monthly income.
• Meaningless sex and soaring STD rates.
The left’s triumph on the sexual front is empty indeed. Salon columnist Michael Lind boasts, “Now practically anything can be viewed on PCs and phones, and most award-winning dramas feature profanity and soft-core sex scenes that would have provoked nationwide protests a few decades ago. This is a triumph for libertinism, if not liberalism.”
As a result, children have little protection from adult sexual indulgence. The fruit? Children exposed to sexual content are more likely to have sex earlier, generating a spiral of negative consequences, even apart form pregnancy and abortion. Forty percent of sexually active teenage girls have a sexually transmitted disease, according to a CDC study. Among minorities, those rates are even higher.
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