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Pride Goeth Before The Fall of the Nation - Elf M. Sternberg
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Pride Goeth Before The Fall of the Nation
Pride is a suspiciously strong emotion. And pride is what is going to destroy this country. But not in the way you think it will.

I've long been a proponent of the red state families / blue state families dichotomy. I don't propose that it's entirely binary, and that there aren't many families that blend the two sets of behaviors into one group, but the real pattern is simple to grasp:

Red families believe that the maturation of the adult is a result of family formation. In the red family pattern, sex is a powerful, natural, and dangerous force that must be tamed by the formation of the family, so sex and the family are sacrilized together through marriage. Men and women become adults through facing up to the responsibilities of rearing children. Because sexual desire is a dangerous force, the mechanism for controlling it must be imposed as early as possible.

Blue families believe in the conscious and deliberate formation of a child-oriented family after each adult has fully matured. They hold off on child-rearing until they have the resources to do it well, and they transmit to their children the need to hold off themselves, in order to have the time necessary to learn.

Blue families are winning. Birth control has separated sex from childrearing; much of the danger of sex has been tamed. Although sexual desire kicks in during teenagerhood, blue family values allow people to spend the almost three decades necessary to master the skills needed to run our technologically advanced civilization.

Right now, the reformist conservatives, like Sullivan, Frum, Barro, and even Gobry, are hated and villified by the overwhelming bulk of the GOP. But their plan is the only one that offers the GOP back to a chance at winning the heart of America. It goes like this: "Address family formation seriously, make it easier to start a family and raise kids, and we'll win elections. More kids and healthier families means a better economy and healthier society, and there will be less need for social services, and the GOP can cycle up to winning again."

But here's the problem. Gobry, who is overwhelmingly Catholic, will have to clench his hands and admit that, yes, the blue model is the only that actually works. The red model leads to pain and suffering, to feeling trapped in marriages and doomed to low-paying jobs, to back-alley abortion and miserable, gender-biased lives.

Dan Savage is absolutely right: that period between college and marriage, where you have a lot of sex, figure out who you are, figure out who you're compatible with, then settle down and have kids and take on the responsibilities of adulthood, works. It may be the homosexualization of heterosexuality ("We call it tricking, you call it hooking up; we called them fuckbuddies, you call them friends with benefits") which so terrified the anti-gay crusaders a generation ago, works.

Politicians aren't stupid, but they are prideful. And their constituencies are prideful too. The last thing the red states want to admit is that the path back to healthy families and a healthier society and an easing of the economic burden of social services is through an embrace of blue state family values. They're too proud to admit that. Their constituencies are going to have a hard time admitting, "No, really, we've been doing this thing wrong all along."

But the statistics really are in: blue states are better at the declared red-state values than red states are. The formula of the culturally liberal: contraception, education, extensive courtship, late marriages, and small, high-quality families, are outpacing abstinence, religion, brief courtships, early marriages, and large families.

But try getting anyone to admit that. And as long as the red state pols' power and money depends upon them not admitting it, this vicious cycle is going to keep America paralyzed while the world falls apart.

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shunra From: shunra Date: June 8th, 2013 10:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

Hubris. There's a reason it keeps showing in myth as the #1 killer.

Unfortunately, I don't see any myth where the people who can see the hubris and identify it for the toxic culture-killer that it is get anything but the Cassandra treatment.
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