What Are Republicans Doing to Promote Family Stability? Not Much.

June 23, 2016
By Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Meanwhile, good friend of National Parents Organization, Terry Brennan delivered this zinger (Daily Caller, 6/17/16). It’s an election year and it’s worth considering what the two major parties have to say about the crisis in American families. The answer is, ‘not much.’

That’s particularly problematical for Republicans who’ve long claimed to be the party of “Family Values.” But, as Brennan so assiduously points out, the GOP seems to think it can just make the claim and be done with it. The idea of actually lifting a finger to promote families doesn’t seem to have been part of their approach to the issue.

We know this because Brennan analyses the results of Republicans’ “efforts” to keep families intact, and rightly finds them entirely inadequate. He reminds us that, for a policy position to be considered a success, it must pass three tests – “they should be reviewed for effectiveness, be comprehensive and stand up to rigorous critique.”

Republicans fail miserably on all three tests. Their “get married and stay married” mantra has had little-to-no effect on declining rates of marriage or alarming rates of out-of-wedlock childbearing as mountains of data demonstrate.

Despite the 1.5 Million children whose family experiences divorce annually, those not living in two parent households comprising over one-third of all children, the CDC reporting 40 percent of children are born out of wedlock, a record number of Americans having never been married, and more young adults now living with parents than partners, the Republican position on Family has nary a word about any of them with Republicans staying the course; Get married and stay married.  Republicans have failed the test of comprehensiveness because they’ve never even attempted it.

Brennan lets them have it with both barrels.

Leslie Loftis recently asked “Fatherlessness: What are Republican’s Doing About It?” which decried the existence of “Court created Fatherlessness.” Historically, between 33 percent and 50 percent of children whose family experiences divorce lose complete contact with one parent within 3 years. Using the low estimate, U.S. Family Courts create a fatherless child every single minute of every single day.

Ouch! That’ll leave a mark.

As I’ve written many times, fatherlessness costs taxpayers untold amount of money in programs quixotically aimed at the many societal problems with which it’s associated. That alone should place the issue of fatherlessness close to the heart of every GOP officeholder. Alas, no.

Yet national politicians have no understanding. Former U.S. Representative George Radanovich wrote in 2014:

“0 percent of the 537 elected federal officials in Washington D.C. fully understand the relationship between the fatherless child and government costs; that dedicated parenting is essential to the pursuit of happiness and the lack thereof is the common denominator of the runaway cost of government”.

We the People need to hold elected officials to account on the all-important issues stemming from fatherlessness. Until we do, we shouldn’t expect them to change their ways. After all, if they can get our votes without addressing our issues, why would they bother?

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