Republican feministas

Divorce is easier the second time around:

The modern “family issues” are actually about a century old. The first openly “pro-family” president was a Republican, Theodore Roosevelt. Between 1900 and about 1912, he wrote and spoke often, and eloquently, about the dangers of a rising divorce rate and a falling birth rate. He celebrated motherhood and fatherhood as the most important human tasks, and described the true marriage as “a partnership of the soul, the spirit and the mind, no less than of the body.” He blasted as “foes of our household” the birth control movement, equity feminism, eugenics, and liberal Christianity.

However, the Rough Rider was the only prominent Republican of his time to think and talk this way. The dominant wing of the GOP tilted in favor of the banks, the great industries, and–perhaps more surprisingly–the feminist movement. Indeed, as early as 1904, the National Association of Manufacturers had formed an alliance with the feminists, for they shared an interest in moving women out of their homes and into the paid labor market. When the feminists reorganized as the National Woman’s party in 1917, the manufacturers’ association apparently provided secret financial support. More openly, Republican leaders embraced the feminists’ proposed Equal Rights Amendment, first advanced in Congress in 1923. The GOP was also the first major party to endorse the ERA in its platform.

Social conservatives have been getting suckered by the Republican Party as long as I can remember, but this is what comes of putting your faith in government rather than the hearts of men. As Teddy Roosevelt was ultimately led to leave the Republican Party and openly oppose it, Christian conservatives will either find themselves following his example or finding themselves opposed to national sovereignty, individual freedom and the family.

It was interesting to note how the author brings up the same wage stagnation created by middle class women entering the work force en masse I have mentioned in the past. He approaches the matter from a different angle, but the result is the same. For a single 75k median wage earned by the husband, we have substituted two wages combining for that same amount, less the annual cost of child care and an additional commute. A fool’s trade-off, to be sure, but there is copious evidence that representative democracy is a system designed to take advantage of the short-sighted and the unwise.