The family values debate never ceases to amaze me. During my recent kick to prove that every single facet of American politics is rooted in economics, I stumbled across a very interesting article from The Washington Times, which, in detailing differences in family norms on a state to state basis, brought to light some surprising trends. It is a universally known fact that the residents right-leaning states champion traditional morals for social policy. Their left-leaning counterparts, obviously, tend to go in the opposite direction. Nonetheless, supposedly rightist states have the highest rates of societal problems of a decidedly leftist nature.
What? It’s true. Left-leaning states are home to large numbers of America’s financially secure, sufficiently educated, highly cultured, and electorally modern liberal families. Right-leaning ones harbor the bulk of the country’s out of wedlock births, low education rates, poorly paying jobs, forced situational marriages and gender imbalances in the family structure. It is a deeply ironic twist that the very places which vote for a certain set of values practice the precise opposite.
Why on earth is this? Nobody seems to be quite sure of that. This is a quagmire that has social scientists of every political stripe wondering exactly what is going on, with no consensus in sight. Going back to my economic argument, there is little question that those in dire straits tend to be self-destructive. This may be the result of low self-esteem or a loss of hope for the future. Perhaps either of these explain why so many struggling social rightists are social rightists in the first place; they are simply frustrated people.
If they are extremely unhappy with their own lives, they have no problem venting their anger toward perceived social minorities who serve as scapegoats. The fact that many of these rightists do not live up to their own standards is unimportant. The standards in question are merely symbolic guidelines, and are not meant to be attainable in any practical sense, but instead serve as pastures for said scapegoats. This, of course, creates the necessary scenario for the rightists to release their misguided anger.
Realistically speaking, they should become mainstream fiscal conservatives and focus their frustrations on saner targets. These are the trade policies which have sent so many of their manufacturing jobs overseas. In retail, Walmart and the other big box retail raiders cannot be given an easy pass for their key roles in savaging the that industry. Even under the best of circumstances, a future in whicht blue collar employment will return to the United States en masse is all but impossible. However, future damage can be prevented, and most importantly, domestic market growth incentivized.
Frankly, the cash strapped rightists should stop picketing the women’s health centers, engaging in nonsensical anti-gay protests and voting for the scheming politicians who profit from their misery. They should instead read about the actual reasons why their paychecks are getting smaller, along with an ever shorter list of benefits and pensions that will shrink to micro size before they have the opportunity to collect. Will they focus on the side of facts and figures? Or will they just go after another strange group that has absolutely nothing to do with their problems?
Only they, on an individual level, know the answer.