Red Fish, Blue…er, Red Families, Blue Families
I received a promotional flyer from Oxford University Press today on a new book entitled Red Families v. Blue Families by two law professors, Naomi Cahn and June Carbone. The book may (or may not) be brilliant, but the promotional flyer is striking for other reasons. Consider the screaming headline: “Are blue families living the red family dream?” And here is the promotional core:
Battles over abortion, gay marriage, and single mothers hide the country’s real divisions. Blue families, led by college educated men and women, have figured out how to combine stable marriages with higher incomes. Red families, on the losing end of the new economy, fight back with calls for morality that only lead to more babies born into poverty.
To put this another way, the flyer showcases a quotation from a review in Publishers Weekly: “The bluest states have fewer teen mothers and lower divorce rates, and emphasize responsibility; red states have high teen birth and divorce rates and emphasize tradition.”
So let’s see if we can figure all this out. In states in which people tend to oppose abortion, young women have more children. Spin it however you like: This is the flyer's main point, and it hardly takes a new study to prove it.
And as for “responsibility” vs. “tradition”, well, there are certainly problems with pregnancies among younger teens, but the distinction makes sense in this context only if the responsible thing to do is to perform the anti-traditional act of killing your own children.
Again, I haven’t read the book, and the promotional piece does report that the authors recommend returning family law to the states “where practical realities can tame the culture wars.” That’s also a tactic favored by many pro-lifers, so who knows? But any potential merits of the book aside, the prose in the promotional flyer rolls along like, well, like loaded dice.
Still, it’s very nice to know that people call for morality only in order to catch up economically to their more responsible and more affluent betters.
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