A highly-respected Democrat political strategist is warning that American families are in crisis and at risk of imploding, and he is criticizing both President Obama and Governor Romney for not addressing the meltdown of the family or providing truly pro-family policies.
“The decline of the American family is the hidden issue in our election,” writes Patrick Caddell, once a senior advisor to President Jimmy Carter, in a column in Politico. “Sadly, neither presidential candidate is talking about our family structure or traditional values in any positive or constructive way. But we are now facing a crisis of serious proportions that affects all Americans, regardless of race and class.”
As I’m doing interviews this week for my new book, Implosion: Can America Recover From Its Economic and Spiritual Challenges In Time?, I’ve been struck by how clearly Caddell has defined the moral crisis in our country how sharply he has criticized the two leading presidential candidates for not showing moral leadership.
- “President Barack Obama has used his presidency only to be a governmental and political leader. He has failed to offer moral leadership, much less address the issue of the American family — an issue he successfully addressed in his own personal life.
- “Obama’s recent announcement of support for gay marriage was just his latest assertion of a Hollywood-Big Money-friendly campaign position. It follows his recent announcement that religious-affiliated health care institutions must condone contraception — notwithstanding the preference of those institutions or their leadership.
- “Yet the president has been virtually silent about the wide range of issues concerning family structure, education and job training, as well as youth unemployment. He has certainly not mentioned the high rate of black teenage unemployment.
- “Mitt Romney has similarly avoided offering a specific vision for America’s future — unlike Ronald Reagan. Romney has failed to suggest that his candidacy offers anything but a set of fiscal principles divergent from those Obama and the Democrats have advanced. In fact, Romney has said he is ‘not concerned about the very poor.’ Though he tried to clarify his remarks the next day, Romney has not presented any comprehensive social and economic policies that could enhance family structure and benefit all Americans….
- “Marriage rates are down, divorce rates are up and more babies are being born out of wedlock. The proportion of married U.S. adults dropped from 57 percent in 2000 to 52 percent in 2009, the lowest percentage the Census Bureau has ever recorded. Meanwhile, U.S. divorce rates are between 40 percent and 50 percent.
- “Forty-one percent of U.S. babies are born out of wedlock, and more than half of all births to women younger than 30 are to single mothers. Out-of-wedlock childbearing varies by race, with 72 percent of black babies born out of wedlock, and this number exceeds 80 percent among low-income, inner-city blacks. For Latinos, 53 percent of births are out of wedlock; while among whites, 29 percent of births are outside marriage…..
- “We need clear policies that emphasize the primacy of the nuclear family and encourage families to stay together. We also need policies that encourage young people to become responsible adults and successful employees by improving the overall quality of education and job training. Non-high school graduates are almost four times as likely to become unemployed as college graduates. For those who do find jobs, they will most likely make less than half of what college graduates do.”
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