Dads across America are receiving something this Father’s Day that we have never sought but desperately deserve: vindication.
The social engineers who have shaped the past 60 years of American social policy assumed a check from the government is an adequate replacement for a man in the home. Worse, a new generation of radical elites has spent the past decade trying to destroy the sex binary altogether.
But the evidence is clear: Father absence is associated with higher rates of poverty, teen pregnancy, youth crime, and substance abuse. Conversely, children who grow up with both parents are more likely to attend college and less likely to live in poverty or go to prison.
That doesn’t mean fatherhood today is the same as it was in previous generations. Dads today spend more time with their children than fathers did in the 1960s. For many men, bathing their children and reading to them at night are as much a part of being a good father as teaching their kids to change a tire, fish, or throw a perfect spiral.
Those who have used law and culture to dismiss biology and undermine the role of fathers are wrong. Dads do matter.
Sadly, one important role that fewer and fewer fathers play is that of husband. About 40 percent of all children today are born to unmarried parents. While the 70 percent nonmarital birth rate among black women receives a disproportionate amount of attention, close to 30 percent of white children and over half of Hispanic children are born out of wedlock. Asian Americans are the only ethnic group in the country whose nonmarital birth rate falls below the 1965 “Moynihan threshold” of 25 percent.
At that time, 1 in 4 black children born to unwed mothers was seen as a national emergency. Today, Democrats reject attempts to tie family structure to social outcomes, going as far as removing all references to fatherhood from their 2020 party platform. In fact, the only mention of marriage in that document is regarding forced marriages in foreign countries.
Their rejection of the natural family obscures an obvious reality: The most privileged people in America today are the children who grow up with their married biological parents in a stable and loving home. This self-evident truth should function as the bedrock of all conservative social policy.
Marriage is the greatest structural enabler of father involvement. But it also accounts for the duties and obligations husbands and wives have toward one another. It’s no coincidence that the vow to stay committed “in sickness and in health” is absent from child support orders or co-parenting agreements. This is why the most important thing conservatives should be doing to promote healthy families is using every ounce of political and cultural capital to reconnect marriage and childrearing.
The need to put “marriage before carriage” is one reason every American should become familiar with the “Success Sequence” that shows 97 percent of Millennials born between 1980 and 1984 who finished school, secured employment, and married before having children were not poor by their mid-30s. That message is tangible, achievable, and measurable. It is also something that can be introduced to children long before they make the decision to start a family.
This country needs fathers of every background who value strength, courage, faith, and love. We need men who are unafraid to stand up for their wives and children and who see protecting and providing for their families as their most important vocation. The future of America depends in large part on men devoted to character and action.
Fathers should be the first and last lines of defense against the Lupron leftists in politics, media, and medicine claiming a loving parent would put his son on puberty blockers or consent to a double mastectomy for his teenage daughter.
We spent decades sending the message through policy and culture that fathers don’t really matter. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s more important than ever for men to build families rooted in faith that provide a model for the next generation of boys to emulate.
Men need purpose they are willing to both live and die for. The responsibilities that come with a family give them both.