Dan Quayle Was Right about Murphy Brown

I'm happy to see the conversation regarding Hollywood's glamorization of single parenthood is ongoing. As we posted on RE:news the other day, Isabel Sawhill of the Brookings Institution wrote in the Washington Post that "20 years later, it turns out that Dan Quayle was right about Murphy Brown and unmarried moms." Since then, Post blogger Rachel Manteuffel has also written on the subject, and people are responding.

Having seen the ruin of fractured families where the mothers or fathers were in prison, Chuck Colson defended Dan Quayle. He was not the only one.

In 1993, the Atlantic Monthly published social scientist Barbara Dafoe Whitehead's article "Dan Quayle Was Right." In it she revealed that "not all family structures produce equal outcomes for children." Simply put, children raised by their mother and father are better off financially, physically, emotionally, educationally, etc., than children raised otherwise.

But sadly, I don't see very many people saying that we need to reform divorce laws, re-instituting "fault." We also need to reinforce the idea that marriage is more than feelings between two individuals, because for better or worse, richer or poorer, marriage affects the extended family and the community.

Folks, for our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren's sake, we must begin to have serious conversations about what's best for them.

This is a fixable situation, and the creative people in Hollywood should be helping us further the discussion, not hindering it.


I can't tell you how many times I've referred back this piece in blog posts I've done. The reason is that it was such a huge shock that a mainstream (liberal) magazine would dare to put such a thing on its cover. This was back at a time when the mainstream (liberal) media still dominated the cultural conversation. And Dan Quayle was Sarah Palin before she was Sarah Palin; they hated him, ridiculed and mocked him as a dolt, a dim witted know-nothing. They were vicious. And then this. It was a cultural watershed moment.

So today because of all the sociological evidence, no one defends divorce as a wonderful thing, which is amazing if you, like me, grew up in the midst of the radical feminist and radical secularist's assault on the family. But culturally the message is still I/m/mine. Hollywood as currently constructed (i.e. liberal) will not help, and in fact continually does just the opposite. It's the price we pay for the church putting its head in the sand for so long, and thinking popular culture is to be avoided at all cost.

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