Mona Charen | Editorial
22024
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  • The Difference a Father Makes for 06/25/2021

    There was a Father's Day parade in Washington, D.C., last week that warmed my family-obsessed heart. It was called the Black Fathers Matter motorcade, and it featured silver and black balloons, a band serenading the crowd aboard a flatbed truck, kids singing their dads' praises, community leaders, politicians and at the end, a pop-up tent to provide COVID-19 vaccines for those who needed them. Boy, do we need more celebrations like that! Black fathers — all fathers — need a helluva lot more appreciation because they are so crucial to children's well-being, and they rarely get the recognition they deserve. A new survey adds bricks to the huge wall of evidence that dads are important to children's welfare. Though you might get the impression from certain quarters that no Black kids come from intact families these days, that's an exaggeration. According to the Census Bureau, 41.3% of African American children are being raised by their biological moms and dads (37.9% married, 3.4% unmarried); 50.8% are living with a single parent (4.5% with fathers); and 8% live with a nonparent. For the population at large, a little over 70% of children live with their biological parents; 21% live with their mothers alone; 4.5% live with their fathers alone; and 4% live with someone other than a parent.Updated: Fri Jun 25, 2021 […]

  • America's Next Noble Act for 06/18/2021

    Speaking to the Munich Security Conference in February, President Joe Biden proclaimed that "America is back." It's a pleasing sentiment, but our allies as well as our adversaries can be forgiven for taking a wait-and-see attitude. America's approach to the world has gyrated over the past two decades from George W. Bush's assertive interventionism to Barack Obama's lead-from-behind modesty. Donald Trump's "America First" posture was a mixture of obsequiousness toward dictators and truculence toward traditional allies. Biden attempted to reify the "America is Back" slogan by urging a unified G-7 position toward China. He hoped for a unanimous declaration condemning China's use of forced labor, and while Canada, Britain and France were ready to sign on, others demurred. It seems likely that the Biden administration will continue to press allies on taking a hard line toward Beijing. He has repeatedly emphasized that confronting China is a defining challenge of his presidency. "This is a battle between the utility of democracies in the 21st century and autocracies," he told reporters at his first news conference as president. "We've got to prove democracy works."Updated: Fri Jun 18, 2021 […]

  • Don't Cry for H.R.1 for 06/11/2021

    When Sen. Joe Manchin announced he would oppose the For the People Act, Steve Benen of MSNBC spoke for many Democrats when he declared that "Joe Manchin is prepared to be remembered by history as the senator who did little more than hope as his country's democracy unraveled." One can share Democrats' alarm about the state of our democracy without concluding that the For the People Act was the answer. H.R. 1 is a mashup of sound ideas (requiring a paper record of each vote) with outdated and arguably unconstitutional measures — banning so-called dark money at a time when small-dollar donations are more important; and limiting speech, which the American Civil Liberties Union, among others, opposes.Updated: Fri Jun 11, 2021 […]

  • Communist China's Family Values for 06/04/2021

    The Chinese communist government is going to permit three children per family. How nice. Here's how The New York Times put it: "The announcement by the ruling Communist Party represents an acknowledgment that its limits on reproduction, the world's toughest, have jeopardized the country's future." To describe China's "one child policy" as "limits on reproduction" is like calling Jim Crow laws "limits on political participation." The Times account, which at least used the word "brutal" after the jump, also featured a sidebar timeline of China's population policies that was even more anodyne. In 1978, it informs readers, the central government "approves a proposal in which family planning offices encourage couples to have one child, or at most two."Updated: Fri Jun 04, 2021 […]

  • Inflation and Crime Threaten Democrats for 05/28/2021

    The economy is reviving. On the East Coast, the cicadas are singing their love songs. There's a supermoon on the West Coast. We are at peace (at least with other nations). And yet President Joe Biden's approval rating remains almost precisely where it was in the first week of his presidency — 55%. We are so trapped in negative partisanship that the actual performance of the duties of president simply does not matter to most of the electorate. The vast majority of Democrats will support Biden no matter what, and Republicans will oppose him. From 1948 to 1992, The Wall Street Journal reports, about 18% of voters said they voted for candidates of different parties in different years. Today, fewer than 10% do. Those voters hold the fate of the nation in their hands.Updated: Fri May 28, 2021 […]

  • What If Roe Is Overturned? for 05/21/2021

    As soon as the Supreme Court granted cert in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, I rushed online to see the anticipated outcry. More on that in a moment. The case challenges the constitutionality of Mississippi's gestational age law that barred abortions past 15 weeks except in exceptional circumstances. This is a significant moment because the Court did not need to take this case. There was no circuit split to resolve. And if the justices had no intention to change the lower court's reading of applicable precedents, they could have let the appeals court's ruling stand. Though only Clarence Thomas has stated his desire to reverse the abortion precedent, five other justices have signaled, at various times in their careers, that they might be open to it.Updated: Fri May 21, 2021 […]

  • The Real Steal Is Coming for 05/11/2021

    War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Updated: Tue May 11, 2021 […]

  • Who Could Possibly Oppose Universal Pre-K? for 05/06/2021

    Subsidized day care and universal pre-K are goals that sound so wholesome only a ghoul could oppose them. Especially in an era when Democrats and Republicans have achieved consensus that money grows on trees, who could possibly object to spending a few hundred billion or so, as Biden has proposed with his American Families Plan, to ensure that kids get the best start in life? My hand is up. Here is a partial list of reasons: 1. It's not what parents prefer.Updated: Thu May 06, 2021 […]

  • Biden Could Do More to Unify the Country for 04/30/2021

    Among right-wingers, there has been some delight about polls showing that Joe Biden's popularity at the 100-day mark is the lowest of any president since World War II. Oh, if you exclude Donald Trump. Undaunted by this detail, they note with satisfaction that Biden's approval rating, according to multiple polls, is somewhere between 52 and 57%. At this point in his presidency, Trump's approval was 40%. Americans were far less partisan in the era of Eisenhower, Reagan, Bush and even Clinton than they are now. Large numbers of Democrats were willing to give high marks to Eisenhower when the economy was thriving, or to George H.W. Bush when we had just won a quick war, and a not insignificant number of Republicans approved of Clinton when we enjoyed balanced budgets and booming markets. But in recent years, negative partisanship has curdled our perceptions. One symptom of negative partisanship is the sharp decline in ticket-splitting. As the Cook Political Report's Amy Walter noted: "After the 1992 election, for example, there were 103 split-ticket House seats; 53 that voted for George HW Bush and a Democratic member of Congress, and 50 that voted for Bill Clinton and a Republican member of the House ... Post-2020, there are only 17, or just four percent of the House."Updated: Fri Apr 30, 2021 […]

  • COVID-19's Silver Linings for 04/23/2021

    As of this week, more than 40% of Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine and 26% are fully vaccinated. Though it wasn't planned this way, more normal human life is returning just as the redbuds, azaleas, magnolias and tulips are performing their gorgeous annual affirmation of renewal. Fears of catastrophic depression, widespread shortages and massive civil unrest are receding. Hundreds of thousands of American families and millions worldwide are bereaved, and nearly everyone has experienced some form of disruption, pain or trauma during the past year. But not everything changed for the worse. Updated: Fri Apr 23, 2021 […]

  • Not Every Tragedy Is a Racial Lesson for 04/16/2021

    Reliving the awful details of George Floyd's slow suffocation is brutal and emotionally draining. As always in matters touching on race, the thrum of ethnic hostilities is the background noise. Some have been eager, since the trial began, to cite George Floyd's drug use or heart trouble as the true cause of death (arguments the prosecution has effectively debunked). Others have argued that if Floyd had simply agreed to enter the squad car, he would be alive today — as if that exonerates the officers. But it seems that the shadow of Derek Chauvin is obscuring our ability to make distinctions and respond rationally to other, similar cases. Similar is the operative word. In the space of a few days, we've seen a police officer shoot and kill Daunte Wright in Minnesota and learned of a December case in which two police officers pointed guns at and pepper-sprayed Army Lt. Caron Nazario. They may be similar on the surface, but they are quite different in the details.Updated: Fri Apr 16, 2021 […]

  • Are We Doing Our Best for Trans Kids? for 04/08/2021

    Seventeen legislatures are considering laws that would dictate how medical personnel can treat transgender youth — the latest flash point in the culture war. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson surprised observers this week when he vetoed one of those bills. It would have outlawed puberty blockers, cross-sex hormone treatment and "gender affirming" surgeries for children. The Arkansas legislature and 16 others are attempting to big foot a complex issue. With rare exceptions (such as limitations on assisted suicide and abortion), legislatures are not the best place for decision-making about medical issues. But in our hyper-hysterical culture, it's becoming less and less possible to engage in these debates where they belong — in the realm of science and journalism. Questions about how best to treat children with gender dysphoria surely belong in the evidence-based world of medical science, psychology and psychiatry, and in the journals, newspapers, books and websites that test ideas for reliability and truth. Jonathan Rauch's new book, "The Constitution of Knowledge," is a brilliant meditation on how the mechanisms of truth-testing have evolved over the centuries. Conservatives are attempting to use government power to shut down an argument; progressives are attempting to use intimidation and shaming. Amazon recently stopped selling Ryan T. Anderson's 2018 book "When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment."Updated: Thu Apr 08, 2021 […]

  • What We Can Learn from Asian Americans for 04/02/2021

    This much can be said without fear of contradiction: There has been a spike in disgusting crimes against Asian Americans during the past year. One analysis of 16 of the country's largest cities found that acts of anti-Asian bias, not just crimes, increased by 145% between 2019 and 2020, even as other hate crimes declined. They range from vile insults hurled at subway riders in New York ("Get the f—- out of NYC"), to violent assaults. Is the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes a symptom of white supremacy? Most left-of-center outlets interpret it that way. It's certainly possible that many of the crimes were expressions of white supremacy. But how do we categorize the anti-Asian attacks committed by African Americans and Hispanics? Voice of America looked at some of the data:Updated: Fri Apr 02, 2021 […]

  • Sidney Powell Admits It Was All a Lie for 03/25/2021

    The Big Lie is starting to unravel. One of Donald Trump's disinformation stars, Sidney Powell, is backing down. But while we're considering the matter of truth and lies, let's recall when conservatives cared about truth (or seemed to). In the 1990s, Guatemalan activist Rigoberta Menchu was a phenomenon. Of Mayan descent, she offered harrowing testimony about the conduct of the Guatemalan military during that country's civil war. Her 1983 as-told-to memoir, "I Rigoberta Menchu," was a sensation. In 1992, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.Updated: Thu Mar 25, 2021 […]

  • J.D. Vance Joins the Jackals for 03/19/2021

    The question of what will become of the Republican Party in the post-Trump era seems to be on everyone's lips. A New York Times survey found that Republicans themselves have five distinct views of Donald Trump, including 35% who are either "Never Trump" or "Post Trump." But 65% fall into the "Die-hard" camp (27%), the "Trump Booster" faction (28%), or the "InfoWars" segment (10%). Whatever the future of the Republican Party will be, the shape-shifting J.D. Vance sheds light on the dynamics of how we got here and where the Republican Party is headed. This week, billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel announced that he is donating $10 million to a super PAC supporting Vance's potential run for the United States Senate seat from Ohio. Updated: Fri Mar 19, 2021 […]