Can a strong America be built with broken families?

Summary: The internet overflows with texts ratifying truths of Left and Right. However, there are the few who utter hidden truths that help neither side. Like Dalrock’s post about the government’s programs to wreck the American family. They are part of the war on patriarchy. Children are often collateral damage in this giant experiment.

Dad and Son - DreamsTimeFree-6547987
Photo 6547987 © Dmitry Ersler – Dreamstime.

A dangerous truth.

By Dalrock at his website, 27 August 2019.
Reposted with his generous permission.

The Institute for Family Studies has an essay by Professor W. Bradford Wilcox, titled “Marriage Facilitates Responsible Fatherhood.” It is an abbreviated version of Wilcox’s testimony to the House Hearing on June 11: “Celebrating Fathers and Families: Federal Support for Responsible Fatherhood.” The essay concludes with this.

“Given all this, federal programs and public policies designed to promote healthy fatherhood should not lose sight of the importance of also strengthening marriage in America. That’s because no other institution is as successful as marriage in connecting fathers to their children.”

Wilcox’s closing plea may seem obvious, but the truth he is touching on is a politically dangerous one. This is because “responsible fatherhood” is a term used to minimize the entirely predictable consequences of reworking our family structure from a marriage based model to a child support model. The implication is that something mysterious suddenly happened to men, causing fathers to become less engaged with their children.

Politicians promote this implication with organizations like the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse, and they do so to distract from their own evil actions. The reality is that we have created elaborate legal machinery to eject fathers from the home and alienate them from their children.

Professor Willcox urges Congress to look for ways to strengthen marriage, but it would be hugely beneficial if the government would simply stop working so diligently to facilitate kicking fathers out of the home, and out of their children’s lives. But kicking dads out is essential to achieving feminist goals. The machinery of familial destruction is essential to empower women who are unmarried, divorced, and even married.

In the case of married women, giving mothers the ability to easily eject the father from the home gives wives great power over their husbands. Professor Martin Halla warns policymakers that joint custody harms married mothers by making it harder for mothers to alienate fathers from their children. From “Do joint custody laws improve family well-being?

The redistribution effect of joint custody laws.

“The introduction of joint custody improves divorce as an option for men and potentially worsens it for women. The change to joint custody strengthens the bargaining position of men within marriage… This shift in allocation power should increase the well-being of men and potentially lower it for women. …

“Policymakers should acknowledge that regulating families’ post-divorce life may affect intact families …

“To predict the effects of a planned reform, it would be important to assess how the relative bargaining positions of spouses will be affected. This can be approximated by checking how the reform affects the well-being of each partner in the case of a potential divorce. The party who will benefit from the reform will gain power within the marriage.”

Economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers describe the mechanism Halla is referring to in their paper “Bargaining in the Shadow of the Law: Divorce Laws and Family Distress” (red emphasis mine).

“In the literature on the economics of the family there has been growing consensus on the need to take bargaining and distribution within marriage seriously. Such models of the family rely on a threat point to determine distribution within the household. The switch to a unilateral divorce regime redistributes power in a marriage, giving power to the person who wants out, and reducing the power previously held by the partner interested in preserving the marriage.

{Editor’s note: As good liberals, Stevenson and Wolfers compartmentalize their research, keeping their research about our successful programs to wreck the family separate from their research about this: “The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness.” Putting these two pieces together might start a revolution. Details here.}

Alienating children from their fathers isn’t an unintended side effect of our current system. Giving mothers the power to kick fathers out of their children’s lives is a public policy tool used to strike fear in married fathers. {As is the Duluth Model.} Again from Professor Halla …

“…it is useful to consider that a father’s situation improves on average after a divorce in a joint custody regime compared with the situation before the reform. On average, fathers lose a large share of their parental rights after divorce under sole custody rules, while they still have a good chance of being involved in their children’s upbringing under joint custody rules.”

If fathers don’t fear losing access to their children, mothers can’t use this fear to threaten them. As a sociology professor, Wilcox has to understand the public policy reason fathers are being kicked out of their children’s lives. Men didn’t suddenly and mysteriously become less responsible; governments kicked fathers out of the home to empower mothers. Yet Wilcox ignores this elephant in the middle of the room in his testimony to Congress. This was a shrewd move, because addressing that ugly truth would certainly threaten Wilcox’s career in public policy.

{Ed. note: Dalrock has a follow-up post documenting this ugly truth – and feminists’ applause.}

As it stands even stating the painfully obvious, that legally (even if only temporarily) declaring that fathers are part of the family increases fathers’ investment in their families, is a potential threat to the status quo. For his tepid courage in the service of innocent children, Professor Wilcox deserves tepid praise. And should he or any of his peers one day develop the courage to speak the more dangerous truth, that alienation of fathers from their children is quite intentional, it would present a serious threat to our current family model.


Orwell: truth as revolutionary act
A fake but true quote.

Editor’s afterword

Dalrock says what few dare to say: America’s families are being wrecked by changes in our public policies. For centuries policy was to strengthen families. Now our governments seek to wreck them as part of the war on patriarchy. Children are often collateral damage in this giant experiment. It runs with our consent, even if it is consent through silence and apathy. All this is under our control, and hence our responsibility.

For more about this see Marriage: soon the Surgeon General will warn about it.

About Dalrock

He is a married man living with his wife and two kids in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He is very interested in how the post-feminist world impacts himself and his family, and uses his blog to explore these issues. See his website. and his posts about marriage, about fatherhood, and especially these posts ….

Other posts in this series

  1. Can a strong America be built with broken families?
  2. We teach boys that marriage doesn’t work.
  3. Women embrace higher values, destroying their families.
  4. America’s families are broken. Dreams won’t build new ones.

For More Information

Ideas! For shopping ideas, see my recommended books and films at Amazon.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about women and the gender wars, about marriage, about fathers, about divorce, and especially these about the modern American family …

  1. For Father’s Day: revolutionary words that will forever change the American family.
  2. Child support payments create the new American family.
  3. Secrets about Father’s Day.
  4. America begins its post-marriage experiment.
  5. Becoming a post-marriage America: see the stories!
  6. Science tells us why the family is dying – And about the results.
  7. The government solves the fatherhood crisis!

Two major books about modern marriage

The classic: Men and Marriage by George Gilder.

Men on Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream – and Why It Matters by Helen Smith.

Men and Marriage
Available at Amazon.
Men on Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream - and Why It Matters
Available at Amazon.

17 thoughts on “Can a strong America be built with broken families?”

  1. It is truly weird and most thought provoking, when its put so succinctly:

    reworking our family structure from a marriage based model to a child support model

    Yes, this is really what is happening, although I’ve never seen it so clearly and succinctly stated for what it is.

    One has to wonder where the crazy idea came from. Maybe the roots are in old fashioned Marxism? In the early days of the Russian Revolution there were movements to collective child rearing and communal kitchens. This was also a feature of the Kibbutz movement in Israel, also founded on a wave of left utopian idealism. Don’t know if that is still a feature of it now. There always was an element in early Marxist practice that thought that the parent-child relationship was in some way problematic and should be weakened. It accompanied a ‘free love’ agenda which took a similar view of exclusive pair bonding.

    But wherever it came from, this doesn’t account for how it has somehow become mainstream government policy. Why on earth, one wonders, would anyone think it a good idea?

    It is extraordinary that such a huge agenda should have become government policy without any apparent consideration or discussion of the evidence for it, or indeed any discussion of the probable consequences.

  2. With the transgender laws, I wonder what the ruling would be if a women decided that she was a he and wanted an immediate divorce with custody?

    I would expect in the Coastal areas that have embraced transgenderism that it would become another threat tool for the women to better their economic status.

    1. John,

      “a women decided that she was a he and wanted an immediate divorce with custody?”

      The Courts would laugh at her. Men don’t get custody.

      I think you mean the reverse: a man becomes a woman, and on that basis claims full custody. How would the judge choose between the two “mothers”?

      1. Yeah, I like yours better. I wonder how the fems and libs would battle it out if the he, now she, got custody.

  3. I find Wilcox to be hit or miss. He has a study on marital happiness. Married men are happier than single men. He purposefully lumps divorced men with single men when they should be a separate category or lumped in with married men. But the study shows that married men are happier. So men get married if you want to be happier.

    1. Sven,

      “But the study shows that married men are happier. So men get married if you want to be happier.”

      Does Wilcov realize that is a pure form of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy?

      Also, doing social science research requires obedience to the tenets of Leftist ideology. Papers often present data that show X. But since X is politically incorrect, the author says it shows Y. It’s just the way things are today in academia.

  4. Sorry. Way OT but I hope you write about Mattis’s article in WSJ today. I would love to get your thoughts.

    I have no comment on your post today but it and other comments were so good I have nothing to add.

    1. Longtrail,

      Duty, Democracy and the Threat of Tribalism” by Jim Mattis (or his ghostwriter) in the WSJ — “Lessons in leadership from a lifetime of service, from fighting in the Marines Corps to working for President Donald Trump.”

      (1) It has that glossy, well-written, thoughtful, upbeat tone of material written by a professional writer. Color me skeptical that he wrote it.

      (2) It is content-free. Like the sugarless and tasteless cookies, I eat.

      (3) Trump’s selection process – like that of McCain (eg, Sarah Palin) – is close to the selection by lot used in ancient Athens. I’m unsure if it is worse than the usual trial-by-ordeal that most presidents use, which is like the mad job selection process used by the Lilliputians in Gulliver’s Travels. #ClownWorld

  5. My only complaint about Dalrock is that he isn’t on Tucker Carlson explaining all this. I get he doesn’t want to join into the cage match of media. idk, perhaps a $10,000 a month patreon would make him consider it? Probably not. Too uncertain.

    Another irony. “Those who know do not speak, and those who speak do not know.”

      1. mmmm… well, true, but as you like to put it, the leftist social experiment…. I don’t want to continue the experiment in MY country. The results are in. It’s a large net loss. There’s a connection between truth and success.

      2. Kingfisher,

        “There’s a connection between truth and success.”

        Yes, that’s the Great Circle of Life at work. But that’s not the relevant point to your previous comment. In #ClownWorld, there is no connection between celebrity and insightfulness. So we’re on a path with a bad ending, and the time to change course is running out.

      3. So you believe speaking truth… insightfulness… is pointless for changing course, not worth the bother? That’s kind of self fulfilling but a lot are saying… “enjoy the decline”.

      4. kingfisher,

        “So you believe speaking truth… insightfulness… is pointless for changing course”

        I said nothing remotely like that. I suggest replying to direct quotes, as I do, to avoid such outrageous mistakes.

        Speech, in the usual sense, is almost entirely idle chatter these days. As explained in this post. Americans are drenched each day with a tidal wave of information. Pouring more water on a rock does not make it wetter.

        In brief, information is info-tainment for the middle class – a way to feel engaged while sitting on the couch. We need to arouse people. To move them to action. I’ve explored ways to do this, without success.

        I have discussed the reasons for our apathy (eg, here using an analogy with Rome). I hoped that this would produce operational insights. Nothing so far.

    1. Didn’t an angry leftist mob show up one day at Carlson’s doorstep and threaten his family? I suppose he tolerates that because he makes a very good living being being a pundit. Were Dalrock to guest star on his show he would end up being doxxed, exposing his family to harrassment and threats and possibly losing his livelihood in the process.

  6. Wilcox gives the farm away with his opening sentence.

    “…one might think that we have moved into a new era where fathers are no longer important. However, while children can and do thrive without their fathers, the data is unequivocal: children are much more likely to thrive when their father is actively engaged in their life.”

    He is not concerned that fathers should have a moral or legal right to custody.

    He has already conceded that dad’s involvement is required only if the data proves that there is a measurable benefit or outcome.

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