Douthat: The Post-Familial Election

Posted By on November 7, 2016


“you should have had more children when you had the chance.”

My maternal great-grandfather had five children, four of whom lived to have families of their own. His son, my grandfather, also had five children, two sons and three daughters, who grew up as part of a dense network of cousins.

On my father’s side, the families were a little smaller. But my dad was one of three siblings, meaning that I had six aunts and uncles overall.

Then the social revolutions of the 1970s arrived. There were divorces, later marriages, single parenthood, abortions. In the end all those aunts and uncles, their various spouses and my parents — 12 baby boomers, all told — only had seven children: myself, my sister and five cousins.

The Obama White House’s “Life of Julia” ad campaign in 2012 — featuring a woman whose every choice was subsidized by the government from cradle to grave, with a lone child but no larger family or community in sight — seemed to many conservatives like a perfect confirmation of our fears: Here was liberalism explicitly pitching the state as a substitute for kith and kin.

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One Response to “Douthat: The Post-Familial Election”

  1. Hobbit says:

    Which means, for those of us w/out children who are in the Church, that the Church will in many ways become our family.

    And this also means that the Covenantal, quiverful Church, to coin a phrase, is also going to have to think a lot harder than it has about the singles (or childless) in our midst and where they belong. Tbh I don’t think it has done this.

    I am quite prepared to be ‘an alien and stranger in the world’, but I am not prepared to be one in the church as well.