The Demographic That Matters

Scanning the youthful faces of the crowd in Chicago waiting for President Obama on election night, I had the sensation of looking out on a sea of strangers.  Despite the fact that they were waving American flags, something seemed chillingly alien.

Given America's racial obsessions, the pundits will continue to shower us with the details of voting trends among this group and that.  There is, however, one demographic thread that runs though all racial groups, and it is profoundly more important than any other.

Seeing the Chicago crowd in terms of fatherless children yields a shocking portrait far more significant than the relative superficialities of race, or even the outcome of the election.  Using national birth data is bad enough, but given that the crowd was likely not representative of the nation, using those abysmal numbers is arguably conservative.

The chance that a 22-year-old white face in that crowd was born out of wedlock is 1 in 5.  For a black 22-year-old, the chances are 67%.  Overall, the probability that any 22-year-old in that crowd was born illegitimate is 28%.  These are the CDC's numbers for 1990.  The number of illegitimate births has been steadily exploding since the '60s, so the odds decline for people older than 22 and skyrocket for people younger.

For example, among white mothers in all age groups, illegitimacy shot from 20% in 1990 to 36% in 2010.  Meanwhile, black illegitimacy "stabilized" at 72%.  Overall, 41% of American children were born out of wedlock in 2010, up from 28% on 1990.

Astoundingly, for any 22-year-old woman with a 2-year-old child, the chances that her baby was born out of wedlock are 63%.  That's nearly double the rate for her age group in 1990!

Adding the nearly 1 million divorces a year in the U.S. to illegitimacy rates means that the chances that any 22-year-old grew up with a father in the house plummets even farther.

As a society, we are in deep, treacherous, and uncharted waters.  For the first time, we're approaching a majority population that differs at the deepest personal level from every human generation before it.  The impact of an absent male in a child's life has been a cause of much hand-wringing in the academic world and much bloodshed on our streets.  However, no one seems to appreciate the influence of a fatherless childhood on the political behavior of children as they mature.

In addition to differences in birth, we are also approaching a majority that differs from its ancestors in the way its members see their relation to the universe.  Hand in hand with the devaluation of marriage is a decline in religious belief.  The recently recognized rise in "Nones" to almost 20% of the general population includes 32% of the millennial generation.  "Nones" is a newly minted term describing those who have no religious identity.

The millennial generation grew up in a world of women as children alienated from their fathers.  One in three Millennials rejects religious faith altogether.  The idea of a relationship with a God who loves and cares for them apparently is as implausible to them as a similar relationship with their fathers.

Among the political realities of 2012, is there any more important than understanding the impact of fatherlessness on the nation's political life?  How does a message of economic and religious freedom reach a person profoundly alienated from both at birth?  What would a young voter, deprived of a father and devoid of faith in God, seek from government?  What kind of a president would he or she identify with? 

In recent years, America elected two presidents whose fathers were notoriously MIA.  Did these men attract voters at a much deeper level than anyone has realized?  Conversely, does the revulsion shown to both presidents from a large part of the nation reflect an equal but opposite response?  Does the left instinctively understand how to exploit the fatherless, while the right remains clueless?

These kids are damaged long before they're delivered to a deranged educational system.  The NEA-dominated system is at best a day care that enables fatherlessness while providing an institutional model of both compulsion and dependence.  At worst, it is a nursery of the state, where vulnerable children are exposed to relentless brainwashing that reinforces their insecurities and cripples their abilities.  The system's victims are being delivered in growing numbers, vulnerable and ready to be programmed to resent independence and freedom.

Masculinity makes freedom and independence possible.  Families need fathers just as nations need men.  Absenting men from the home and destroying their manhood in a child's eyes reinforces the youngster's fears and helplessness.  That has obvious and predictable consequences.  Even if a father of an intact family dies in a youngster's teens, it's not unusual for the youngster to seek father figures throughout his life.  When cynical demagogues can gain power by capitalizing on a similar yearning in millions of voters, a nation is in serious trouble.

Whether by accident or not, the emptiness of a home without a father coincides with a burgeoning number of Millennials who embrace the emptiness of life without God.  Two centuries ago, the poet William Blake told the Deists: "Man must and will have some religion[.]"  Our unfortunate Millennials appear to have found both father and god in the state. 

If Blake was right, this will not end well.  His full sentence reads:

Man must and will have some religion; if he has not the religion of Jesus, he will have the religion of Satan, and will erect the synagogue of Satan, calling the Prince of this World 'God', and destroying all who do not worship Satan under the name of God.

Given the administration's reflexive contempt for the First Amendment, it appears that the foundation is well underway.