Witches are made of wood

Someone asked Mao Tse Tung (forgive me if I get this anecdote wrong) what he thought of the French Revolution.  His reply: it's too early to tell.  That's taking the long view.  Now comes David Frum, former Bush Speechwriter guy, and transplanted Canadian conservative.  He writes in favor of same sex marriage–good for him–but he does so in a way that makes you want to shake your head.  You see, fourteen years ago he had predicted the decline of society in some kind of slippery slope type argument.  He has waited around to see if that would happen, and lo, it didn't. 

Washington (CNN) — I was a strong opponent of same-sex marriage. Fourteen years ago, Andrew Sullivan and I forcefully debated the issue at length online (at a time when online debate was a brand new thing).

Yet I find myself strangely untroubled by New York state's vote to authorize same-sex marriage — a vote that probably signals that most of "blue" states will follow within the next 10 years.

I don't think I'm alone in my reaction either. Most conservatives have reacted with calm — if not outright approval — to New York's dramatic decision.


The short answer is that the case against same-sex marriage has been tested against reality. The case has not passed its test.

Since 1997, same-sex marriage has evolved from talk to fact.

If people like me had been right, we should have seen the American family become radically more unstable over the subsequent decade and a half.

Instead — while American family stability has continued to deteriorate — it has deteriorated much more slowly than it did in the 1970s and 1980s before same-sex marriage was ever seriously thought of.

By the numbers, in fact, the 2000s were the least bad decade for American family stability since the fabled 1950s. And when you take a closer look at the American family, the facts have become even tougher for the anti-gay marriage position.

Middle-class families have become somewhat more stable than they used to be. For example: College-educated women who got married in the 1990s were much less likely to get divorced than equally educated women who got married in the 1970s.

What's new and different in the past 20 years is the collapse of the Hispanic immigrant family. First-generation Latino immigrants maintain traditional families: conservative values, low divorce rates, high fertility and — despite low incomes — mothers surprisingly often at home with the children.

But the second-generation Latino family looks very different. In the new country, old norms collapse. Nearly half of all children born to Hispanic mothers are now born out of wedlock.

Whatever is driving this negative trend, it seems more than implausible to connect it to same-sex marriage. How would it even work that a 15-year-old girl in Van Nuys, California, becomes more likely to have a baby because two men in Des Moines, Iowa, can marry?

Maybe somebody can believe the connection, but I cannot.

You mean you cannot believe that anymore, dingis.  Fourteen years it took him to realize that the crazy ass slippery slope arguments–gay marriage will lead to the death of Merica!–were crap.  Fourteen years.  

Besides, there remains the question of whether what contractual relationships two constenting adults engage in is any part of anyone's business but their own. 

UPDATE.  Maybe Frum ought to revise his view in light of Pat Robertson's recent claim.

2 thoughts on “Witches are made of wood”

  1. At least he is almost coming to the realization that socioeconomic factors play the greatest role in the "deterioration of the American Family." Almost. It's not the Gays that are the problem. It's those damn Hispanics!

  2. I thought it was going to be a red hearing there for a second but then he connected it back and it all made sense. Well, maybe not sense but… Does he reread what he writes after he writes it or actually thinks about what he is saying? I wonder…

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