Saturday, July 02, 2005

My right turn

Beth Bailey reviewed Stephanie Coontz's Marriage a History in the May 15, 2005 Books section of the Chicago Tribue. I saved the review because Coont'z thoughts on what's happening with marriage paralleled mine.

Now that we'll soon be hearing argument over a new Justice for the Court, and all sorts of debate (and probably ugly debate) over social issues, here are two of Coontz's points as presented in Bailey's review.
But here Coontz surprises us -and even, it seems, herself. "This is not," she confesses, "the book I thought I was going to write." Instead of debunking the conservative critics, she finds hersef agreeing with them. There is a marriage crisis in America, she concludes, and in much of the industrialized world. And the conservative crisismongers who point to individualism, changing gender roles and the lack of social or legal sanction against divorce as causes of the marriage crisis are probably more right than wrong, she admits.
And then Coontz describes our historical moment,
":[W]e are experiencing a historical revolution every bit as wrenching, far-reaching, and irreeversible as the Industrial Revolution." And though the marriage revolution, like the Industrial Revolution, may exact "an enormous personal toll" on those it uproots, "we cannot turn the clock back in our personal lives any more than we can go back to small-scale farming and artisan production in our economic life... It would be wonderful if we could pick and choose what historical changes we will and won't accept, but we are not that lucky."
One of the odd things about Bush's reelection was many people, who didn't agree with him on many issues, voted for him anyways. These two paragraphs explained why for me.

We're in the middle of great social upheaval. While voters may not agree with the conservative solutions, they're more confident with a consevative in charge because conservatives at least understand the causes.

Conservative solutions are not perfect --and really doomed to failure because culture is moving other ways-- but it's better to have a conservative making the decisions because they at least understand root-causes and human cost: especially the cost paid by children.

I do, and that's why I'm glad Bush will be appointing O'Conner's replacement.

Speaking of marriage and problems, I'm using West Side Agent's PC and she likes Mozilla for a browser. For some odd reason, I can't use spell checker with it. Blogspot just refuses to fire up the spell checker from Mozilla.

The Agent was a proof-reader in another career and when she occassionally reads the blog complains about typos, misspellings, tangled syntax, and sundry other technical issues she finds.

Can't win sometimes: no-spell checker and a proof-reading spouse. Sorry to you all for errors on this one. I'm not running down to edit on my PC.

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