Demolishing the Myth that Right Wing Blow-Hards Can Tell You What to Do

Here we go again. A few years ago a handful of employees of and consultants to the oil, coal, and gas industries set up a virtual echo chamber in which they relentlessly quoted each other and interviewed each other, generating an impression in the media that the universal scientific consensus that global warming was already under way was so-much alarmist claptrap. It worked, at least in the short run. Americans bought it, we continued to belch carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and now all of us are paying the price. Now the same thing is happening with divorce.

A right-wing think tank, the Institute for American Values, has funded a study that shows — predictably — that divorce is bad, bad, bad for children. There’s no such thing as a good divorce, they say. Therefore you need to stay married, they say, even if you and your spouse are unhappy.

And just like with global warming, they’re quoting each other furiously, trying to create the impression that everybody agrees with them. Here’s the latest example, a “Guest Column” entitled Demolishing the Myth of the “Good Divorce” in the Columbia SC State from a staff person at — logically enough — the Institute of American Values.

Oh come on. I’m no advocate of divorce. I realize that the conflict between parents can be devastating for children, and I acknowledge that having one of your parents move out of the residence where you live is a source of deep pain for a child. But excuse me; the very idea of my telling you (or anybody else telling you, for that matter) what you should do in your marriage is just goofy.

The pendulum has swung (I hope) all the way now in America, where everyone with an opinion feels qualified to tell everyone else what to eat, how to have sex, whether to marry, whether to divorce, and virtually everything else. Can we please cool it?

Tell you what. I’ll leave you alone if you leave me alone. Deal? Done.

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