Friday, January 4, 2008

The Bashing of Single Parents Has Begun - ahh, the election season!

I've been relatively non-political lately, but I'm starting to get riled up. Oddly enough, it wasn't the results of Iowa's caucus that started my blood bubbling (not boiling yet - just bubbling). It was a pundit.
David Brooks of the NY Times wrote the following in his article, The Two Earthquakes:

Huckabee understands how middle-class anxiety is really lived. Democrats talk about wages. But real middle-class families have more to fear economically from divorce than from a free trade pact. A person’s lifetime prospects will be threatened more by single parenting than by outsourcing. Huckabee understands that economic well-being is fused with social and moral well-being, and he talks about the inter-relationship in a way no other candidate has.

I can't begin to describe how highly and personally offended I am by this statement...but I'll try!

Here is the letter I wrote to David Brooks in response:
As a single mother, I have to disagree with you that single parenting is a greater threat to our economy (and my own personal financial well-being) than outsourcing. I was definitely worse off financially being married to a drug addict than I am now as a single mom.
With my ex no longer around, I no longer have to worry about where to hide cash. With my ex no longer around, I can actually have a checking account (and savings). With my ex no longer around, I don't have to worry about crack pipes, burnt spoons, and other objects that do not belong around children. With my ex no longer around, I can pay my utility bills and rent and car registration. These were all things that were impossible when I was a wife. I do them without any regular child support, either. And, no, I do not get any assistance or subsidies from the government. However, if my job were outsourced, my ability to support my children on my own would disappear.
I get enough bashing from the candidates, thank you very much. It would be so nice if someone actually acknowledged that what single parents do, while not easy, is often the very best they can under the circumstances.


LunaNik said...

i hate politics and i hate politicians. none of them get it. none of them. the problem is that most people who run for office have been well-off financially for the better part of their lives. they have no idea what it is like to struggle to pay bills, to struggle to give your children a decent christmas, to drive a run down car because you can't afford a new car payment, or to deal with state run health care. politicians are clueless.

Donna said...

Hear, hear (or is it here here?)

I hate it when people make those kind of generalities (i.e., the "problem" is all those single parents).

Being a single parent is HARD. It's hard enough when you have two partners who are there for each other. My hat is off to all the moms and dads who have to do it alone.

lattemommy said...

Good for you to write a letter back to that jerk... and a very eloquent letter too! Congratulations on putting him succinctly in his place. My hat is off to you and all the other single parents out there... I find it hard enough to do it with a supportive husband, I can't imagine trying to do it alone. My parents divorced when I was 4, and I didn't appreciate how hard it was for my Mom until I had children of my own.