Lifestyle choices do have actual consequences

Up until about 50 years ago, the cultural expectation was that sexual relations should be limited to those within marriage. That was not always the case, of course, but that was considered the ideal situation. Then came the Sexual Revolution and our culture changed.

Today, nearly half of all births are by unmarried women. So what? Well, as David French points out in a February 2017 magazine article: “If a person finishes his education, gets married, and stays married, his chances of either becoming poor or staying poor are small. Drop out of school, and the poverty rate skyrockets. Have children out of wedlock and raise them in single-parent families, and the poverty rate skyrockets.”

Progressives don’t like this sort of talk. They call it “blaming the victim” and “finger-pointing.” No, saying such things is merely pointing out that our behaviors have consequences. Auto mechanics will warn you that you should change your engine oil every 3,000 miles. Failure to do so will result in some rather expensive engine repair costs.

Our current culture doesn’t give such lifestyle warnings. Rather, it does just the opposite. How often do movies depict an unmarried couple having sex with absolutely no negative consequences? As humans, we have a natural preference for expediency and self-gratification. Self-discipline is no fun.

Unfortunately, studies have shown that most children raised in poverty never do escape it. They continue to live in poverty as adults, making the same self-destructive choices which their parents made.

Our culture’s lack of candor about how our personal choices affect our well-being has resulted in creating a permanent underclass with a form of income inequality very different from the one which Democrats are always going on about.

A wise culture repeats the truth that we can be our own worst enemies in the choices which we make. “A responsible politics understands that large numbers of people can and will choose short-term expedience over long-term discipline. Yet our culture is foolish and our politics irresponsible.”

Pete Sundin

Baker City

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