KE Cellars

In a “New Era of Responsibility”, Dad should come home.

fatherandfamily

Click here to listen to the broadcast of You Tell Me on Newstalk 600 KTBB, Friday, January 23, 2009.

On the White House website (www.whitehouse.gov) you can read, listen to or watch President Obama’s inaugural address. In the slug to the post, it says, “President Obama delivered his Inaugural Address, calling for a new era of responsibility.”

(Click here to listen to the excerpt.)

I’m a big believer in personal responsibility. Personal responsibility is the ultimate expression of freedom. In the 18th century, when large numbers of ordinary citizens were first given freehold tenure of land, and were freed from the dictates of the king or the emperor, and were relieved of the confiscation of the fruits of that land and permitted to retain or dispose of those fruits as they saw fit; when ordinary people assumed the free possession of the means of production, they concurrently assumed the personal responsibility to provide for themselves.

The rest, as they say, is history.

The American colonists went on to enshrine personal responsibility in a constitution that enumerates a very short list of powers retained by the government. The founders sought to severely limit government for the express purpose of expanding individual liberty. This revolution in governance was and is founded on a belief in the power of personal responsibility.

America’s ensuing history is a halo of glory. Never before in all of human history has prosperity been so widely dispersed. Never before in all of history has a society been able to so richly feed itself with so much left over to feed others. Never before in human history have the citizens of a society retained such a high level of discretion as to how to lead their own lives. We take our freedom for granted. But we shouldn’t. Our freedoms are revolutionary, they are unique in history and they are the product of our founding fathers’ belief in the personal responsibility of the individual above the collective responsibility of the institutions of government.

Personal responsibility, therefore, is not a new idea brought forth by the election of a new president. Personal responsibility is central to our founding. Still, President Obama promises a new era of personal responsibility and that’s fine. He is uniquely qualified to be its midwife. And he can do so without expanding the deficit, without raising taxes, without expanding the government and without passing a single piece of new legislation.

President Obama can usher in his new era of responsibility by calling upon young men to be fathers.

Poverty, dependence, addiction, crime, suicide, urban decay, academic failure, chronic unemployment and social unrest are the problems each new class of politicians promises to address. Absent these problems, I don’t know what they would talk about. Absent these problems, we almost don’t have any problems. And almost all of these societal pathologies can be traced to children raised without a father.

The strongest single predictor of whether a young man will end up in prison is that he was raised by a single mother. More than 70 percent of inmates serving long-term sentences come from single-mother homes. Nearly three quarters of teenaged births, high school dropouts and runaways spring from homes without a father.

If you control for single motherhood, the difference between black and white crime rates essentially disappears.

Children from single mother homes are anywhere from five times to 32 times more likely than their two-parent peers to commit suicide, drop out of school, become addicted, commit a violent crime, run away from home, die prematurely or wind up in prison.

And while this tragedy is visited disproportionately upon black children it is not exclusive to them. Children from wealthy white neighborhoods that grow up without an engaged father in the home display the same destructive patterns as children from poor black neighborhoods.

Imagine if instead of one third of all children and nearly three quarters of black children being fatherless, you dropped those rates to what prevailed in 1962. If you believe the statistics, more than two thirds of today’s delinquent young boys would be off the streets, nearly three quarters of today’s dropouts would remain in school, and more than 90 percent of today’s unwed teenaged girls would remain chaste.

Imagine the reduction in outlays for police, prisons, remedial education and welfare.

Barack Obama can begin reducing the huge and unsustainable societal costs we are all bearing by simply using his supreme oratorical gifts, the example of his own life and the prestige of his office to encourage a return to the ultimate practice of personal responsibility – the responsibility embodied in a man being a dad to his own children.

I can promise there will be no Republican opposition.


  1. My college age son was mugged two nights ago on 6th Street in Austin while trying to find a late night cab back to his dorm. A young, black male approached my son, asking if he wanted to buy cocaine. He said “no”, walked on, pulled out his phone to make a call, and was then blindsided by a fist to his face by the thug. He was knocked flat, and his phone and cash were stolen. My son was examined at the health clinic and was found to have a broken jaw as a result of the attack. My son probably should not have been out so late, and definitely should not have been alone. For that he will have to suffer the consequences with a broken jaw. But he was not doing anything wrong and was minding his own business.

    I AM angry at this criminal, but am even MORE angry at our government for creating a welfare state which produces individuals like this. Welfare has facilitated living off of the government all while having children out of wedlock with no stable home and NO FATHER.

    This is the NEW SLAVERY.

    Barak Obama may symbolize the civil rights triumph over such things as slavery, but ironically, his ideologies represent EVEN MORE the growth of the welfare state, which, in all honesty, is slavery, plain and simple.

    May God help us all.

  2. Royce Ballew says:

    Are fathers needed for raising children? Even though many intellectuals(?), “scientists”, media people and courts deny it, there IS an intelligent designer of the universe who designed the human family to have a father in it.

    The DESISGNER might have known what He was doing.

  3. Sharon Staehs says:

    I’m not bitter I’m furious! I just can’t stand it that Texas is getting pulled in a direction of Liberal idiocy. Obama has proven himself to be just what a lot of us knew he was. He has absolutely no character and he a-lines himself with people who have no scruples as well. Until now, people who didn’t pay their taxes were crooks, (Isn’t that how they got John Dillinger in jail, with tax evasion?) well there’s some of that change we got promised cuz now it’s completely acceptable not follow the law, that is if you’re a friend of Obama. The obvious direction you go from there is, if they don’t follow the law to pay their taxes what other laws do they feel don’t apply to them…

    If you don’t know what I’m taking about you must be listening to ABC news. Surely Stephenopolis is told in those morning meetings, (yes that’s every morning), with the White House Chief of Staff to keep the truth of all those cabinet nominees and their respective issues with the legal system out of the news. There is so much wrong with a supposed journalist meeting with the government on a daily basis I don’t even know where to start so I’ll start with the start of the country. The need for a free and open press is necessary to assure government doesn’t over reach it’s authority. The fact that someone who puts himself out there to be an objective journalist meets privately with the government every day can only mean one thing… COLUSION. Either the White House is telling Stephanopoulos what to report or Stephanopoulos is telling the White House how to spin their tales, either way that makes ABC news closer to the Russian news organization TAAS or perhaps even Al-Jazera, do I need to tell you who they are?….than anything resembling what Benjamin Franklin envisioned the press should be, is this what we want in this country. Originally the mandate of the press was to report on, and to criticize the government because our founding fathers knew that the people needed protection FROM the government. This is clearly a frightful abandonment of truth in reporting.

    This so called stimulus bill is certainly an example of how our government is trying to overreach. We’ve all heard some of the awful things that are in the bill and whether you get the most upset about the money to illegal aliens or the just stupid spending i.e. birth control, abortions for foreigners, money for the study of bees, and so on and so on. The thing that gets me is the Democrats tried to get this thing passed without letting the American people know what was in it. I realize elections have consequences and this election was won by Democrats, largely due to the fact ACORN was able to get every black person and Mexican, legal or not, registered a few times and to record a couple of votes on election day. I might add at this point, this was the most uneducated electorate in history, but I digress. I will at this juncture speak to the fact that John McCain, and his complete lack of Conservative values was certainly responsible for his own defeat. In defense of McCain being the Republican nominee…NEVER AGAIN should Texas allow a bunch of Northerners, and the liberal press to let the Presidential Primaries be settled before we get a vote. But again I digress, I realize the Democratic congress knows that a lot of people don’t care what they do, so they think they can just ram this thing thru, but they are going to have to go thru the proper motions for those of us that do pay attention.

    My major problem with this bill is all the money in it for ACORN and other groups like them as their express objective is to get Liberals elected to government….any government and our federal government has absolutely no business funding partisan groups of this nature in any way! NO WAY! If these ACORN type groups are left unchecked, we will no longer have clean, fair, unbiased, and legal elections in this country and that scares the bajeebies out of me. ACORN proved in the last elections with all the legal problems they had all across the country they are a no good criminal organization and they do not have the best interest of this country at heart. I cannot speak loud enough or long enough on the necessity of getting these groups off the governmental payroll. The future of our country depends on it. If we cannot have clean and fair elections we are headed not just to socialism but to dictatorship.

    This so called stimulus bill has way more problems that I can address here. This thing needs to be scrapped. Whether or not you believe the government should do something or not, this bill is the biggest control grab for the government in history (it’s amazing how much history has occurred in such a short time) and leads us down a socialist path most of us do not want to go. The people who got us into this mess cannot get us out. Again if you don’t know what I’m talking about listen to someone besides ABC News and do a little research on Barney Frank and the government mandate for banks to abandon their sound lending practices and loan money to people for houses they clearly could not pay for, causing the housing bubble and it’s ultimate demise as the eventual defaults began, leading to the real reason Fannie May and Freddie Mac went down and the financial crisis. The Democrats really want to blame that one on Bush too, but notice how no one talks about what caused this because the Dem’s know if they do talk, the ugly truth would come out. So now the Democrats are trying to shove this stimulus bill down our throats knowing it’s stuffed with pork spending and hoping against hope we won’t notice.

    WE the people should be informed as to what the congress is doing with our money. It is a forgotten fact the congress works for us not the other way around. They in the congress are putting themselves forward as being all concerned about the people and how the big corporate fat cats are out of control…as they enjoy their own private planes and limos and personal drivers and fancy retreats and big lavish Washington parties and (right back where I started) the feeling of entitlement that the law does not apply to them or as many in the Democrat party have stated “ Oh I didn’t know or it was just an oversight” …yeah right. I’d try that but I don’t want to go to jail.

    So we have made history in so many ways. The most uneducated electorate in history has elected the first black and most liberal president in American history during an election that had the most voter fraud issues in history…aren’t we proud.

    Sharon Staehs

  4. Getting back to the subject. Dads need ot be home. Well inthe real world this is correct. I am married but due to the economy my husband has to work 3 hours from home and he wants to be home with his family. My job is the main bread winner due the job security. We moved to East texas thinking ht economy would be better and he could find a job. He had a degree fropm TAMU and to this date has not found a job that he can contribute to his family. He has had to return to being a prison guard just to have an income and job security. He spend 4 to 5 days from us and our children are craving attention of a male role model. We have adopted 3 children all with their own unique disability. Yes I feel like a single mom 90 % of the time. So you tell me how to get him back since there are not job in around here due to the economy. He is a dad who wants to be home and be at his childrens ARDS. So willthis affect theminthe long run…maybe or maybe they will get lucky and find good mentors to help out when dad is not home due to his job.

    I have worked inthe penal system fro over 11 years and yes many do come form single parent family but there are also many who come from wealthy 2 parent families as well. It boils down tothe old saying it take a village/community to raise a child and everyone needs to step up to the plate and get involved. This is across all ethnic and social economic back grounds. Sit back and actually see what is happening in your our backyard(community). You do not have to go to a third world county to help starving children or to cloth them. They could be your neighbor and you never know it. There are many children in the care of Child protective services across this county that need mentors and clothing. Want to do some good call your local Child Proctective Service (CPS) and ask how u can help. Donate time, clothing, computer (refurbished), tutoring or just playing catch. Yes there are hoops you must jump through to get approved to mentor but these children are our future. It would lighten the load on TYC and the adult prison system if each person would take interest in these children.

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