Dina tweeted this article from the UK Daily Mail, by famous moderate conservative Melanie Phillips.
She sets up her article this way:
[Leftists] reserve a special loathing for me. This is not just because I refuse to be cowed.
It’s because I was once one of them, one of the elect, a believer.
I come from the kind of family in which it was simply unthinkable to vote Conservative. For my parents, the Tory Party represented the boss class, while Labour supported the little man — people like us.
My father was haunted all his life by the poverty he endured growing up in the old East End of London in the Twenties and Thirties.
His family of six lived in two rooms; he never had enough to eat. He left school at the age of 13.
As a university-educated young woman with hippie-style hair and an attitude, I, too, generally toed the standard Leftist line in the late Seventies and early Eighties.
Poverty was bad, cuts in public spending were bad, prison was bad, the Tory government was bad.
The state was good, poor people were good, minorities were good, sexual freedom was good.
And pretty soon I had the perfect platform for those views when I went to work as a journalist on The Guardian, the self-styled paper of choice for intellectuals and the supposed voice of progressive conscience.
The UK Guardian is the most liberal newspaper in Britain.
Here’s what turned her around:
The defining issue for me — the one that launched me on a personal trajectory of confrontation with the Left and with my colleagues and friends — was the persistent undermining of the family as an institution.
By the late Eighties, it was glaringly obvious that families were suffering a chronic crisis of identity and self-confidence.
There were more and more divorces and single parents — along with mounting evidence that family disintegration and the subsequent creation of step-families or households with no father figure at all did incalculable damage to children.
‘Too many children lack a consistent mother or father figure,’ researchers told me.
Poverty, the Left’s habitual excuse, could not be the culprit since middle-class children were also not receiving the parental attention they required.
For me, the traditional family is sacred because it embodies the idea that there is something beyond the selfish individual.
But it was being turned into a mere contract that either side could break more or less at will.
I listened to the evidence of those with no particular ideological fixation or agenda, but who simply spoke of what they saw was happening.
[...]From Zelda West-Meads of the marriage guidance counsellors Relate, I learned that, though many single mothers did a heroic job, it was the absence of the father that did such terrible damage to their children. So I described how fathers were vital to the emotional health of children.
Fatherless families were also at least partly responsible for a national breakdown in authority and rising levels of crime.
My view was backed in 1992 when three influential social scientists with impeccable Left-wing pedigrees produced a damning report.
From their research, they concluded that children in fractured families tend to suffer more ill-health, do less well at school, are more likely to be unemployed, more prone to criminal behaviour and to repeat as adults the same cycle of unstable parenting.
But instead of welcoming this analysis as identifying a real problem, the Left turned on the authors, branding them as evil Right-wingers for being ‘against single mothers’.
Their sanity was called into question. ‘What do these people want?’ one distinguished academic said to me.
‘Do they want unhappy parents to stay together?’
Eventually, he admitted that the authors’ research was correct. But he said it was impossible to turn back the clock and wondered why there was so much concern about the rights of the child rather than of the parents.
He turned out to be divorced — revealing a devastating pattern I was to encounter over and over again. Truth was being sacrificed to personal expediency. Evidence would be denied if the consequences were inconvenient.
Self-centred individualism and self-justification ruled, regardless of the damage done to others.
This article is a long read, but a good one. If you like to read things that are maybe a little longer than most articles I post, then I really recommend this one. You won’t be disappointed.
Fiscal and foreign policy conservatives will be surprised by how important social issues are when pulling someone away from the left. All conservative ideas are testable with reason – not just fiscal and foreign policy, as some might have you believe. I often hear Christians and conservatives trying to win people over with just one issue, instead of knowing a little bit about everything. Well, let me be clear. If I can get Obama out of office by winning someone over on record low labor force participation, then that means no more taxpayer-funded abortion drugs. If I can get Obama out of office by winning someone over on security and stability in the Middle East, then that means no more spiraling national debt. And if I can get Obama out of office on the defense of traditional marriage, then that means we might get a fence build on our southern border so that Hezbollah cannot just walk right in and try to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador in New York.
It’s all related, and we need to be persuasive on every issue, not just one issue.
Filed under: Commentary, Conservative, Family, Family Breakdown, Leftist, Liberal, Marriage, Melanie Phillips, UK