Single parents are a convenient whipping post in politics. That has at least been the case since former Vice President Dan Quayle became involved in a public argument over a fictional television single mother. Wisconsin State Senator Glenn Grothman has decided to take that a step further by codifying how bad single and unmarried parents are into the state’s statutes. Grothman introduced SB 570 that requires:
“The Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board to emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.”
Yes, that is it. Having a child without the graces of marriage? Well, the next thing that you’re going to do is get the urge to hit your child or leave him or her in a car for hours.
Supporting the concept of the family is one thing. No one doubts two parents are better than one, but Grothman’s assertion that being an unmarried parent, whether single or not, opens the door to child abuse and neglect isn’t going to do a thing about the real problem, which is poor parenting skills. In fact, Grothman’s bill might reduce the programs that really will help promote parenting skills by directing funding to programs emphasizing marriage.
Grothman is so blinded by the idea of marriage as a blissful cure to all that he fails to recognize that bad marriages lead to all kinds of child abuse. While his bill fingers single parents as a cause for child abuse, it does not blame all single parents. A single parent who was widowed by a partner’s death is not a threat to abusing or neglecting a child as long as the parents were married, according to Grothman. Matrimony is like waving a wand and then pronouncing “married” over a couple’s head turns them into loving, perfect parents.
What a fantasy.
Fantasy is what permeates much of Grothman’s thinking on the subject. He has publicly linked the abolition of the family to Karl Marx and atheist socialists. Grothman declared that the purpose of this sinister plot was that “The Left and social welfare establishment want children born out of wedlock because they are far more likely to be dependent on the government.”
What a fantasy.