We all know that Republicans love talking about proper family values. Obviously, Ben Carson is no exception. These “proper family values” include zero single-parent homes with only straight couples raising children. Carson spoke about some of these values with David Webb on the radio, saying that one of the ways in which we need to deal with the “epidemic” of single-parent families in the U.S. has to do with these vaunted family values.
What exactly does Carson say the problem is? According to Talking Points Memo, the problem is political correctness. Yes, the PC police are the reason we have single parents. Carson specifically said:
We’ve got to stop paying attention to the PC police who say every lifestyle is exactly of the same value. No, it’s not of the same value. It is very clear that intact, traditional families with traditional, intact values do much better in terms of raising children. So let’s stop pretending that everything is of equal value.
He went on to say:
We need to face the fact that when young girls have babies out-of-wedlock, most of the time their education ends with that first baby. And those babies are four times as likely to grow up in poverty, end up in the penal system or the welfare system. You know, I’m not making this stuff up. That’s well-documented. That’s a problem.
While he’s making a good point in general, he’s totally ignoring the fact that this problem is considerably more complicated than that. In fact, his religion is partly responsible for the issue because they don’t want comprehensive, medically accurate sex-ed in schools. Sex-ed can help immensely with the teen pregnancy rate.
Offering birth control at low-cost (or no cost) also helps bring down the single-parent birth rate and the abortion rate. However, Carson believes that birth control coverage is an entitlement, according to Planned Parenthood. In other words, Carson doesn’t want anything to happen that could actually help, because he wants to elevate one type of lifestyle — the two parent, heterosexual, Christian household — above all others. Keep an aspirin between your knees, ladies. That’s the only birth control or education you need, according to Carson’s way of thinking.
Of course, the mindset of the religious right is that if everyone would just become good little Christian boys and girls, all of this country’s problems will magically go away. That includes all single-parent families, it seems.
Carson says we have to be willing to talk about this problem, according to the audio on Talking Points Memo. He’s may be right, but the conversation he wants to have is not the conversation we need to be having. Forcing a specific set of values on people is not going to solve this specific problem, and it’s going to create a whole host of other problems. The narrow tunnel that Carson lives in makes him unfit for the presidency.