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June 22, 2008

Rachel Lucas Rants About the Gloucester 17

You can take away the natural economic penalty for bearing children out-of-wedlock at a young age, but so long as you maintain the social inhibitions against it, the problem will be limited to the most dysfunctional.

You can take away the social inhibitions against such puerile stupidity, but as long as the natural economic consequences of such actions remain mostly in place, again the problem will be limited. Awful for those who affirmatively choose stupidity, but at least limited a select number of hardcore sexual recidivists.

Take away both -- effectively pay very young girls to get pregnant, and give them nice little heavily-subsidized apartments, and also remove all social inhibitions against out-of-wedlock young-teen childbirth, and you get this.

The liberal mind is often animated by truly compassionate impulses, at least at first. It doesn't seem fair that a young mother should suffer the grinding poverty her choices have inevitably led her too; let's alleviate that suffering, and even make it nearly an economic wash for poorer girls to choose between sound choices (not getting pregnant, getting the skills to work in a decent, but hardly high paying, job) and bad choices.

It doesn't seem fair for sexually precocious young girls to be branded sluts or callow morons seeking status, of all things, by getting knocked up by popular boys or older men, so let's take away that stigma to the extent we can, to ensure their self-esteem isn't terribly damaged.

Both impulses are understandable. But what is harder to understand is the refusal of many liberals to think one or two steps beyond their initial impulses and ponder the likely -- or inevitable, as is frequently the case -- consequences of too much compassion, support, and self-esteem-boosting for decisions which are, ultimately, disastrous.

Diving off of piers into shallow water is a bad choice which cannot be made into a good one, no matter how much economic or social support one provides to the teenagers inevitably rendered cripples by such insanely self-destructive stunts. No liberal would argue we should support such choices or pay taxpayer funds to teenagers to subsidize the activity.

And yet, when it comes to matters sexual, liberals just suddenly lose all common sense in the headlong rush to encourage -- or at least remove all natural discouragements -- for pathologically poor sexual decisionmaking.

Liberals are so determined to be broad-minded and progressive about sex they often wind up extraordinarily narrow-minded and reactionary about the subject.

Take away virtually all consequences for a bad choice and you know what you've got? A choice which was formerly a bad one but is now a rather good one, or at least seems so (somewhat rationally) to a certain cohort of the population.

To liberals, conservatives often seem heartless or even sadistic towards such people in refusing to give money or social approval for their bad choices, thus making their lives more difficult.

But to conservatives, liberals seem heartless and even sadistic by making very bad choices relatively easy, even advantageous, to make -- and refusing to admit that those bad choices may be made easier to make, but they can never again be unmade. And the consequences for such choices lead to even more misery.

Anyone thinking these seventeen girls' seventeen children (with many more to come in the next ten years, I'm sure) will have a happy lot in life? That they'll grow up well-adjusted and well-parented and successful?

One or two or even three might overcome the atrocious circumstances of their formative years.

For the rest -- all the misery and poverty and dysfunction liberals had hoped to alleviate by being compassionate towards their borderline-retarded mothers, plus a 50% bonus level of misery, and also affecting a greater number of people than we'd hoped to mitigate originally.

No misery or poverty or social stigma has actually been avoided. The reduced levels of such evils will be more than made up for by the hard, sad, likely violence-filled lives of the 30+ children they'll eventually mis-raise. And an even greater number of grandchildren so afflicted.

And of course all those assaulted, raped, and/or murdered by this increasingly-dysfunctional line of whore-spawn. (If whore-spawn seems harsh, well, I'm having trouble imagining what other sorts of jobs these girls will end up moonlighting in when they need a bit of extra spending cash. Whoredom is a popular career-path among the young, female, self-destructive, and otherwise-unemployable.)

Is that compassion? Only if one willfully blinds oneself to hard reality, and refuses to even consider the esoteric concept called "the future."

Oh... Seems like as good a time as any to re-link Patrick Moynihan's prescient essay Defining Deviancy Down.

The process of defining deviancy down never ends. It cannot ever end.

For even as society uncritically accepts a new depth of human self-destructiveness, stupidity, and cruelty, the mandates of "compassion" require us to lower the bar of "deviancy" once again, so as not to penalize or even stigmatize those who have failed to even meet the current debased standards of proper behavior.


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posted by Ace at 04:57 PM

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