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Friday, July 10, 2020

What “Systemic Liberalism” Has Wrought

After another weekend of violence in Atlanta—where nearly three dozen were shot and five were killed, including an eight-year-old girl—Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said “enough is enough.” However, because her worldview is corrupted by modern liberalism—which is the case with the leadership in virtually every major U.S. city—she offered no real solutions for the recent epidemic of violence that plagues Atlanta.

As has been widely reported, Georgia’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp stepped in and ordered the activation of 1,000 National Guard troops in order to “protect state property and patrol” the streets of Atlanta. In his statement, Kemp declared,

Peaceful protests were hijacked by criminals with a dangerous, destructive agenda. Now, innocent Georgians are being targeted, shot, and left for dead. This lawlessness must be stopped and order restored in our capital city. I have declared a State of Emergency and called up the Georgia Guard because the safety of our citizens comes first. This measure will allow troops to protect state property and dispatch state law enforcement officers to patrol our streets. Enough with the tough talk. We must protect the lives and livelihoods of all Georgians.

Part of the problem in Atlanta—again, like we now see in so many large, Democrat-led U.S. cities—is plummeting police morale. After the death of George Floyd, and the unjust and incorrect accusations of “systemic racism” throughout America, police all over the U.S. were made into scapegoats for what really plagues the urban areas of America. As a result, police officers have been targeted for violence and mayhem simply for wearing their uniforms and doing their jobs.

In addition, police officers have been targeted—and unjustly fired—by their superiors. This has been the case in Atlanta. As a result, a recent wave of “blue flu” has swept through the Atlanta Police Department. Almost certainly, this means dangerous areas of Atlanta are not seeing the usual police presence. Thus the need for the Georgia National Guard.

And thus we see again the sad, sorry results of the “Ferguson Effect.” The “Ferguson Effect,” a phrase coined by Heather MacDonald, says that, when police stop, or reduce, policing—because of political pressure, community pressure, department policies, and the like—criminals are emboldened and crime increases.

Because of democrats’ relentless and dishonest campaign against law enforcement, the Ferguson Effect has led to numerous U.S. cities becoming significantly more dangerous. As John Nolte put it several years ago, “The obvious and predictable result is a rise in violent crime that only hurts predominantly poor, black, inner-city neighborhoods.” Of course, the magnificently foolish calls to “defund the police” or “abolish the police” (as some school districts are now doing) will only ensure that the Ferguson Effect will continue and will result in even more death and destruction in America’s urban areas.

Whatever one’s politics on these matters, one question that often is ignored when it comes to policing and America’s cities is, why do the urban areas of America require more policing in the first place? Why is it that certain parts of America—whether cities, towns, or schools—require very little policing and see almost no crime (certainly little to no violent crime)? I believe the answer is quite simple: Wherever one sees intact, God-fearing families—families with a married mother and father who regularly attend religious services—crime is virtually non-existent.

Of course, sound morality has long revealed this to be the case, but, if you require it, multiple studies have also shown that children raised by a married mother and father are better citizens; e.g., less likely to commit crimes, more likely to perform well in school, and so on. Additionally, multiple studies have shown that religious Americans are more involved with their families, less likely to divorce, do better financially, are more likely to donate their time and other resources to their communities, and are happier and healthier than their non-religious counterparts.

Modern liberalism’s war on the family and faith has been particularly devastating to fathers, and this has been particularly devastating to America’s youth and the communities that must deal with the consequences of fatherless children. Among many other sad outcomes, fatherlessness is one of the leading predictors of future criminal activity. Children from single-parent homes (almost always without a father) are

more likely to…engage in questionable behavior, struggle academically, and become delinquent.  Problems with children from fatherless families can continue into adulthood. These children are three times more likely to end up in jail by the time they reach age 30 than are children raised in intact families, and have the highest rates of incarceration in the United States.

Additionally, fatherlessness is the single greatest cause of poverty in the U.S. As Robert Rector pointed out years ago, “Being raised in a married family reduced a child’s probability of living in poverty by about 80 percent.” In order to further their big government agenda, modern liberals often point to education as the answer to poverty in America. However, marriage is a far better weapon against poverty than is education. Again, as Rector points out, “being married has the same effect in reducing poverty that adding five to six years to a parent’s level of education has.” In addition, a child living in a single-parent home in which the parent is a college graduate is nearly twice as likely to live in poverty as a child living with their married parents whose highest level of education is completing high school.

Marriage provides the safest environment for children. In addition to being much more likely to live in crime-ridden communities, children born to single moms face much more danger inside the home than do children living with their married parents. As marripedia points out:

  • The rate of physical abuse is 3 times higher in the single parent family.
  • The rate of physical abuse is 4 times higher if the mother is cohabiting with the child’s biological father (unmarried).
  • The rate of physical abuse is 5 times higher if the child is living in a married step family.
  • The rate of physical abuse is 10 times higher if the mother is cohabiting with a boyfriend.

The rates for sexual abuse are even worse than physical abuse:

  • The rate of sexual abuse is 5 times higher in the single parent family and when both biological parents are cohabiting (i.e., unmarried).
  • The rate of sexual abuse is 8.6 times higher if the child is living in a married step family.
  • The rate of sexual abuse is 20 times higher if the mother is cohabiting with a boyfriend.

As tragic as the outcomes of the Ferguson Effect are, the “Fatherless Effect” is much more wide-ranging, common, and deadly in American society. Of course, systemic liberalism is responsible for both. If today’s liberals have “accomplished” anything, they have given us the destruction of the biblical family model and the removal of God from virtually every public institution in America. No amount of policing, no number of soldiers can make up for either. And neither can the racist, Marxist Black Lives Matter organization—or any of their like-minded ilk.

If America wants our city streets to be safe, if we want our communities and schools to function properly, we must abandon the “principles” of modern liberalism and fix our homes and our hearts. To do that, we must look to the One who made us and what His Word says in all of these matters.

(See this column at American Thinker.) 

Copyright 2020, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America

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