The world watched the United States presidential election with fascination. There is a general consensus that the election season was one of the most intense in American history, as not only the candidates, but the people themselves became emotionally involved.
But what can we in Australia take away from this vitriolic race? According to Carolyn Moynihan of Mercatornet, the answer sprouts from a deeper problem found on a global level. She takes her inspiration from New York Times columnist Ross Douthat:
Douthat’s answer goes to the heart of the matter: the family. In a society where family trees are tapering and thinning, he says, where a diminishing number of people experience family life as their main source of belonging and security, politics must provide a “Great Protector” -- at this moment either “a feisty grandmother or fierce sky father”.
[Regardless of who won the election], the basic problem [stays] the same. The fundamental unit of society is eroding, breeding new anxieties and dependencies…
Strong families are essential to a healthy, stable society. Yet the redefinition of marriage threatens this. The destruction of this foundation leads to confusion, anxiety, and a search for stability.
[W]hen 40 percent of the nation’s births are to women without the security of marriage, when nearly one in three women in their early thirties has no children and more are saying they do not want children at all, individual families may be strong but one cannot say that of family culture in general. And this is the case throughout the Western world.
Isn’t it time for citizens to stop looking to a party or a president to protect them and their families, and to reclaim the power of the small community in which we first learn to receive and give and care about our neighbour? Is there really any other way to renew political culture than to renew our own, and reverse the post-familial revolution?
With these pressing questions in mind, we should look to the United States as an object lesson for Australia. One of the consequences of redefining marriage is the breakdown of the most basic and important piece of society – the family. Once this basic construct is done away with, people become reliant upon the government, because they have no other option. This in turn grants the government more power than it should ever have. Thus, it is our job to preserve our society by preserving families. This starts with upholding the traditional definition of marriage.