The Fairytale of Wolves in Family Values Clothing

Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonder and Home. Andrew is the host of Heard Tell podcast.

Related Post Roulette

20 Responses

  1. CJColucci
    Ignored
    says:

    But — but — but. Nobody takes Dreher seriously. A lot of people haven’t even heard of him.Report

  2. Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    The very essence of authoritarianism is never-ending and ever-present fear and rage at some target.

    There does not exist an authoritarian utopia, even in its most idealized state. Dreher, Anton, Vermeule, the Proud Boys and Boogaloos, the Prosobiec and Federalist crowd all hunger for a world in which they are the heroic victors in a war that never ends. And the enemy is not some foreign nation but their next door neighbors, the people you see at the grocery store.

    Oh, and lest anyone think that progress is safe, there’s this from the Republicans in Texas:
    In a tweet, the Lincoln Project wrote, “Marriage equality is the law of the land — except in Texas, argues the state GOP. Legislative leaders in TX issued an opinion stating legalized gay marriage shouldn’t be permitted in the Lone Star State because they feel state law trumps the SCOTUS ruling in Obergefell v Hodges.”
    https://www.advocate.com/news/2021/10/23/texas-state-rep-argues-anti-marriage-equality-law–valid-james-whiteReport

  3. Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    The fear and rage is here for all to see:
    https://twitter.com/geoffredick/status/1372627941113393156?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1372627941113393156%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fabc6onyourside.com%2Fnews%2Flocal%2Ftwitter-removes-post-from-us-senate-candidate-josh-mandel

    Twitter has removed a tweet by U.S. Senate candidate @JoshMandelOhio
    — it was a poll which asked whether Muslim or Mexican immigrants would commit more crimes after crossing the United States border.

    You hear that thunderous silence?
    It is all the “reasonable” and “principled” Republicans like Mitt Romney and Mitch McConnell averting their gaze and humming a tune.

    Hear the thunderous applause? It is the Republican voting base lustily cheering at the Two Minute Hate.Report

  4. JAK
    Ignored
    says:

    The real ironic thing is that the “family values” these nationalists uphold were pretty much peculiar only to England and later the U.S.

    The nuclear family is an aberration compared to the human norm of multigenerational households and family groupings that include close friends.

    Keeping families small and tied to only two adults is, however, very useful to aristocrats and authoritarians who want to limit the social mobility and safety nets that large families and clans provide in order to protect their own power and wealth.Report

    • Pinky in reply to JAK
      Ignored
      says:

      I’ve never heard anyone argue against multigenerational families. There’s debate within conservatism about whether the economic benefits of mobility are worth the potential destruction of communities, and whether they need go hand in hand. But arguing against families and friends? Nope.Report

      • JAK in reply to Pinky
        Ignored
        says:

        What’s defining the family as “a man and a woman” and lobbying for policies that disincentivize multigenerational living if not an attack on the family structures that defined human society until the modern era?Report

      • Brandon in reply to Pinky
        Ignored
        says:

        Every Feminist argues against multigenerational families, because it’s been the women who kept “Family” together. And when you weigh women down with “Gotta Be a Mom, Gotta Have A Career!, Gotta Do It All!” — who has time for families? [eta: Yes, in theory, you could have the men doing the upkeep on family. I’m sure it works that way somewhere.]

        The boomers were the last people who got socialized in “Family.”

        If I was out of work, I wouldn’t call on my extended family, and I don’t know anyone who would. Family takes a lot of maintenance.

        Family is also an external source of power, and Existing Powerbases — like Corporations and Government, do Not Like It.Report

        • Philip H in reply to Brandon
          Ignored
          says:

          You live a lonely life then don’t you? I’m Gen X and I’ve relied on my close and extended family more times then I can count on for emotional and financial help. I give the same back when they ask. frankly extended family is easier to maintain now then it used to be thanks to facetime and zoom and all sorts of other technologies.Report

      • Pinky in reply to Pinky
        Ignored
        says:

        There are definitely people on the left who undervalue the role of the family. I didn’t mean to indicate otherwise. I don’t see the emphasis on the nuclear family on the right as being against the extended family, although I’ll concede that some of their economic approach may have the secondary effect of encouraging it. The left side, broadly, holds the central relationship as the individual to the state, while the right side, broadly, holds up the immediate family. To emphasize father, mother, and children a hundred years ago would have been to call for something smaller; nowadays it’s a defense of the biggest family unit that’s common.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
          Ignored
          says:

          Both liberalism and conservatism struggle with the tension between order and liberty.

          I’ve seen arguments for and against “traditional “family structure (extended or nuclear) from either a liberal or conservative direction.

          For example, a big part of conservatism is market liberalism, which includes the freeing of the individual to pursue their own desires in defiance of traditions. “Move fast and break things”.

          Then again, as pointed out, social liberals have noted how stifling and patriarchal the family structure can be to the nonconforming.

          On the other hand, look at how eagerly gays and trans folk have embraced the structures of family and community order, from marriage to teachers to ministers.

          On the other hand.. well now I’m just doing Teve from Fiddler on the Roof which I guess is the point. “Tradition!” can mean a lot of things to different people.Report

          • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
            Ignored
            says:

            At the same time you posted this, I posted the following comment:

            “(In case it wasn’t clear, I’m considering rhetoric, policy, and actual effects of policy as different things.)”

            I deleted it from where it was because I think it’s more relevant to your comment. I really don’t think I’ve heard rhetoric against the extended family from conservatives, nor have I seen policies with the intended effect of breaking up multigenerational families. I’ve never heard conservatives say that kids need grandparents like a fish needs a bicycle. (Maybe a libertarian or two would go that far.) I’ve known plenty of people who relocated to get some distance from their families, and neither political side would oppose that as an option, but the natural arc of feminism bends that way, and most forms of traditionalism don’t.Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
              Ignored
              says:

              It becmes most apparent when you compare traditional communities to “traditional” communities.

              That is, compare the Amish to say, a typical Boomer nuclear family living in suburbia.
              The very structure of postwar suburban living- what we like to imagine as “traditional” were a radical re-imagining of family life.

              Instead of fathers working on farms or nearby workshops, the suburban father commutes to a faraway city. He takes a car instead of a horse and buggy on roads where anything less than 60 miles per hour is a hazard.
              Zoning laws forbid more than a single family from living under one roof.
              The suburban home can’t accommodate a large garden, or stables.
              The land use laws forbid a dairy or slaughterhouse within distance of horse travel.

              In other words, the very structure of laws makes traditional life impossible. No one needs to make grand statements condemning the traditional family.
              Almost all our laws and regulations were designed to make life convenient for modern nuclear families with modern working parents who commute to modern industrial jobs.

              I need to make it clear, this wasn’t some malign intent. Its just that as modernity and industrialization and automobiles became popular, those in power wrote laws to enhance the experience of those things, the way almost everything you do now nudges you to being online with one of those smartphone thingys the kids are all talking about.Report

        • Philip H in reply to Pinky
          Ignored
          says:

          The left side, broadly, holds the central relationship as the individual to the state, while the right side, broadly, holds up the immediate family.

          This is preposterous. The Left advocates for state support of a variety of family structures through economic support that fills market created gaps. The Left also advocates for a much broader definition of immediate family – including polyamourous families, gay families, transgendered families and childless families. The Left advocates for community resources for communities to support families.

          But you go right ahead and keep claiming the right is all about family values . . . . their voting records say otherwise.Report

    • Michael Cain in reply to JAK
      Ignored
      says:

      Back in the day, when I worked for a giant corporation spread across the contiguous 48 states, it was explained to me that the company transferred people with the intent of separating employees, and management in particular, from their extended families. They also encouraged ways to socialize with other employees outside of work hours: golf, bowling, and softball leagues and teams, holiday parties, etc.Report

  5. InMD
    Ignored
    says:

    I think too many people see what they want to in Russia and Hungary, at least with respect to applicability to mature democracies. I also doubt the competency of commentators, such as, but not limited to, Dreher to intelligently talk about whats going on in these places. Russia is a fallen super power where Western conceptions of democracy, ordered liberty, and civil rights have never taken root, even when reformers have made attempts to impose it. The country was also subject to an opportunistic stripping of its means of making wealth by oligarchs when the state was weak in the 90s. Now its propped up by natural resources and appeals to tradition, altar, and throne are among the tools used to maintain the minimal levels of popular legitimacy necessary to keep the gas flowing.

    Hungary is different in that its made some halting lurches towards Westernization. The incentives for doing so have been accepted. But we’re still talking about a small, formerly communist country with very little experience running itself as a modern democracy or (relatively) free economy. My understanding is that leaders in former Eastern Bloc countries did all they could to get into the EU for obvious reasons but it’s far from clear how popular these moves were or how ready parts of the citizenry were for it. When a lot of these places joined they thought they were getting access to the best free trade zone in the world, but never thought about imposition of external cultural control from far away places.

    Anyway, I’m not saying that if you squint you can’t see some parallels if you want to, but these aren’t rich liberal societies struggling to deal with post industrial economies and the related socio-political fallout. They’re on a different trajectory from us. They’ve never been where we are nor vice-versa.Report

    • Pinky in reply to InMD
      Ignored
      says:

      I think a lot of Eastern Europe just wants to be Eastern Europe. Not Russian, not German, not Ottoman. They haven’t often had the chance to do that. Between the 2008 financial crisis, Arab refugees, and bad stuff in Crimea, they’ve been struggling to get their footing. Generally, the more eastern they are, the worse it’s been. But Lithuania and Czechia are practically Belgium in terms of stability.Report

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.