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Married to the State

March 7th, 2014

by Sarah Jean Seman

This article was first published February 3, 2014, at Townhall.com.

Marriage is a little bit terrifying.

Just think about it. It joins two individuals with their own sets of aspirations, habits, quirks, fiscal responsibilities, and families in a binding contract…‘til death do you part.

If consenting to lifelong codependence is not slightly petrifying, I don’t know what is. Except, perhaps, becoming codependent without consenting.

Welcome to the new progressivist union: marriage to the state. It’s an institution enabled by Big Government and for Big Government through federal incentives and services; where cohabitation and living alone comes with more financial perks than marriage, and a dependence on the state is an easier path than developing a real and lasting personal relationship.


Marriage peaked as an institution in the United States in 1950, when approximately 65 percent of all women were married. Today, less than half of women 15 and over are married (47 percent to be exact), the lowest percentage on record.

Before he was even governor of California, let alone President of the United States, Ronald Reagan knew that government welfare programs undermined the American family. In his famous “A Time for Choosing” speech, given before the 1964 election, Reagan recounted:

“Not too long ago, a judge called me here in Los Angeles. He told me of a young woman who’d come before him for a divorce. She had six children, was pregnant with her seventh. Under his questioning, she revealed her husband was a laborer earning 250 dollars a month. She wanted a divorce to get an 80 dollar raise. She’s eligible for 330 dollars a month in the Aid to Dependent Children Program. She got the idea from two women in her neighborhood who’d already done that very thing.”

Conservatives have been fighting for the American family ever since, while the progressive movement and the Democratic Party have been pushing back on the side of Big Government. Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of the Ruth Institute, explains, “It’s an old collectivist dream to do something about the family.”


Collectivists seek to replace the natural dependency between two people with interdependence only on the state, Morse outlined. “They think that’s going to make people more free, and I think that’s crazy. I just don’t see how that could be!”

This ruse has been used as one of the leading arguments for feminists, who claim these sorts of policies will completely liberate women from dependence on men, according to Morse.

“What I want to say is that she is not independent. You’ve just transferred her dependency from her child’s father, who might actually care about her personally, who might actually care about the child personally, to a dependence on the government,” Morse said.

This transfer of dependency becomes an important tool in elections, Morse explained. “If the individuals are dependent on the government, they are going to continue to vote for the parties and platforms that keep the money coming, rather than anything that would really foster upward mobility,” Morse continued. “This is a trap, just basically, a poverty-centered trap.”

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