/> At last, I am part of a minority group.
New census figures analyzed by The New York Times reveal that married
couples are a minority in America. As a once and long-married white male, I
never expected to be a minority. There are no protest songs for people in my
group. "We Shall Overcome" is taken and "married man's rights" lacks the
resonance of "out and proud."
Part of the devolution of marriage to minority status is the fault of the
media. Look at who they feature on magazine covers, tabloid TV and awards
shows: the cohabiting without benefit of clergy, same-sex "couples,"
fornicating couples who flaunt their "lifestyles" and dare anyone to tell
them to stop. The STDs that come from these "lifestyles" are not the fault
of those who engage in the sort of behavior that puts them at risk. Rather,
Republicans are to blame for spending too little on "cures" so the
promiscuous can continue practicing their "lifestyles" without fear of
disease. TV commercials for drugs that treat genital herpes now run close to
erectile dysfunction ads without irony.
This decline into minority status for people like me is also partly the
fault of people like me. My generation has been obsessed with making money
and acquiring things in place of investing necessary time on marriage and
children. The message the kids get is that if marriage is mostly about
accumulating wealth and acquiring stuff, they can do that without getting
Family trees are beginning to resemble kudzu and if people are having fewer
children (The United States birth rate is at an all-time low, according to
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and we are barely having
enough children to replace those who die), this has profound implications
for domestic and international policies. For example, Hispanic and Muslim
couples have more children than others in America. And one-third of all new
births in the United States are to unmarried women.