But the truth is, observances tell stories that simple facts cannot. Fatherhood makes men happy. It gives us something to do on weekends: coaching sports instead of watching them. It gives us something to look forward to while at work: going home to that big hug.
Still, all too often pop culture pretends dads don’t exist. Sitcoms usually portray men as goofy (Modern Family) or incompetent (The Simpsons). That’s when it bothers to portray them at all. “The type of jokes aimed at dads would be banned if they were aimed at women, ethnic minorities or religious groups,” British mother Siobhan Freegard complained last year. “Some people claim it’s ‘just a joke’ – but there’s nothing amusing about taking away good role models for young boys.”
So what’s to be done?
Well, first of all, let’s avoid the knee-jerk reaction of calling for federal intervention. Big government programs tend to be big -- they can spend plenty of money -- but there’s precious little evidence they do any good.
Instead, what’s needed is personal responsibility. Men should, as the old beer ad put it, “Man up.” Instead of going out and buying beer, though (any idiot can do that) it means taking responsibility for our children. Marrying the mothers. Raising the children. Getting up in the morning and going to a job. Giving our children an example to model.
Men: make every day Father’s Day. The country’s future is up to us.