Monday, June 15, 2015

Jeb Bush is all for Public Shaming by Scarlet Letter

 photo scarlet letter.png

Oh, Jeb. You were supposed to be the "smart" one. Not anymore.

In 1995, Jeb Bush wrote:

"One of the reasons more young women are giving birth out of wedlock and more young men are walking away from their paternal obligations is that there is no longer a stigma attached to this behavior, no reason to feel shame. Many of these young women and young men look around and see their friends engaged in the same irresponsible conduct. Their parents and neighbors have become ineffective at attaching some sense of ridicule to this behavior. There was a time when neighbors and communities would frown on out-of-wedlock births and when public condemnation was enough of a stimulus for one to be careful."

In 2001 as governor of Florida, Jeb Bush passed the "Scarlet Letter" law, as explained by Media Matters for America

...a 2001 Florida law he allowed to pass as governor ... required single mothers to list their sexual histories in a newspaper before allowing children to be adopted.
...Florida's Scarlet Letter law was an "opportunity to test his theory on public shaming," when he "declined to veto a very controversial bill," -- that Marco Rubio and five members of Congress also voted for -- "that required single mothers who did not know the identity of the father to publish their sexual histories in a newspaper before they could legally put their babies up for adoption."
NPR reported that part of Bush's rationale for the law was to decrease uncertainty about adoptions by "provid[ing] greater finality once the adoption is approved, and to avoid circumstances where future challenges to the adoption disrupt the life of the child."
But a 2004 Notre Dame Law Review article explained that the personal information required by the law to be listed in newspapers was extensive

And he hasn't changed much. This week he didn't even call for "out of wedlock" shaming - only for "single mother" shaming. Why not bring back the word "bastard" for illegitimate children too? Because GOP members and Christians never have any of those. Oh wait. This is starting to sound like Rush Limbaugh "slut-shaming" Sandra Fluke, and remember how that turned out for the GOP in the 2012 election? Good lucky, buddy.

Nathaniel Hawthorne is turning over in his grave.

Asked by msnbc whether his views regarding the application of shame had changed, Bush suggested his book’s warning had proved prophetic and stressed the importance of encouraging young people to get married before having children.
“My views have evolved over time, but my views about the importance of dads being involved in the lives of children hasn’t changed at all,” he said. “In fact, since 1995 … this book was a book about cultural indicators [and] the country has moved in the wrong direction. We have a 40-plus percent out-of-wedlock birth rate.”
Bush has talked on the trail about research showing improved economic fortunes for children who are raised with two parents and on Thursday reiterated the importance of family structure.
“It’s a huge challenge for single moms to raise children in the world that we’re in today and it hurts the prospects, it limits the possibilities of young people being able to live lives of purpose and meaning,” he said.

Yeah, those single mothers - just ruining our country day by day. Well, what about "single father" shaming? And what if a parent and child are abandoned by the other parent for whatever reason - are they still to be publicly blamed and shamed? Why are the courts mostly full of single mothers trying to get some child support from these so-called fathers, instead of the other-way-around? Why shame the mothers?

And lest we forget our American Literature, the Reverend Dimmesdale could have married Rachel in The Scarlet Letter, but he was a craven coward afraid of losing his position in the village, or being stoned to death, or whatever. In effect, he was a complete Pharisee hypocrite like most of the GOP today.

This is just outright pandering to ultra-conservatives who ignore the high divorce rate in the red GOP states. Does Jeb in his wildest imagination believe he can force even GOP couples stay married? Just think of all the GOP politicians on their second, third, or fourth wife. Why not shame them first, since they were probably married in a Christian church with pomp and ceremony and prayers? Jeb and his cronies seem to misunderstand that even in the 1800s, people like writer Nathaniel Hawthorne were pointing out the idiocy and unfairness of public shaming. Yes it was "historical" but it isn't around today for a reason. It didn't work then, and it certainly won't work now.

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