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    Git the Shotgun!

    In red America, families form adults;
    in blue America, adults form families.

    National Journal

    Chiasmus (key-ASS-mus), the criss-cross figure. From the Greek letter X.

    Guess which state has the lowest divorce rate: Massachusetts, epicenter of taxes, secular humanism, and Satan.

    The red states that work hardest to defend marriage, on the other hand, do the worst job of practicing it. That’s because their people marry younger. The younger the couple, the more doomed the marriage.

    National Journal writer Jonathan Rauch uses a deft chiasmus to describe the national marriage gap. Use a chiasmus when you want to portray a difference as a mirror image. Rauch could have written: “In red America, people reach maturity when they marry. In blue America, people tend marry when they’re old enough to hold jobs and raise families.” Instead, he held a mirror up to one of America’s least-discussed scandals.

    But then, maybe you don’t think a high divorce rate is scandalous. Maybe marriages are supposed to be serial. Seventeen-year-old Bristol Palin says she’ll marry her baby daddy, and conservatives cheer. Then they break up, and who cares?

    To put it in a chiasmus:  In the blue states, reality dictates values. In the red states, values dictate reality.

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    Reader Comments (6)

    I'm tired of all the generalizing stereotypes on and from both sides. You know, not all of us who tend to be conservative are a bunch of uneducated rednecks. I just happen to be someone who thinks that much of what needs to be done to help society is best done at the local and state levels, and not the federal level, where so much gets tied down in bureaucracy.
    May 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSusan
    You haven't seen the politics here in Orange, NH, Susan. But then, I wasn't attacking conservatives. I was attacking phony values systems. Lefties have more than their share of these; they just have their babies later.
    May 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFigaro
    Before you be too hard on us red states, I think your data is skewed. In order to have divorces, you have to have marriages, and in the blue states, more and more people are simply choosing to cohabitate and never marry. So those who marry older probably have taken the time to make a good choice, but there are plenty of relationships--even involving children--that fail, which do not fit into your data here. Red states and blue states aside, we've got to do something to strengthen our families, because without families, it is awfully hard to produce level-headed responsible citizens. People need role models.
    May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMark
    So attempt at responsibility for one's social actions are bad? What about fiscal one's?

    For bank cartel America, poor lending habits equals more government money;
    for everyday citizens, more government money equals poor lending habits.
    May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRyan
    Interesting, Mark. So the bad marriages in the blue states aren't marriages. I hadn't thought of it that way. Personally, I'm all for families. But it's often a euphemism for rampant anti-everybodyism; as in, "I need more time to surf porn--I mean, be with my family." Good thing our Founders didn't feel the same way.

    Ryan, I'm not quite sure what your argument is all about. Are you suggesting bankers not be allowed to marry? Wow, that's tempting.

    May 10, 2010 | Registered CommenterFigaro
    One thing that helps stave off premature marriage is birth control. Control your birth before your birth controls you (nevermind, that's a really awful chiasmus).
    June 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarc

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