The nuclear family isn’t perfect, but we’re stuck with it.

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Photo by Jeniffer Araújo on Unsplash.

If former Governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe is defeated by Republican challenger Glenn Youngkin in the upcoming election for Virginia Governor, it will be for a variety of reasons.

The Republican Party crowing will be almost as loud as the Democratic Party finger-pointing.

Progressives in the Democratic Party will undoubtably blame Sen. Joe Manchin, who is apparently so evil now, after his many uncontroversial years in office, “evil” doesn’t even cover it.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema might come in for her fair share of abuse as well, not that she hasn’t already. Both moderate Democratic Party Senators stand accused by more progressive members of the party of stalling the Biden agenda.

The moderates, for their part, will blame Democratic Party progressives for pushing astronomically-high spending packages during a period of rapid inflation and soaring energy costs which has low and moderate income families understandably worried. AOC and her ilk, according to these authorities are poison pills in the Democratic Party, the left’s answer to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green or former Congressman Steve King.

Terry McAuliffe will blame President Joe Biden if he loses; Biden will blame Terry McAuliffe. Everyone will blame Donald Trump.

It is a very tight race and Glenn Youngkin is a tough competitor- difficult to pigeonhole as the New Donald Trump. His latest campaign ad is sure to raise more than a few eyebrows in Virginia.

Though it must certainly be lacking context, even if it can be verified, Youngkin choosing to rebroadcast part of McAuliffe’s own interview on Real Time with Bill Maher shows what Democrats are up against in 2022. In the interview, and during other interviews in the run-up to the 2020 election McAuliffe was perhaps inconveniently unambiguous about problems with election fraud and voting machines in Virginia.

“I am very concerned,” McAuliffe told Maher in response to a question from Maher about whether McAuliffe was concerned about election fraud in the 2020 election. “When I was Governor of Virginia, I had to replace all the machines.”

“It changed my vote three times,” McAuliffe told Maher in 2019, describing his own experience with a faulty voting machine. “I watched it happen.”

McAuliffe goes on to explain that he hired “hackers” who were able to access voting machines from off-site and change votes in a matter of minutes.

This is perhaps a bit unfortunate, but not as unfortunate as the former Governor’s ill-considered comment during his last debate against Youngkin: “I don’t believe parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

Anything you say in a debate your opponent can use against you is a mistake. Virginia parents, even the progressive ones who trust the school boards, the Department of Education (under the Biden Administration, anyway) and the teacher’s unions completely don’t universally love this sentiment.

After all, conservatives might sweep the school board elections this fall; a Republican administration might, and indeed probably will, become a reality again at some point. Which is why progressive parents, just like conservative, independent and apolitical ones, will always want some say in the public education of their children.

It is funded by their tax dollars after all.

The worst thing for Terry McAuliffe is that his “gaffe” wasn’t really a gaffe at all; he was merely doing what they call, “saying the quiet part out loud.”

Today’s progressives increasingly favor a state-centric model of child rearing, rather than a more traditional model like the nuclear-family or one centered around religious life.

The nuclear family is harming our well-being,” postured the Washington Post in February 2020, listing the many strikes against the nuclear family. The trend is unmistakable: For a growing subset of progressives, the nuclear family is seen as a hinderance to the ultimate goals of society, which are nearly always collective.

Nuclear families pose more than just a threat to the ultimate power of the state, according to these authorities; they also produce unequal outcomes.

People who disagree with the central tenet of Critical Race Theory- that wherever outcomes are unequal, racism is to blame- frequently point to the nuclear family to disprove this theory.

Same family, these CRT-naysayers argue, same socio-economic status, same race and class related pitfalls, same educational opportunities; wildly different outcomes for siblings.

What Terry McAuliffe made the mistake of saying so plainly is a point progressives make on college campuses and in board rooms every day: Progressives think the state will do a better job of raising children than the nuclear family.

Most of the time, savvy progressive politicians sugar-coat this sentiment by turning it into a seemingly meaningless platitude like “It takes a village.”

They would make a decent point if it weren’t for the glaring logical fallacy at the heart of their argument. Yes; nuclear families, to the eternal shame of all humanity, are often responsible for the worst, most devastating, violent and soul-crushing crimes against innocent children.

It defies reason, description. Most of us can’t bear thinking about it, to say nothing of doing a cursory internet search for the purposes of researching this article. It’s too painful, dreadful.

Larry Nassar, Gymnastics USA, the Boy Scouts of America; none of these have harmed as many children as the human nuclear family.

But state-centric models of child-rearing, whenever they have been tried, haven’t fared any better. Indeed the only thing worse for children, throughout history, is when the state takes over.

The state isn’t the antidote to the nuclear family; only an extension of the most authoritarian parts of it. The state is the ultimate nuclear family, usually dysfunctional. The state is the nuclear family expanded into absolute power. All of the fallibility of the nuclear family is multiplied exponentially under state control.

Having their children fall under state control is most parent’s worst nightmare. Who wants their children raised by the DMV?

It isn’t as if the U.S. public school system is a shining beacon of educational excellence and infallibility. One look at the outcomes for Black students in the California public school system should be enough to shame teacher’s unions and school administrators into oblivion- and that was before COVID-19 kept low income students out of class for over a year while their wealthier peers went to private school.

Who wouldn’t want to change the subject to why schools named after John Muir or Thomas Jefferson need to be renamed?

If Gymnastics USA, Boy Scouts and even the Catholic Church can’t prevent predators from donning sheep suits and infiltrating the fold, what hope does a state organization have?

Not only does absolute power corrupt absolutely, absolute power and positions of it tend to draw, not always the best of us, but sometimes the very worst. It is for these reasons state bureaucrats always end up the wealthiest most powerful members of society in so-called communist and socialist countries- there is no private sector to check them, no buyers market, no alternatives, no competition in the marketplace; no oversight.

In these systems, the children of government officials, rather than the children of the wealthy elite, are protected from predation, neglect, and corruption. Not so everyone else’s.

Everyone else’s children can be subjected to child abuse on a massive scale.

Witness the Chinese Communist Party and the one-child rule. Under the one-child policy, which endured until relatively recently, Chinese women were forced to undergo abortion, sterilization and other invasive practices. The resultant wave in infanticide, mainly of female infants, caused a devastating ripple effect which continues to this day.

And it didn’t even work.

The purpose of the one-child policy was to keep China’s birth rate under control and it did not work.

When the CCP rescinded the rule it was with the admission of a strategy that does work and has worked the world over to reduce the birth rate of many a country: Growing the middle-class, raising the median income, lifting people out of abject poverty lowers the birth rate.

Most women can tell you, on the subject of having and rearing children, everyone has an opinion. Just got married? It’s always, “When are are you having a baby?”

Just had a baby? It’s: “Great- when are you having another? Siblings are important, you know. Don’t want to wait too long between them, that’s cruel! Don’t have them too close together, either- that’s cruel!”

“Oh, you have girls? Don’t you want to try for a boy? Oh, you have boys? Didn’t you want a girl?”

“Oh, you don’t have any children? How selfish and sad.”

“Oh, you have five children? How selfish. And sad.”

It never ends and there is no pleasing everyone. Thankfully, most of the time these nosy-parkers don’t get to decide what is or isn’t best for someone else’s family. They can be ignored.

When the state decides, it’s no siblings for anyone- or else. If that is cruelty, child abuse- and indeed its hard to see any such draconian policy otherwise- it is on an industrial scale.

And there is no telling the Chinese Communist Party to mind its own business. Under that system of government, your family- and what’s best for it- is the state’s business more so than it is the business of the individuals comprising the family unit.

In China, parents don’t have any say at all in what the state schools teach their kids; the government decides.

Democrats like Terry McAuliffe may not like seeing angry parents shouting at administrators during school board meetings. No one does. But progressives would do well not to forget that the alternative is far worse.

The state can’t raise kids any better than families because there is no state; only people- who are as fallible in large numbers as they are in nuclear family units, just as likely to fail children collectively as they are individually.

(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)