Politicians use single mothers as scapegoats in politics—
Single Mothers and Politics
Breeding More Criminals
Rick Santorum blamed single mothers for a rising crime. “We are seeing the fabric of our country fall apart. It’s falling apart because of single moms. We have moms raising children in single-parent households simply breeding more criminals,” he wrote.
But Santorum didn’t stop there. In addition, he wanted to require single mothers applying for assistance to name children’s fathers. As a 2016 candidate, he opposed all abortion. Nevertheless, he referred to contraception as “not OK.“
Stop Making Babies
Rand Paul (R-KY), who sees mandated employer contraception coverage as a “violation of religious freedom,” thinks single women should stop getting pregnant. In fact, he’s said it might be “tough” to convince women to stop having children. “We’ve got to find out how to get that message across. It needs to come from ministers and people in the community and parents and grandparents to convince our kids to do something different,” the politician has said.
And Stop Glamorizing Single Moms
Mike Huckabee gave Bristol Palin a double free pass. However, he has also criticized single pregnant celebrities like actress Natalie Portman. Shades of Vice President Quayle’s critique of Murphy Brown.
Likewise, Jeb Bush has had harsh words for single parents. In his 1995 book, “Profiles in Character,” he blamed single motherhood on the lack of shaming and ridicule. Moreover, in 2001, he signed a Florida bill requiring single mothers placing babies for adoption to publish their sexual histories in the newspaper. Incidentally, Marco Rubio voted for the “Scarlet Letter Bill,” as it has been referred.
Bush did not veto the bill, which was overturned after it was ruled unconstitutional.
Scapegoat to Powerful Force
In spite of this, single mothers have become a political force. Single mothers head over 80% of the 12 million single parent families in the U.S. (2017 US Census) Furthermore, an increasing number of single mothers are running for public office, including Texas congressional candidate Linsey Fagan.
The Bottom Line
Single parents are not Ronald Reagan’s “welfare queen.” We are divorced, widowed, single parents by choice. And we deserve to be represented instead of scapegoated.