NPO publishes blog articles to inform and to stimulate conversation about issues of importance to NPO's mission.  All blog articles express the opinions of the authors as individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of National Parents Organization, its Board of Directors, or its executives.  

April 18, 2019 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Well!  Being compared to Donald Trump – that is an insult (Washington Times, 4/16/19)!

That’s just what former First Lady Michelle Obama did on Sunday, though.  She compared the country under Trump to a child being cared for by a divorced dad.
“We come from a broken family, we are a little unsettled,” she said, The Independent reported. “Sometimes you spend the weekend with divorced dad. That feels like fun, but then you get sick. That is what America is going through. We are living with divorced dad.”
Yes, heaven forfend that a child should become ill while at his/her father’s house.  Clearly the man is just a dad and wouldn’t have a clue about how to deal with a sick child.  After all, he’s never done that before, has no common sense and wouldn’t dream of having the phone number for the pediatrician.  Chicken soup?  Out of the question.

I’m no fan of Donald Trump for any number of reasons, but I am a fan of fathers.  I read articles, studies and books about fathers and fatherhood.  I talk and email with fathers.  I know fathers.  And not one of them fits the description of men who haven’t the first idea of how to do basic parenting.  Not one.  And yet Ms. Obama’s offhand reference to a divorced dad had him utterly at sea when faced with a fairly routine problem.  Her take was Homer Simpson and every incompetent, buffoonish lout ever imagined by popular culture.  Her remark was all the more astonishing because it was so offhand.  It’s as if she had no concept that fathers could be any other way.  Is that how her husband is with their two daughters?  Would he become that way if they were to divorce?

Michelle Obama is a highly intelligent, highly educated person.  She should know better.  She should know the facts about fathers, or at least some of them.  Instead, she preferred to channel the assumptions of pop culture and, in so doing, promoted what I argue to be the most important single social problem we face – fatherlessness.  By casually trashing divorced fathers, she lent her support to their marginalization in the lives of their children by family courts. 

In the process, she became part of the problem instead of part of the solution.

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