Welcome to the usual tribal dance.   You know, the dance we’re so busy with that we’re not noticing that “asteroids” are approaching earth and we’d better roll up our sleeves, cross the partisan divide and work on diverting them.

Conservatives – particularly well-equipped to see threats to the moral communities and social structures that make our highly improbable civil society possible – are sounding the alarm on one of the Asteroids Club’s four inaugural “asteroids” – breakdown of the family. Maybe they’ve stopped keeping company with liberal friends who might gently tell them their argument (made by a panel of men, sheesh) is coming off just slightly lunkheaded… Comments like Erik Erickson’s “having moms as the primary breadwinner is bad for kids and bad for marriage” and “when you look at biology… males are the dominant role.”

If the Fox panel’s goal was to communicate their alarm to others who aren’t seeing the problem, they didn’t get it done – more likely, they may have set recognition of this asteroid back a year or two. Arguments get weak and mushy when the only practice you have making them is to people who already agree with you. These guys would have been bounced from a first grade debate team.

Predictably, the asteroid zooms right past liberal ears.  They’re covering it as a cause for action over at the liberal Media Matters for America media watch organization. Thread comments include the usual culture war fare like “strong women scare them to death.” When we’re in full tribal mode, no one seems willing to ignore the brain dead commentary and linger a moment on the underlying numbers.

Morality binds and blinds.

Here’s what they might have said:  the marriage rate has plunged to an all-time low.  7 of 10 black children are being raised in a single parent household, 5 in 10 hispanic children and 3 of 10 white children. Marriage is the structure around which civil society has been built and children have been raised – it’s the fundamental cooperative relationship in society – so we’ve got to stop and look at the potential damage this is doing to families and children.  

Here’s what they did say that critics aren’t paying any attention to: “systemically something is going terribly wrong in our society and it’s hurting our children” “we as people in a smart society have lost the ability to have complimentary relationships and it’s tearing us apart.”

We suggest you might want to ignore the circus and look up.