RUSH: Bill in Port Charlotte, Florida. Welcome to the EIB Network.
CALLER: Hey, Rush.
CALLER: It’s a pleasure. It’s a pleasure.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: Limitless — jeez — conservative poor guy that used to be red haired and freckled dittos. You were talking about women choosing to stay single. I personally think it’s the other way around.
RUSH: No, it’s actually not.
CALLER: No? Well, I think that’s what they’re trying to sell us, but I think there’s a lot more guys out there that are choosing to stay by themselves so we can maintain the obviously erroneous conclusion that we are worthwhile and we’re not dumb, bumbling, useless…um…meal tickets.
CALLER: Pardon me?
RUSH: “Predators” is the word.
CALLER: There you go!
CALLER: There you go. I can’t help thinking that a lot of us have just decided it’s not worth the time. I started to ascribe to the Willie Nelson procedure, which is something about wait six or seven years, go out and find somebody you don’t like, give them a house and be done with it.
CALLER: You know?
RUSH: I’ve heard that. Find somebody you don’t like, buy ’em a house, but don’t marry them, and you’ll have the same result.
CALLER: Yeah. Then you’re all done with it.
CALLER: Then you’re all done with it. Yeah, I don’t buy… I give myself and a whole lot of other guys credit for finally starting to wise up.
RUSH: How many times have you been married?
CALLER: Too many.
RUSH: Alright, so you’re divorced now.
CALLER: Oh, yeah!
CALLER: Oh, heck no. I fixed it so I can’t. I live in a hovel, and nobody in their right mind would want to live here, but I own it and it’s mine, you know?
RUSH: Why is this? Why have you chosen this lifestyle?
CALLER: Just because it is too much of a pain. Literally, I guess that’s it: it’s a pain. You get into something —
RUSH: No, what’s a pain about it? You have to be specific.
CALLER: When you finally split, you start the whole thing out, and you’re bound and determined, “This is it.” You’re going to do it, and it’s going to be right. And before too long you start to become the inept, foolish, totally wrong apologizing-constantly-to-keep-the-peace person. Maybe I’m just a bad judge of character. I don’t know.
RUSH: Okay, so what you like about living in the hovel that is only suitable for one, that being yourself —
CALLER: That’s right.
RUSH: — is that you have freedom. Nobody’s going to sit there and tell you what’s wrong with you and nobody’s going to tell you what you have to do to get better and nobody is going to tell you what you have to do, period.
RUSH: It’s up to you.
CALLER: Ex-actly. Exactly. That’s another thing.
RUSH: So do you think that you are as good and accomplished as you can be as a human being?
CALLER: I’m working on it, but I think we’re all a work in progress to a point, but yeah, I think I’m alright.
RUSH: But you don’t believe that a life partner can help you improve in certain areas that you may not want to admit that you need to improve?
CALLER: I suppose it’s possible.
RUSH: Good answer.
CALLER: But I’ve lived long enough, Rush, that I think I have things figured out for my own satisfaction.
RUSH: How old are you?
RUSH: Fifty-eight. Yeah, you’re pretty set in your ways. It would be tough to change you.
RUSH: It wouldn’t stop ’em from trying, but —
CALLER: Absolutely. That’s the point. I don’t like it.
RUSH: Let me take the occasion of your call here to move into this New York Times story, which got this discussion going. It’s what you’re calling about. I mentioned it at the top of the program, a big story at the New York Times today, the headline: “51% of Women Are Now Living Without Spouse.” It’s the first time in American history, I guess since the census has been taken, that there are more women living unmarried than women who are married. Now, he called to say because men are choosing it. But, because of the difference in the number of men and women in the country, the fact is there are more men married in America than there are women. There are more married men. That’s what this story says, even though 51% of women are now living without spouse. Here are some of the details and highlights of the story. “For what experts say is probably the first time, more American women are living without a husband than with one… In 2005, 51% of women…” This is the most recent year for which these full data from the Census Bureau are available.
“In 2005, 51 percent of women said they were living without a spouse, up from 35 percent in 1950 and 49 percent in 2000…. Several factors are driving the statistical shift. At one end of the age spectrum, women are marrying later or living with unmarried partners more often and for longer periods. At the other end, women are living longer as widows and, after a divorce, are more likely than men to delay remarriage, sometimes delighting in their newfound freedom. In addition, marriage rates among black women remain low. Only about 30 percent of black women are living with a spouse, according to the Census Bureau, compared with about 49 percent of Hispanic women, 55 percent of non-Hispanic white women and more than 60 percent of Asian women…. ‘This is yet another of the inexorable signs that there is no going back to a world where we can assume that marriage is the main institution that organizes people?s lives,’ said Prof. Stephanie Coontz, director of public education for the Council on Contemporary Families, a nonprofit research group. ‘Most of these women will marry, or have married. But on average, Americans now spend half their adult lives outside marriage.'”
Now, when you have something called “the Council on Contemporary Families,” a so-called nonprofit research group, and the leader says: “Well, this is another inexorable sign that there’s no going back to a world where we can assume that marriage is the main institution,” I mean, hello down the road, you can marry your dog. Hello down the road, you can marry your boyfriend and your girlfriend. Once you start this, once you start redefining marriage, and what a great statistic for these people: 51% of women now say to hell with it, and when you read the comments that some of these women make, you’ll swear that they sound just like Bill in Port Charlotte, Florida, describing why he doesn’t like being married. Here’s another. William H. Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution: “‘For better or worse, women are less dependent on men or the institution of marriage,’ Dr. Frey said. ‘Younger women understand this better, and are preparing to live longer parts of their lives alone or with nonmarried partners.
“For many older boomer and senior women, the institution of marriage did not hold the promise they might have hoped for, growing up in an ?Ozzie and Harriet? era.'” Here are some examples: “Carol Crenshaw, 57, of Roswell, Ga., was divorced in 2005 after 33 years and says she is in no hurry to marry again. ‘I?m in a place in my life where I?m comfortable,’ said Ms. Crenshaw, who has two grown sons. ‘I can do what I want, when I want, with whom I want. I was a wife and a mother. I don?t feel like I need to do that again.’ Similarly, Shelley Fidler, 59, a public policy adviser at a law firm, has sworn off marriage. She moved from rural Virginia to the vibrant Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, D.C., when her 30-year marriage ended. ‘The benefits were completely unforeseen for me,’ Ms. Fidler said, ‘the free time, the amount of time I get to spend with friends, the time I have alone, which I value tremendously, the flexibility in terms of work, travel and cultural events.’ [Pamela J. Smock, a researcher at the University of Michigan Population Studies Center] ‘Men also remarry more quickly than women after a divorce…and both are increasingly likely to cohabit rather than remarry after a divorce.’ …
“Elissa B. Terris, 59, of Marietta, Ga., divorced in 2005 after being married for 34 years and raising a daughter, who is now an adult. ‘A gentleman asked me to marry him and I said no,’ she recalled. ‘I told him, “I?m just beginning to fly again, I?m just beginning to be me. Don?t take that away.” Marriage kind of aged me because there weren?t options,’ Ms. Terris said. ‘There was only one way to go. Now I have choices,'” and listen to the choice. You gotta figure when a woman says — or when a person says — “Now I have choices,” the first illustration they give you is something that’s most important to them, and her choice was: “‘One night I slept on the other side of the bed, and I thought, I like this side.’ She said she was returning to college to get a master?s degree (her former husband ‘didn?t want me to do that because I was more educated than he was’), had taken photography classes and was auditioning for a play. ‘Once you go through something you think will kill you and it doesn?t,’ she said, ‘every day is like a present.'”
Don’t these women sound like Bill, our caller from Port Charlotte who purposely lives in a little slum hovel so that no woman would possibly want to live with him? Anyway, before I read this, I just toyed around with it myself. I said, “What could be the explanation for this?” and I chalked it up to feminism. I thought, maybe, after all, some tenets of the modern era of feminism are actually working. “You don’t need a man to be happy, to have freedom, to be the best you can be, to be the total person that you are,” blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. “This whole partnership thing has been a scam foisted on society since Adam and Eve,” any number of things that I thought I’d get, but I was surprised when I actually read the story to find that these women (Laughing.), they sound just like this guy, Bill. In fact, they sound like a lot of people who are divorced. “Gosh, I love the freedom! I love the freedom! I love the no nagging! I love the nobody looking over my shoulder telling me I gotta do something I don’t want to do, gotta go here when I don’t want to go.”
So basically I guess you could sum it up by saying we have become really, really self-focused and selfish as individuals and have less and less of a desire to compromise. In other words, there is no spirit of bipartisanship. We demand bipartisanship and compromise in our politics, but it ain’t working in marriage.