Judith Shulevitz weighs in on whether or not candidate’s wives are fair game to the public wondering who to support. I don’t quite understand her rant.
I think it must be really quaint to view the family as a single entity with a husband and wife (or 2 parents) and children (with slight variances to this theme). A lot of people in today’s society to think of the family unit as 2 individuals plus accessories (could be kids, could be homes, could be anything in the world). Color me old fashioned and traditionalist, but the family unit is not 2 individuals going about their lives; it is a single entity with a common goal and working toward that common goal. The root of family’s destruction stems from the idea that our own selfish goals and needs are attainable and do not need to be sacrificed nor compromised. We are, after all, highly capable individuals living to carpe diem.
As a single guy, I believed that people ought to take advantage of all opportunities, explore all possibilities and not limit oneself. Life is an adventure and it should be lived in that manner. You know, Captain Kirk style! On the other hand, I have also maintained that one of the single most selfless acts an individual can make is to get married. How do I arrive to this conclusion? Simple. Going from a single existence (e.g. man or woman is an island) to a shared one requires immediate and uncompromising sacrifice of one’s own interest. No longer can you consider yourself in a vacuum, or make unilateral decisions about how to live your life. You know need to consider your life partner. A successful marriage requires input from another person(s), absolutely needs compromise to sustain it, and requires communication beyond your inner cranial sanctum. This is not easy to do. As divorce rates and polls clearly show, it’s neither easy, nor successful. The two individual model has been an abject failure.
So when in a marriage, it is even more important to engage in family planning (i.e. how many kids?), financial planning (i.e. more than, do I have enough to hit up the ATM machine) etc. All of this requires considering a lot of issues beyond the “me, myself and I” person. So when someone embarks upon a political journey to the White House, it is perfectly normal to ask, well, who’s his/her other (better) half? Everyone knows, that it takes a strong and successful partnership to make a marriage work.