The message that Missouri Senator Josh Hawley delivered at this month's National Conservatism Conference — that he wants men to prioritize work and family over pornography and video games — has garnered the most attention of all of the speeches that were given. He also asked people “to get married and be productive.”
The Washington Post, National Public Radio, and Axios all followed up with pieces that called Hawley's thesis into doubt. Hawley claims that the Left has undervalued males and harmed the country as a result of policy decisions and cultural messaging.
The article written by Christine Emba for the Washington Post that was the most promising was the one in which Emba openly conceded that "growing numbers of males are detached from their employment, families, and children." Also, "men's labor force participation has declined from 80 percent in 1970 to 68 percent in 2022," according to the article. And that "a growing number of males are deciding to forgo pursuing higher education." Even the statement that "pornography is a problem" is problematic.
It seems that the only legitimate complaint that Emba has with Hawley is that "he should be pressured to propose answers."
But Hawley did!
"We need to work to develop an economy in this nation that is conducive to the success of males. "And that means rebuilding those manufacturing and production sectors that so much of the chattering class has written off as relics of the past," Hawley said before offering a policy solution.
"And that means rebuilding those manufacturing and production sectors that so much of the chattering class has written off as relics of the past." "We may begin by mandating that at least fifty percent of all commodities and materials essential to the protection of our country be produced inside the United States."
The discussion then shifted to tax issues, when Hawley made the following observation: "We must make the family the focus of political life. There is no bigger or more important responsibility than being a parent and taking care of one's family. And we need to encourage guys of all ages to pursue it."
"I think that it is high time for our tax system to provide specific benefits for marriage. Put the marriage penalty out of your mind. There should be a benefit for couples that get married. And in addition to that, we have to make it possible for parents of small children to retain more of their own money," Hawley said.
Now, one can argue about the feasibility of Hawley's domestic manufacturing requirement or attack his marriage bonus as social engineering, which is something that many of our libertarian friends like to do; however, these are real policy solutions that are being offered to solve the defining problem of our time, which is the disintegration of the American family.
If anything, we need a greater number of legislators who are prepared to take the lead on this subject like Hawley.