Longing for Leave it to Beaver

October 25, 2010

We recently noted the passing of Barbara Billingsley who, of course, portrayed wife and mother June Cleaver on the 1950’s and ‘60’s iconic TV show Leave It to Beaver. It has been said that the show portrayed an “idealized” view of a suburban, middle-class family of the time. I don’t know what was idealized about it; there were the Cleaver parents, Ward, a working husband and father, and June, a homemaker, wife and mother, together raising their sons, Wally and Beaver. Perhaps the only “idealized” part of the show may have been June’s propensity for wearing heels around the house. Most women I know choose more comfortable footwear while at home.

The reason that today Leave It to Beaver is thought to be idealized is that you have a husband and wife, together, raising their children. What an utterly absurd and archaic notion. However, this is not idealized; it’s ideal. A man and a woman living in the bonds of matrimony is the basis of the family. It is the best situation for a happy home life and is the absolute best situation for raising children. The family is also the foundation of all functioning societies; including ours.

In the mid-twentieth century, the progressives set about to create dependency on the government by destroying the American society. Therefore, they attacked the cornerstone of the society; the family. They did so by driving the man out of his role as principle provider and protector.

There have been a couple of radio ads airing for an organization called BoostUp.org. This organization’s stated purpose is to encourage students to finish high school. Honestly, I know very little about the organization and if that is their purpose it sounds laudable. Their ads, however, give a glance into the state of our society.

The first ad features a teacher asking a mathematics “word-problem” question of a student named Jacob who is also working part-time after school. The question boils down to how can he drive his mother to her dialysis treatments every day, work his part-time job and still find time to finish his science project this week. The intention of the ad is to elicit sympathy for Jacob and other students like him that must shoulder a heavier load for the family.

However, the ad elicits another question; “Why can’t the father of Jacob drive the mother to her daily dialysis treatments?” The ad fails to address this question.

In another ad, a teacher asks a similar word-problem type question of a female student. The gist of the question is how can she ride a bus to her prenatal appointment and still make it to school on time.

Again, the ad does not address an important question. Why would a high school student need prenatal services? Since we’re not naïve, the question is rhetorical. What is upsetting is that there is no longer any shock value to the question. It is as though this situation is an accepted part of our society today…and that’s the shame of it.

Perhaps the children of the family would not have to shoulder such a load if the Federal government had not ripped the guts out of the American family by replacing the husband and father with a government check. Perhaps female high school students wouldn’t be so quick to get pregnant if they had not been taught that their children don’t need a father, just the government.

Here are some scary facts for your Halloween. In 1960, only about 9% of children lived with a single parent; today that number is almost 30%. In the black community the statistics are even more frightening. In 2006, more than half (56%) of black children lived in a single-parent home and the vast majority of those households (91%) are headed by women. According to President Obama, children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty, nine times more likely to drop out of school (hence the reason for organizations like BoostUp.org) and 20 times more likely to end up in prison. (Hat tip to PolitiFact and for those statistics)

Clearly, this is a dangerous road we are traveling. Even in our modern age there is no escaping centuries old truth. Laugh if you will at the Cleavers; there’s a lesson in their life for us.

Farewell Mrs. Cleaver, may we learn the lessons you taught us.

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Copyright ©2010 Humphrey Stevenson

Humphrey Stevenson has BS degrees in Chemistry and Mathematics and an MBA and makes his home in Tulsa, OK. He is a chemist by trade, has been published in trade journals, and is a recent "tea party" participant and political writer. His inspiration, as with many conservatives, is Ronald Reagan.