Joe Mathews is co-president of the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy. He has written an op-ed piece arguing that California should “abolish parenthood.” The usually astute people at Legal Insurrection (if someone can explain why all of those annoying breaks are in the title, please do) apparently think he’s serious; I don’t, but it doesn’t matter. If your satire is so inept that nobody can tell it’s a joke, then it is more hoax than satire, a deliberate lie to make people feel dumb who believe it so you can mock them afterward for being gullible.
This thing by “California Joe,” as he calls himself on-line, is worse than that: in this environment of near-complete progressive derangement, his absurdist piece is like a flaming match tossed into a dry forest. That’s wildly irresponsible.
Joe will doubtlessly defend his satire as “Swiftian,” but there was never any danger that the English would start eating children to solve poverty, over-population and hunger. That’s because Jonathan Swift’s satire was funny, as competent satire is supposed to be, and because the British of his era were not insane. “California should abolish parenthood, in the name of equity” is not funny, and it is not far enough removed from other truly terrible, totalitarian ideas being advanced by Woke World that the author can be confident that his gag won’t find its way into a movement. Remember too, that the state taking children from parents has been a totalitarian strategy in the Third Reich, Soviet Russia, and Red China.
The essay purports to argue for an elimination of parenthood, or, in the alternative, for wealthy, “privileged” parents to “trade children” with poorer ones in the interests of “equity.” After all, Matthews writes,
Today’s Californians often hold up equity — the goal of a just society completely free from bias — as our greatest value. Gov. Gavin Newsom makes decisions through “an equity lens.” Institutions from dance ensembles to tech companies have publicly pledged themselves to equity.But their promises are no match for the power of parents.Fathers and mothers with greater wealth and education are more likely to transfer these advantages to their children, compounding privilege over generations. As a result, children of less advantaged parents face an uphill struggle, social mobility has stalled, and democracy has been corrupted. More Californians are abandoning the dream; a recent Public Policy Institute of California poll found declining belief in the notion that you can get ahead through hard work. My solution — making raising your own children illegal — is simple, and while we wait for the legislation to pass, we can act now: the rich and poor should trade kids, and homeowners might swap children with their homeless neighbors.
Republicans are happy to jettison parents’ rights in pursuit of their greatest passions, like violating migrant rights. Once you’ve gone so far as to take immigrant children from their parents and put them in border concentration camps, it’s a short walk to separating all Americans from their progeny.Universal orphanhood also dovetails nicely with the pro-life campaign to end abortion rights. In fact, a suggestion from Justice Amy Coney Barrett, during a recent case that could overturn Roe, inspired this column. She posited that abortion rights are no longer necessary because all 50 states now have “safe haven” laws allowing women to turn their babies over to authorities after birth. My proposal would merely make mandatory such handovers of babies to the state.
The left’s introduction of anti-racism and gender identity in schools faces a bitter backlash from parents. Ending parenthood would end the backlash, helping dismantle white supremacy and outdated gender norms. Democrats also would have the opportunity to build a new pillar of the safety net — a child-raising system called “Foster Care for All.”
- …that a biological male could compete in women’s sports by just announcing that he “identified as female.”
- … that public schools should teach that the U.S. systemically furthers white supremacy, requiring permanent mandated advancement of black Americans regardless of merit and demonstrated ability
- …that the government can and should require citizens to wear masks inside, perhaps forever, including while having sex
- …that requiring voters to produce reliable identification before voting is racist.
- …that parents should not have any say regarding what the public schools teach their children.
- …that defunding police departments was anything but an invitation to disaster.
- ….that shoplifting and other “minor crimes” shouldn’t be prosecuted.
And don’t get me started on “the Green New Deal.”
The one argument I have read on the side claiming that Matthews isn’t kidding cites that fact that his own organization is serious about direct democracy, making laws and public policy by majority votes in referendums. That’s almost as bad an idea as “universal orphanhood”—not quite, but close. California has just about adopted that one.
No, I’m sure that the op-ed is satire.
Incompetent, irresponsible, unfunny satire.