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Only 30 percent of Americans are married, falling almost 60 percent since 1970. This should concern you.
The National Center for Family Research (NCFMR) published a groundbreaking study showing the plummeting marriage rates over the past 50 years. While marriage rates have slightly fluctuated between 1890-1970, they plunged precipitously starting in 1970 to today. While 76.5 percent of Americans were married in 1970, the rate more than halved down to a mere 31.1 percent in 2023.
During a pro-family legislators' conference in 2022, Glenn described the family as "sacred." This was a widely-accepted notion for most of our history. However, the notion that "marriage is sacred" is now considered an archaic notion and is rather viewed as an option of convenience and mutual benefit. How did our cultural assumptions about marriage change so drastically?
It comes as no surprise that the precipitous plunge began during the sexual revolution of the 1970s, catalyzing the breakdown of marriage and the family. Johns Hopkins sociologist Andrew Cherlin told Axios that marriage “used to be a basic institution that everyone had to buy into in early adulthood. You got married, then you moved in together, and then you got a job.” However, according to Cherlin, “Marriage is now becoming the last step into adulthood." First, you look for a job, then you move in with your partner before you tie the knot—only if it's convenient. We have flipped the natural progression of adulthood on its head.
The notion that marriage has become an "option" is evidenced in the report, which found that those getting married for the first time between the ages of 40-59 have skyrocketed in recent years and that delayed marriages have increased by 75 percent since 1990.
Moreover, rising cohabitation rates indicate that adults are opting for relationships with an "out" option rather than life-long marital commitments and those who are choosing to get married are increasingly integrating the perks of 21st-century singlehood into their relationships. Nearly 4 million married Americans are "living alone together" (LAT), a growing movement of married couples who live separately to retain the independence that they enjoyed while being single.
Minorities are affected disproportionally.
The decline in marriages is especially prevalent in minority communities, particularly minority women. The report found that marriages amongst Hispanic women declined 33 percent, and marriages amongst black women declined as much as 60 percent within the 50-year time period. Only 26 percent of black women are married, accounting for the lowest proportion of married individuals among all demographic groups. Asian women, on the other hand, have the highest marriage rates among all demographics at 56 percent.
We're living with the consequences.
The sexual revolution has transformed marriage into an option of convenience in the "last step" of adulthood rather than the assumed pre-requisite for it. The revolution purported to emancipate, particularly women, from the obligations of traditional marriage, promising more satisfaction and fulfillment. Did it fulfill its promises? The results are in, and the answer is a resounding no. Fifty years after the revolution, married Americans report the highest levels of fulfillment and satisfaction when compared to those who are single or cohabitating. Moreover, mental health is at a breaking point. As Glenn reported, suicide rates skyrocketed 30 percent in 2022, with a 50 percent increase in the black community alone. Are we really more satisfied and fulfilled than our parents and grandparents 50 years ago? The evidence says otherwise.
Perhaps the "archaic" notion that "marriage is sacred," as Glenn defends, actually has some wisdom to it.
When was the last time you saw a recent movie or series that displayed a strong, masculine man in a positive way? They are few and far between. Arguably Top Gun: Maverick's monumental success is largely due to the fact that it told the story of strong, male heroes. It stood out from the rest of the generic woke films coming out of Hollywood.
It is sad that there are so few examples in pop culture that show examples of what true manhood looks like—but there are a few. Glenn's staff compiled a list of films for parents who want to show their children/teenagers positive examples of manhood. These films will encourage your kids to use their strength to fight for what is right, to use their intellect to stand up for truth, to persevere through the overwhelming events and questions that life has in store, and to have compassion.
Note: Given some of the themes such as suicide, brief nudity, and some gun violence, it is recommended that parents watch these films first to ensure they are appropriate for their children.
Silverado is a classic "modern" Western that pits four unlikely heroes against a cattle baron. The action is excellent and you get 4 versions of "hero" to discuss with your kids. If there is one Western that is modern enough for your kid to sit through, it's this one. PG-13, gun violence
This classic is slower-paced film. However, it has powerful lessons about life, happiness, fulfilment, and how pressure and expectations can impact your soul. Be aware that the film features teen suicide. PG-13, teen suicide
We recommend the most recent version with Daniel Day-Lewis. The Last of the Mohicans is a great history lesson and provides a strong story about how Europeans impacted Native Americans. PG-13, nudity-free sex scene, violence
Call this a "Western" if you want to, The Man From Snowy River is really a coming-of-age story about a young man earning his way and non-violently rationalizing the death of his father. PG, no limitations
The Untouchables is an exceptional and language-clean Mafia film. This story is about Elliot Ness vs. Al Capone. Among the Hollywood-based Mafia movies, this one is "clean" in terms of language. PG-13, gun violence
This film is especially great for kids with divorced parents or who otherwise lost a father. It's a clean, excellent coming-of-age story, especially for teenagers becoming young adults. This will feel universal and familiar to most young people. PG, tiny bit of language
This film, of course, deals with some very challenging themes, but compared to Roots (which they should also see, but maybe at college as it has slightly more mature themes to it), it's shorter and more digestible. It delves into personal longing and sacrifice. It's just a must-watch. Note: it is definitely R-Rated for violence and scenes of rape. Please watch first and ensure you're comfortable with it. R, violence, rape
Saving Private Ryan is a classic World War II story told through the eyes of a small platoon sent on a mission to find one man in a "haystack of needles" in Normandy. The opening sequence is very violent, so take that into consideration. However, every American should see this film at some point, so you decide when is the appropriate time. PG-13, violence
Not only is The Natural one of the best sports films ever made, but it is also an excellent movie to teach important lessons about persistence and being careful. As a plus, it will make your kids fall in love with Baseball. PG
Boyz N The Hood is one of the best examples of inner-city "gang" life. It has some language and drug use, so be prepared for a bit of dialogue when you watch. However, the film gives you a glimpse into inner-city life and teaches lessons without being preachy. R, language, drug use, brief nudity
We had to include at least one black-and-white film, and To Kill a Mockingbird is worthy of the spot. An excellent story that teaches about justice, standing up for the truth, and prejudice without being preachy. PG
We also needed an animated film, and there simply isn't a better one that tells a good story and teaches vital lessons than this one. The Secret of NIMF is Don Bluth's best film by far. Though the film has villains and heroes galore, the main hero is a small "mom" mouse, a rarity in animated movies. G
Just among the best comedy films ever, Monty Python and the Holy Grail gives you a chance to expose your kids to the Python troupe but in a complete movie story instead of just sketches. It is a great example of intellectual and tasteful humor. I promise you'll be shocked at how funny it still is. PG-13, brief nudity
Even if your kids haven't seen Rocky 1-3, this film stands on its own. Plus, you can explain the Cold War to them (especially important right now). It's clean of language and sex, and they will see lots of muscles and maybe get inspired to hit the gym. PG-13, violence
You need to read this. It is crucial.
Nuclear war is more imminent than ever since the end of the Cold War, and unless the Biden administration changes course, it can become a real possibility.
As a nation, we are NOT prepared. But YOU can take steps NOW to give you and your family the best chance of survival in a worst-case scenario.
As we do every week, my team sends my email subscribers the exclusive documents behind the Glenn TV special. This week includes practical steps to prepare for nuclear war.
It is vitally important that you have this knowledge. You can enter your email here to get access.
I also wanted to pause and recognize the gravity of the situation.
One of my researchers came to me while working on this particular episode and told me that the weight and fragility of the topic left him feeling helpless, frustrated, and numb.
Many of us remember the looming fear of a nuclear attack while growing up during the Cold War. Now that this fear has returned, it is natural to be overcome by emotion. If you were born after the Cold War, this is likely a fresh new fear that you have no context for.
If either of these feelings resonated with you, you are not alone. I'd like you to read what my researcher shared with me:
On the way into the soundstage yesterday I made the remark to Glenn that we have to research a lot of very depressing subjects in putting together his Wednesday Night Special each week. He laughed because he knows it’s true (and because he comes up with most of these depressing subjects). But, I told him, working on this week’s episode was the most depressed about a subject I’ve been in a long time. Digging into the history of the nuclear arms race and the current nuclear threat was relentlessly disturbing and bleak. The daily headlines about Russia, China, and North Korea just piled onto the misery.
Working on Glenn’s Wednesday Night Special, we’ll often be saturated in a subject for a week and a half, sometimes longer. Doing constant deep dives on the world’s evils, you become numb to it all to a certain extent. But this week’s episode really shook me out of the numbness.
As a child of the 1980s, I have strong memories of being terrified of nuclear war with the Soviet Union. But those fears mostly faded away over the next twenty-five years as communism largely crumbled in Eastern Europe and Russia. We lost our sense of urgency and alarm over nuclear weapons. It was a harsh wake up call to be reminded of the horrific reality that nuclear war would entail. It also didn’t help that I re-watched the 1983 TV movie “The Day After” (which Glenn talks about in this week’s episode).
We always strive to produce important, relevant episodes, but this week’s has a particular urgency as the U.S. deepens its commitment to Ukraine in their war with Russia. The world has changed – we no longer have just one nuclear foe. We desperately need a potent reminder that the world sits on a tinderbox of nearly 13,000 nuclear warheads. And we have cartoonish villains like Kim Jong-un who apparently like to play with matches.
After seeing this week’s episode, some younger members of Glenn’s staff remarked that they didn’t know about “nuclear winter” or the terrifying details about nuclear war and its consequences. It’s not something that’s fun to think about. But it’s vital to think about. We must renew the conclusion reached by Reagan and Gorbachev at their 1985 summit: “…a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”
I don't want to create the same type of feelings and paranoia I had growing up during the Cold War, but I do want us to be aware that this is a real possibility that we can prepare for, even if our government isn't. Even though it often feels like there is so little that we can control on the national stage, there is so much you CAN do to protect and prepare you and your family.
Do you know what to do in the event of a nuclear bomb? If you were in school anytime before 1989, you probably do. Preparing for nuclear bombs was a routine drill in schools and workplaces during the Cold War. However, most people born after the Cold War have never been taught what to do before, during, and immediately after a nuclear explosion.
As nuclear war feels more imminent now than at any other point since the Cold War, it is vital that we know what to do in the case of a nuclear event. As Glenn discussed last night on his Glenn TV special, here are 5 things you MUST know in case of a nuclear explosion. To get the full research that went into the Glenn TV special about nuclear preparation, click here.
As soon as you can, get inside your house or a building, preferably something brick or concrete. The main objective is to avoid "nuclear fallout," which are tiny radioactive particles and dust that result from the initial blast with the potential of causing lethal radiation poisoning.
Stay as far away as possible from windows, outer walls, and the roof. If you have access to a basement, that’s even better. Underground is always going to be better.
If you don't have a basement, get to the center of the building or house, like a stairwell.
Nuclear fallout's radiation levels drops to 1 percent of its initial radiation levels after two weeks, so it would be ideal to remain inside for that duration.
Take cover behind something, lay flat on the ground, and cover your head. It could take up to thirty seconds for the blast wave to reach you.
Cover your mouth with some kind of cloth material.
As soon as you can get indoors, remove your clothes and seal them off in a plastic bag. Put the bag as far away from people as possible.Removing your clothes can reduce your fallout contamination by up to 90 percent. Blow your nose and wash out your ears, in case there is any contaminated dirt particles It’s best to take a shower with plenty of soap and shampoo—no conditioner as it can bind radioactive particles to your scalp.
It’s okay to eat and drink anything that’s in a sealed container, package, bottle, or can. You can eat food from your pantry and refrigerator. However, any food left uncovered, even inside your house, and especially anything from an outdoor garden, is not safe.
You cannot boil water to get rid of radiation. But you CAN use tap water to wash dishes and take showers. Even if the public water supply is contaminated from fallout, the water dilutes the radiation enough to keep it from being harmful.
Don't scratch your skin – if you do have scrapes, try to cover them. Scratches enable radioactive material to enter your bloodstream.
Following the initial blast, there will be an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) explosion, which will render all electrically-powered essentially useless—goodbye smart phones! Battery or crank-powered radios will be essential to keep tabs on the "outside world."
To get the full research that went into the Glenn TV special about nuclear preparation, click here.