David French, who joined Jonah Goldberg and Steve Hayes to create the recently launched Dispatch is ” convinced that the more we politicize the crisis [in community] rather than personalize it and spiritualize it, the more we’ll miss the mark.”
“A functioning community doesn’t just provide love and resources,” French writes. It also “includes elements of discipline and instruction as well.” Echoing Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, he avers, “The love has to be persistent….And the instruction has to be real.”
Whether the question is men not working, not serving as fathers, or dropping out of their other roles in society, French suggests the solution is beyond the scope of public policy, while acknowledging that policy is important. The solution is personal responsibility, though of a different kind than normally suggested: “Instead of focusing on the personal responsibility of the hurting and the vulnerable, let’s look at the personal responsibility of the rich and the powerful.”
Just as schools and organizations connect girls to successful “women in STEM,” there is a growing recognition that boys could use connections to men who work, marry, and father their children. LeBron James has provided a good example for the rest of us founding the I Promise School in Akron, Ohio, and showing up to his own son’s high school basketball games.
I am grateful to work at the John Locke Foundation, which aims to reduce the harms caused by government’s best intentions. I am also grateful to have worked with people and organizations in the community who have taken the responsibility to provide love and discipline to help others in the crisis.
Richard Cornuelle called for non-governmental responses to social ills. Howard Husock carries that legacy today. Thank you for your support of the John Locke Foundation and others to establish “a North Carolina of responsible citizens, strong families, and successful communities.”