Promise Keepers,
A Victory for the Gals

Jude Wanniski
October 7, 1997


Memo To: Maureen Dowd
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: Promise Keepers, Farrakhan

Your Saturday column in the NYTimes was not your best. To make fun of the Promise Keepers, as you did the Million Man March of 1995, is the kind of thing I expect of Margaret Carlson or Eleanor Clift, not Maureen Dowd. Yes, you are really more of a verbal press photographer, and you calls 'em as you sees 'em. In this case I think you have a mote in your eye, maybe even a plank. For some reason not apparent in the column, you have a phobia about men who gather in great numbers to celebrate and reaffirm the obligations and responsibilities of their maleness. I think you and your feminist friends simply do not understand the male animal. I tried to explain this to you last year at the GOP convention in San Diego. It has to do with yin and yang. Yin is positive, light and masculine. Yang is negative, dark and feminine. As the nation's premiere distaff columnist, you expressed your yang in this column, being very negative about the very idea of several hundred thousand men assembling on the Washington mall to express their yin. If the announced purpose of the gathering was to reaffirm the male animal's right to rape and pillage, I could understand you getting a bellyache. Here are ordinary men coming together to reject the social culture that has been attempting for decades to turn men into women.

Remember I explained how it is necessary that there be & psychological difference between men and women, beyond their obvious physical differences? The two-party system provides us with a Daddy Party, the Republicans, and the Mommy Party, the Democrats the former yin, the latter yang. Going back to the early days of the Great Depression, the welfare state has gone beyond discouraging the idea of individual risk-taking and individual reward ideas that can be reversed by economic policy change; it has substituted the state for the male parental role. At the Polyconomics conference in Boca Raton, Fla., last year, Rep. John Kasich made the statement that "It is a sin for government to do for people what they can do for themselves." When he did, Min. Louis Farrakhan jumped to his feet to applaud. When he took his turn to speak, Min. Farrakhan explained: "When the government gives a family free food, free clothing, free shelter, free health care and free transportation, what is there left for the man of the house to provide?

From time immemorial, the man has been the provider, expected to bring home the bacon, while the woman has been responsible for hearth and home. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. In the last half of the 20th century, while our men have been at war, women have taken over on the home front and now that the Cold War is over, some of you are unhappy about giving up that role. Most women seem thrilled to pieces to have the masses of ordinary men, black and white, come back to first principles. We're not talking about restoring a patriarchal society, but of ending what has become a matriarchal society, a Mommy state, by default.

There is nothing wrong with a grass-roots attempt, from the bottom up, to change the entire culture. The Establishment does not know how to do it, as it is too busy making money. There are things which must be done to fix our society that cannot be achieved by economic policy changes. It is important that risk-taking be rewarded, not punished, by the tax laws. But the national conversation also has to change, and that is something that politicians cannot do by passing laws.

The same is true of Farrakhan and the Million Man March, except more so. For centuries, the system of slavery and what followed has produced a most unhealthy, matriarchal black America. The black male has been psychologically castrated by the culture and only a grass-roots movement of the kind that Farrakhan has been inspired to lead can shift mass thinking. The mass has to shift to change the culture, and you should be happy to see it move in this direction. Think about it. Take a deep breath and think about it. It is a major victory for you guys (er, gals).