Ohio Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance is an idiot douchebag in many ways, and on Monday, he added another one to the list: In a talk at Pacifica Christian High School in Southern California, Vance suggested people should stick it out in “unhappy” or “maybe even violent” marriages—for the kids’ sake.
“This is one of the great tricks that I think the sexual revolution pulled on the American populace, which is the idea that like, ‘Well, OK, these marriages were fundamentally, you know, they were maybe even violent, but certainly they were unhappy,’” Vance said, in a report published by VICE. “And so getting rid of them and making it easier for people to shift spouses like they change their underwear, that’s going to make people happier in the long term.”
The real problem with divorce in Vance’s mind? It fucks up the kids. “Maybe it worked out for the moms and dads, though I’m skeptical, but it really didn’t work out for the kids of those marriages,” he said. “And that’s what I think all of us should be honest about, is we’ve run this experiment in real time. And what we have is a lot of very, very real family dysfunction that’s making our kids unhappy.”
It’s true: Kids are unhappy. In March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that more one third of high school students reported “poor mental health” during the pandemic. Nearly half (44 percent) reported feeling “persistently” sad or hopeless. In the same study, 55 percent said they experience some form of emotional abuse from their parents or an adult at home while 11 percent reported physical abuse. LGBTQ kids experience “greater levels of poor mental health, emotional abuse by a parent or caregiver, and having attempted suicide than their [heterosexual and/or cisgender] counterparts,” according to the CDC.
And that’s just pandemic related. We don’t have enough words on the internet to adequately detail what it’s like to grow up doing mass shooter drills over and over—so much so that kids react quicker to mass shootings than adults.
What about the burning planet that we’re ruining to line the pockets of a few greedy, already ultra-wealthy people? Of course the kids are not alright, but it’s not because their parents got divorced. In fact, forcing a child to witness a miserable, toxic, potentially abusive marriage day after day would arguably be much worse for their mental health and emotional development than fleeing to a healthier situation.
Vance is full of crap. Get divorced. Leave your man or woman or enby and run for the hills, especially if they are abusing you or anyone in the household. The reason kids are not alright is because their parents don’t have access to adequate health care or a thriving wage. The kids are not alright because their schools and malls and parades don’t feel safe. The kids are not alright because they have to flee their home so their parents don’t get charged with child abuse.
Divorce lets people move forward with their lives, whether or not there are kids involved.
VICE kindly posted a video clip of the interview. Enjoy it? Endure it.