PROF GIORDANO: Why America Needs Strong Fathers

Father’s Day on Sunday is a reminder that men have important roles to play in families.

Nicholas Giordano is a professor of Political Science, the host of The P.A.S. Report Podcast, and a fellow at Campus Reform’s Higher Education Fellowship. With 2 decades of teaching experience and over a decade of experience in the emergency management/homeland security arena, Professor Giordano is regularly called on to speak about issues related to government, politics, and international relations.

Father’s Day on Sunday is a reminder that men have important roles to play in families. They provide structure and stability, two important qualities children need to experience early as they develop into adults.   

Research consistently demonstrates that children growing up without a father are more likely to live in poverty, suffer from anxiety and depression, struggle academically, use drugs, and engage in criminal behavior. Children who come from stable families are more likely to flourish and less likely to have mental health problems.

Unfortunately, the very idea of manhood is under siege, and I fear the America my children are growing up in. It is up to us as fathers to protect their future and instill values that reflect our commitment to them. The left has chosen to ignore the importance of fatherhood to children, as well as to society. 

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 When it comes to higher education, young men routinely find themselves on the defensive as demonstrated by courses like ‘unlearning toxic masculinity’ and how ‘masculinity is problematic.’ Young men are bombarded with accusations of bearing responsibility for all historical and societal ills because “men often resort to violence…[and] contribute to instances of sexual assault.” 

Colleges have openly played gender favoritism, exemplified by the numerous female-only scholarships, awards, and fellowships. As college campuses have become more hostile to men, is it any wonder why 87% of enrollment declines consist of men? No one wants to spend tens of thousands of dollars on tuition only to be told that they are the problem.

The attacks on males and increasing rates of fatherlessness has also impacted labor markets as men withdraw from the workforce. In 1953, 98% of prime working age men – between 25 and 54 years old – had a job or were looking for one. That number is down to 89%, as 7.2 million able-bodied men have permanently exited the labor force. As we try to understand why so many men seem to have given up, it becomes clear – as the left has normalized the abandonment of the family, it is easier to abandon other responsibilities.

There is nothing that gives me greater drive and a sense of purpose than being a dad, and the true measure of a man is how he raises his children. 

My goal is to raise my sons to be decent human beings who are capable of helping society flourish and demonstrate good citizenry even as that society grows more hostile to them. It is to instill in them the values of integrity, hard work, and respect for others. It means teaching them that true success is achieved through character, effort, and learning from our failures.

But leftists view children as wards of the state that they can mold into future activists, dependent on the government. They believe the government knows best as demonstrated by President Biden when he said, “No such thing as someone else’s child. Our nation’s children are all our children.” 

In 1972, President Richard Nixon signed Proclamation 4127 to recognize Father’s Day as a national holiday and to honor the critical role of fatherhood. It’s not just a day to celebrate dads. As a father of two young boys, it’s a reminder of our crucial responsibility to raise our children so that they will eventually contribute to our society. 

Leftist ideologies have infiltrated every aspect of life – from normalizing broken homes to the workplace, and especially throughout an education system that marginalizes males. Attacks on masculinity and traditional values have led to a decline in the presence fathers and a retreat of males from society. This absence has allowed these ideologies to take root and coincides with a youth mental health crisis, a collapse in education, and a diminished work ethic. 

In 1960, just 9% of children were raised without fathers. That began to change with President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society programs, which established the modern welfare state. At the same time, the radical feminist movement started to take hold on college campuses, and persists to this day. As a result, 25% of children come from fatherless homes, and 40% of children are born to single mothers leaving them more dependent on government welfare. 

As fathers, we must fight for our children and stand up for the traditional values that made this country great. We must provide them with the tools and guidance so they understand personal responsibility and grow to become self-reliant. We must teach young boys how to be men.

 We should not view this Father’s Day as a holiday. Rather, we should use it to lead by example and reaffirm our commitment to our children. We must embrace our role as fathers to stop the decades long cultural rot that permeates our society. The strength of our country lies in the strength of our families, and every strong family needs a dedicated father. 

Editorials and op-eds reflect the opinion of the authors and not necessarily that of Campus Reform or the Leadership Institute.