RUSH: Here’s the story. It’s from the Denver Post: “As if getting married wasn’t complicated enough, a proposed ballot initiative would require mandatory pre-wedding education before couples could say ‘I do.’ Lumped onto the hours spent debating centerpieces, picking a photographer, finding the perfect dress and corralling future in-laws, the proposed Colorado Marriage Education Act calls for 10 hours of pre-wedding marriage education. If either the bride- or groom-to-be is marrying for the second time, the requirement kicks up to a minimum of 20 hours,” of pre-wedding, marriage school.
And it goes up to 30 hours for people getting married for the third time because the presumption is you really don’t know what you’re doing. So the second time you get married, it’s 20 hours. The third time it’s 30 hours. “A re-marrying widow would be held to the same standard as a first-timer.” So a widow who’s getting married again would have to go through 10 hours of marriage school. “The law would not apply to civil unions.” Meaning homosexuals are exempted from this. And that may be because there’s nobody to teach them, yet. There just isn’t a whole lot of data.
“‘I don’t think it is necessary to mandate in my private life,’ said Margie Rodgers, who will walk down the aisle June 7 in Boulder. Rodgers and her fiancÃ© completed premarital counseling through their church. Proponents David Schel and Sharon Tekolian of California-based Kids Against Divorce say the intended purpose of the act is to ‘better prepare individuals going into marriage to fulfill their new roles as spouse and potentially as parent.'”
So some people have appointed themselves as the experts, and they’re the ones in charge of the initiative. They’re gonna set up the schools, and they will then tell you, if you live in Colorado, what you have to do, what marriage is in their view. All of that. I don’t know about this state, but I guarantee you this is just the first state. This group isn’t gonna stop in Colorado. Isn’t it amazing, folks, there are no classes about getting pregnant, no classes about buying birth control when you’re 12. There’s no education on — actually I’m wrong. There probably is abortion education. Yeah, that’s taught from kindergarten on, where to go, how to do it, how to get money from your parents to pay for it. I’m sure that’s part of the early indoctrination of these people.
Do the marriage classes promote — you know, in a way I’m sure some of you are saying, “Rush, come on, what is it?” Well, it dovetails what we were talking about yesterday, about the various ways different people in the world presume and look at freedom. For example, we in the United States, we just instinctively believe because of our founding and because of our understanding of where our freedom comes from, that it’s part of our creation. We think that everything is legal until there’s a law passed saying that it isn’t legal, and we believe that it is our culture that defines right and wrong, good and bad, good and evil, and leads to our laws.
Now, in many parts of the world where there has been totalitarianism, authoritarianism, statism, it’s just the opposite. A lot of people believe that everything is illegal until the state comes along and passes a law saying it is legal. Now, I talked about this yesterday, stop and think of the difference. Imagine yourself in both circumstances. You’re an American, and whatever you want to do is fine until we as a society come up with a law saying, no, it’s not fine. Then imagine growing up, imagine the fear of the state, imagine the constraints, the fright that everything you do is presumed illegal unless the state has authorized it.
Now, this is a ballot initiative in Colorado. Now, I don’t want to make too big a deal about this, but I think the starting point for this is all wrong. To accept this, you must accept the presumption that you don’t know anything about marriage until some people you’ve never met, who claim to be experts, can teach you. This thing ought to be voted down on matters that have nothing to do with marriage. It’s nobody’s business! And who are these self-appointed experts? And are they state sanctioned? Who are they? What values do they have? What the hell are they gonna be teaching people about marriage and parenthood? What are their credentials?
But if people blindly accept this, they’re accepting the premise that they ultimately are not in control of their lives and that they ultimately don’t know what’s best for them, that they can’t do anything, including getting married, unless it’s taught, sanctioned, and approved sanctioned by a higher authority. I think it’s just flat-out ridiculous, and it’s the blind acceptance of this that permits other kinds of control to be handed out on people, even from entities that are not connected to government.
Who are these people? Just a bunch of activists who think they care more about good marriage and kids than anybody else. You know, if your church does it, that’s a different thing. You can choose that. This is going to be a ballot initiative, so people are gonna vote on it. But I think the premise of this is illustrative of the challenge that we face as a country and the presumption that the vast majority of people don’t know what they’re doing. And of course the proponents would point to the divorce rate. “Well, they don’t. I mean, look at the divorce rate.”
That’s not an indication that people don’t know how to do marriage. It might be an indication they married the wrong person, got married at the wrong time or who knows. I mean, there are all kinds of different reasons for divorce. But the fact that we’re going to establish a group of people that are the experts in it, what else do they believe? Manmade global warming? What else do they believe politically? Are you gonna have to register Democrat as part of your wedding and marriage school? I just think the whole premise is indicative of a problem I think this country has, and that is low self-esteem on the part of way too many people which has been inculcated and taught. They’ve been told they’re incompetent. They’ve been told they’re incapable. They’ve been told they can’t do anything unless taught or taken care of.
RUSH: You know, I should have known when I brought this up that I shouldn’t have brought it up. I should have known. But, no, I went ahead and brought up marriage school, and now I’m hearing how valuable it can be. Oh, gee. I’m hearing from people who have attended them, the marriage schools. Church sponsored in some cases, state sponsored. I’ll give you an example.
See, I’m always surprised, and I shouldn’t be. I’m kind of like Richard Sherman. I think all of you see things the exact way I do, and if I think something is sophistry, that you do. But, no, there are people who think that this is actually a good idea.
For example: “Rush, when I went to marriage school required by the church, it was really entertaining. At least two couples cancelled their weddings. What it was, was a group session, 10 to 12 couples in there, a lot of young couples, and they give you different scenarios to see what you would do.” Such as, the husband wants you to go to Maine for Christmas and not bring your mother, so the prospective couple discusses that. Or, it’s Christmas and the in-laws want to see you and your parents want to see you, and you can’t be both places at once, how do you resolve it? How about the wife goes to her parents and the husband goes to his parents, and they get together a couple days later?
These kinds of scenarios are put forth, and these couples then start debating what they would do in these circumstances as they’re presented, and apparently a bunch of couples cancelled their wedding plans based on these scenarios that were given. Wife wants you to stop every Friday night with the boys. Meaning, don’t spend every Friday night with the gang now. Once you’re getting married, you stop seeing your gang of friends every Friday, what do you do? Wife knows you’ll stop smoking when she gets pregnant. Will you? “No, I have no intention of stopping smoking.” Divorce city, they don’t get married.
Husband wants you to do the grocery shopping and plan meals, are you prepared to do that? The wife says, “What does he think? I’m not gonna be a slave, there’s no way.” They don’t get married. This is what marriage school is, at least in the circumstances that have been presented to me here in various e-mails. They talk about raising kids and money. People say the amount of fighting that was going on among people not yet married over possible scenarios resulted in people that were happily thinking of getting married screaming at each other and breaking up right there at wedding school.
Man, what kind of school is that? You go to a wedding school and when you’re there you break up, you break the engagement. I should have known. I don’t think they refund. I don’t know how much it costs. Obviously it’s gonna cost something.
RUSH: We’ll go back to Arcadia, California. This is Joyce, and I really appreciate your waiting. Thank you. Hello.
CALLER: Rush, it’s a pleasure. I’m a longtime listener and I’m grateful to have you as a point of common sense and reason.
RUSH: Well, thank you. Thank you very much.
CALLER: I am a retired marriage family therapist, and I have often facetiously said, “I wish that premarital therapy or testing or evaluation was a requirement to get a marriage license.”
CALLER: It’s the one thing in life that is critical to our lives and is one of the most important decisions we ever make, and the only thing most people know about it is what they’ve learned in their own childhood, which may be very unhealthy.
RUSH: Take it back. They learn a lot about it on TV. Don’t think they don’t.
CALLER: Oh, yes, they do, but —
RUSH: They see a lot of marriages on TV. I mean, every aspect of it.
CALLER: Yeah, but —
RUSH: They see happy marriages. They see bad marriages.
CALLER: But, anyway, there is a test called Prepare/Enrich, which is a standardized highly evaluated test for accuracy, and it goes into every aspect of life and it is administered by a trained professional, two couples who individually computer score a test. It is computer scored, and then returned to the therapist and to the couple for evaluation. It points out their strengths and weaknesses.
RUSH: Does it advise them not to get married or to get married?
CALLER: It doesn’t advise them. They have to make their own decisions. However, they may decide based upon that that they do not want to be or that they do want to be. But it helps them to explore their strengths and weaknesses so that when they encounter them, they will know how to deal with them and be aware of them. It makes them aware more than anything, and they explore aspects that they have not discussed — although nearly everyone will come into therapy saying, “We have discussed everything.”
RUSH: Well, but you know what amazes me about all this is people are in relationships before they get married, and they face many of the same conflicts. Such as, “Where do we go at Christmas?”
CALLER: That’s right. This teaches them how to resolve those issues, not each individual issue, although examples may well come up. I have often said rather facetiously that I wish it were a requirement because when you are under the influence of romantic love, your prefrontal lobe, which is rational decision making portion of your brain has been proven to be fairly inoperative, because the emotions overpower it. This test explores absolutely every aspect of your life, things you would never even think about bringing up, and there are different versions of it for different phases of marriage. Now, I don’t know about Colorado law. It sounded like it was a little overkill.
RUSH: It sounds to me like nobody would want to get married after going through something like this.
RUSH: Here is Bill in Bayfield, Colorado. Hi, Bill, glad you called and great to have you on the program. Hello.
CALLER: How are you Rush? Double flyover country dittos to you.
RUSH: Well, double flyover…? I appreciate that. Thank you.
CALLER: I think you’re a little bit off as to the reason why the Colorado initiative for education prior to marriage —
RUSH: What do you mean I’m a little bit off? Who are you talking to me that way! You got no right to talk to me and tell me I’m a little bit off! You got no idea what you’re talking about. What are you…? (laughs) That’s my Richard Sherman impersonation.
CALLER: Yes. I got the impression.
CALLER: Simply put, I’ll give you a little background. I’m an election judge here and I’ve seen this happen many times. What the parties do — liberals, conservative, Democrat, et cetera — is they put forth issues that drive single-issue people to the voting booth. Republicans were quite successful in the eighties and nineties with the tax limiting issues and the right-to-life issues. They got their people out. The Democrats in the last two election cycle have been wildly successful with the marijuana issue.
RUSH: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. This makes sense.
CALLER: It drives these people that would not ordinarily vote to the polls. I got a next-door neighbor who has never voted, but he went down to vote in the last election because it had the recreational marijuana issue on it.
RUSH: Was this person a leftist?
CALLER: He is. He’s an artist. Do I need to say more?
RUSH: An artiste. Right. So it’s a combination voter registration, voter participation. It’s get people to the polls, and then when they’re there, there are other things on the ballot they can also vote on or it conditions them to show up the next time there is an election?
CALLER: That’s correct, and you can expect the Republicans in this state to put forth some gun-rights issues, and there are also probably on the Democrat side of this thing there will be some frack-limiting issues that come out as well over the next few weeks.
RUSH: If both parties do it, how do you feel about it, ’cause it’s gonna be inclusive at the same time. You have more and more people voting. Do you like that or not?
CALLER: Well, at one time it used to just be the Republicans doing it. The Democrats have discovered it over the last election cycle.
RUSH: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. The Republicans did this first?
CALLER: They were the ones. It started out basically when they were pushing tax-limiting issues, and the first big one they pushed was when they got the restrictions through on lottery money being spent for what they were originally wanting the lottery money to be spent for.
RUSH: Yes. But was what the Republicans doing strategically — were they just singular issue focused, or were they being forward thinking and actually — (crosstalk)
CALLER: Republicans had these issues going. We had Republican senators and the like in this state, which we don’t have anymore.
RUSH: Well, that’s my point. When you say the Republicans were first to do this, I was a little bit reluctant ’cause I don’t think that’s smart. Now, I do know that in California, Prop 13, the ballot initiative process, and in Colorado, too, they were first in the ballot initiative process, if you want to sign first, for their issue, but were they actually thinking long term that this is a way to increase voter turnout for another set of issues, or was it just —
CALLER: I’ve been active in politics since the seventies. In my discovery, I believe they’ve always thought that it was a means of driving single-issue voters to the polls —
CALLER: — to pick up on their candidates, if you will.
RUSH: Well, that’s encouraging. I didn’t think they were that forward thinking.
CALLER: Actually I think it’s a lazy way of doing it. They don’t run call banks well in this state. They don’t go out and knock on doors. They tried to do it through ballot initiatives.
RUSH: Well, there is that, too. But at least it’s causing turnout. The Democrats are now emulating it.
CALLER: Yeah, sadly so.
RUSH: Well, you can’t stop ’em. I mean, once they see that it’s working. You can pretty much now safely predict what issues both parties would use to try to drive this turnout, like you say, gun rights will be up next for Republicans.
RUSH: And the Democrats will come up with something War on Women related.
CALLER: Probably. They’ve already done the gay marriage thing here. I think they messed up passing that in the legislature, because it would be an ideal Democrat voter initiative ballot issue.
RUSH: True. Could be. Well, look, Bill, I appreciate the call. I’m up against it on time and I have to go, but I’m glad you got through today.
CALLER: Well, thank you, sir.
RUSH: You bet. Thanks much.