In “Explaining the Trump Phenomenon” Stanford Professors Brady and Rivers consider if the anti-establishment rise is caused by American’s believing “special interests use their money to get their way most or all of the time and the government does not care about people like them.” They conclude: “much of Donald Trump’s support appears to come from Republicans who have lost faith in Washington.” While excellent, the piece excluded the “human interest” side, an example of which is unfolding as Florida Governor Scott considers Alimony Reform/Shared Parenting.
This is the second time this legislation has passed the House and Senate previously causing a veto. Now, a grassroots movement again passed legislation by substantial margins; the very definition of democracy.
Shared Parenting is supported by 43 peer reviewed papers, 110 world experts and over 70% public support with no differences across gender or political lines. Studies show children denied shared parenting have higher substance abuse, behavioral issues, and physical, social and emotional problems. Shared Parenting is practiced in a number of states: in 2012 Arizona implemented laws encouraging judges to maximize the time children spend with both parents and in 2015, Utah implemented law providing a minimum of 40% time with each parent.
Further, fatherlessness is an epidemic. Researchers from Princeton, Cornell and Berkley published “The Causal Effects of Father Absence” concluding problems experienced by children of divorce are caused by father absence with others examining the correlation between fatherlessness and school shooting perpetrators. Recently actor and economist Ben Stein wrote "A World Without Fathers: That's Why Our Country is Falling Apart". In introducing a Shared Parenting Bill in Missouri, Republican Senator Wayne Wallingford plainly said, “Most fatherlessness is not caused by abandonment; it’s created by an outdated court system.”
So if Shared Parenting is best for children and supported by 70% of women, men, liberals and conservatives, it should be the law of the land, right? Wrong. Enter the Establishment, stage right.
In the political sphere, a divergence seems to occur which isn’t reflective of the populace. Republicans seem more likely to support legislation and left-leaning Feminist groups and Democrats, more likely to oppose. In addition to the “red states” mentioned above, bills furthest along this session include Iowa, Missouri and Florida. In all, it’s Republicans sponsoring and Democrats opposing.
In 2014, an initiative was opposed by liberal, feminist groups AAUW, North Dakota Women's Network and ACLU. Currently, Florida’s Bill is opposed by liberal, feminist groups N.O.W., the League of Women Voters and UniteWomen.Org. This, despite only 18% of American’s identifying as feminists, a number of feminists plainly stating fathers face sexist discrimination in Family Courts and polls showing American’s believe top groups discriminated against in our courts include the poor, African Americans and Fathers.
But behind the scenes, another group holds the most power: The Bar Associations. Bar associations promote policies for their attorney membership and they don’t like shared parenting. Why? In voicing her support Catherine Real, an attorney with 38 years’ experience explained, “This will reduce the amount of litigation because of the presumption fathers are going to have equal timesharing with their children”. Less litigation means less money for lawyers so Bar Associations will go to any length to stop Shared Parenting including breaking the law. In the last two years, both Nebraska and North Dakota’s Bar Associations were sued for their actions opposing Shared Parenting. In North Dakota, they actually said they were spending $50,000 to $70,000 to defeat the measure so they could be in court less and make less money.
Now, the Florida Bar Association hired lobbyists who used to work directly for the Governor, to obtain his veto. That is the very definition of establishment politics causing a citizen revolt and substantiating special interests use their money to get their way and government does not care about citizens. A veto would also embolden the anti-establishment demographic weary of conservatives siding with liberals as it would entail turning your back on House and Senate Republicans to side with Democrats, N.O.W. and trial attorneys.
For too long, we’ve suffered from too many politicians and a dearth of leadership. The Anti-Establishment movement, in both parties, is an opportunity to end back room deals benefiting the few at the expense of the many, especially when it hurts children so lawyers can profit. That’s the very cause of the anti-establishment movement.