The Other McCain

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National Review’s ‘Pro-Family’ Writer @xan_desanctis Insults Dennis Prager

Posted on | November 29, 2018 | Comments Off on National Review’s ‘Pro-Family’ Writer @xan_desanctis Insults Dennis Prager

Alexandra DeSanctis’s parents sent her to an ultra-Catholic all-girls schoolOpus Dei! — in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., and thence to the University of Notre Dame, where she graduated two years ago and joined the staff of National Review. Somewhere along the way, Ms. DeSanctis acquired an unfortunate insolence, so that her reaction to an excellent column by Dennis Prager was to declare: “I’m as pro-marriage and pro-family as anyone, but I’m really ready for the ‘women need to avoid working so they can find a Nice Man to support them and make them happy’ genre of conservatism to fall out of fashion.”


This is a deliberate distortion of what the column was actually about — I’ll get to that momentarily — but perhaps more importantly, it is a 25-year-old presuming to stand in judgment of Dennis Prager, a conservative warrior who has suffered many wounds on behalf of the cause. The faculty at Oakcrest evidently failed to teach young Ms. DeSanctis to respect her elders and, were I her father, I would be outraged to find my daughter publicly disporting herself in a manner unbecoming a proper young Christian. This shocking insult was called to my attention by Rational Male author Rollo Tomassi, who read Ms. DeSanctis’s remark as an omen of future misfortune, referring to a genre of “38 year old Trad-Con spinsters” (i.e., unmarried traditional conservative women) who lament, “where have all the good men gone?”


This is a real phenomenon. There is an entire category of self-help books by Christian women whose devotion to “traditional family values” somehow never resulted in them walking down the aisle, and so they write about the “godly single” life and offer relationship advice (which would seem to be the blind leading the blind, so to speak). As Rollo says, the “38 year old Trad-Con spinsters” often blame men for their failure, complaining that men need to “man up.” The more likely explanation, of course, is that these women actually had matrimonial opportunities in their youth, but just didn’t play their cards right and, rather than confess their errors — “Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa” — instead rationalize their failure by scapegoating men.

Rollo Tomassi went on to accuse Ms. DeSanctis of “advocating for the Sandbergian plan,” a reference to Facebook executive Cheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. Tomassi added: “The Sisterhood Über Alles recognizes no politics or ideology.”


In other words, even many self-declared “conservative” women now embrace a careerist worldview in which women must join an anti-male alliance — “Sisterhood Über Alles” — to defeat men in a ruthless competition for educational and employment opportunities. Believing that career achievement is the only measure of success, such women distrust males as implacable enemies both in the workplace and in their personal lives. Not only must the Sandbergian woman destroy any male coworker who might be her rival for advancement, but she must also eschew any serious heterosexual romantic involvement, because marriage and motherhood might impede her professional ambition.

Because I know absolutely zero about Ms. DeSanctis’s personal life, it would be foolish for me to presume she is so unpopular as to have never had a serious boyfriend, but we might infer from her vehement reaction to Prager’s column that she is quite sensitive about this subject. One can imagine that her Catholic parents are probably beginning to express concern about why their daughter hasn’t found a husband yet. So, what was it about Dennis Prager’s column that offended Ms. DeSanctis? He shared the comments of a woman who called in to his radio show:

I’m 50 years old with four college degrees. I was raised by a feminist mother with no father in the home. My mother told me get an education to the maximum level so that you can get out in the world, make a lot of money. And that’s the path I followed. I make adequate money. I don’t make a ton of money. But I do make enough to support my own household.
I want to tell women in their 20s: Do not follow the path that I followed. You are leading yourself to a life of loneliness. All of your friends will be getting married and having children, and you’re working to compete in the world, and what you’re doing is competing with men. Men don’t like competitors. Men want a partner. It took me until my late 40s to realize this. . . .
It’s hard to find a partner in your late 40s to date because you also start losing self-confidence about your looks, your body. It’s not the same as it was in your 20s. . . .
You sit home alone and you do nothing. I avoid my friends now that have children because I have nothing in common with them.
Somebody asked me the other day, “Why did you stay single and never have kids?” There’s answers: Because I was brainwashed by my mother into this. But it’s hard and it’s shameful to tell people, “I don’t know. I ran out of time.” . . .
I didn’t realize this until late in life. I want to tell women: Find someone in your 20s. That’s when you’re still very cute. That’s when you’re still amiable to working out problems with someone. It’s harder in your 50s, when you’ve lived alone, to compromise with someone, to have someone in your home and every little thing about them annoys you because you’re so used to being alone. It’s hard to undo that, so don’t do what I did. Find someone in your 20s.

Very good advice and, in truth, young men should be similarly advised. The carefree young bachelor who becomes accustomed to playing the field is apt to become “set in his ways,” as folks say down home, so that he finds it harder to accommodate himself to the compromises necessary to making a relationship work. Trust me on this, guys — I didn’t marry until I was 29, and the adjustment was more difficult than I expected, but the tale of how and why I didn’t marry earlier is a story for another time. My point now is that Ms. DeSanctis’s insolent attitude is unfortunately common among young people, who think old-fashioned common sense is obsolete, so that they can scoff at the advice of their elders.

While my devout Catholic friend Pete Da Tech Guy might wish to include Ms. DeSanctis in his prayers, I suspect she’s already a lost cause. Why? Well, in high school, she played varsity softball.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.



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