(Originally posted April 09, 2008)
Welcome back, readers. Thanks to my loyal supporters, my amazing Facebook skillz, and my ever-willingness to protest when things do not go my way, I am now the vice president-elect of the Graduate Student Senate at UT. Do I have any idea what that position does? Not a clue. However, I’m sure I will be great at it. “But Drew,” some critiques will undoubtedly argue, “I thought you stated in the past that politics is an abysmal, soul-destroying profession which all real men should avoid.” Umm, yeah, I guess I did say that…Anyway, moving on…
In Legal Process, we gave oral arguments yesterday for a fake divorce appeal. We argued in front of real judges, who asked us real questions. I kept it real. Overall, it seemed to go pretty well. But then again, we do get graded on a curve – subjectively – so who knows.
Oftentimes because of my web presence, individuals will write to me asking my advice about certain issues. Take, for example, this email I received a few days ago:
I am an avid reader of your blog and a HUGE fan. Your writing is always so eloquent and brilliantly reasoned. Anyway, I would like to inquire about your views on public sex scandals such as the events surrounding the Eliot Spitzer resignation. It seems to me that politicians’ private lives should not be any of our business, as long as they do a good job in office. What do you think?
Clint Eastwood, the actor
Well, Clint, I have certainly given this topic a great deal of thought, as I do with every important issue. In my wisdom, I recognize that the distinction between public and private lives is actually imaginary. Let us look at my Legal Process assignment as an example.
In our pretend scenario, I represented a wife who was the primary breadwinner for the family. She wanted to divorce her husband because he cheated on her. Even though the wife had made most of the money and was an innocent party in the divorce, the husband still asked for alimony and a large chunk of the marital property. Corrupt divorce law allows parties to make these kinds of ridiculous demands. Specifically, Tennessee law will ignore fault, including adultery, when dividing up marital property during a divorce. When setting alimony, judges may consider fault (although they don’t have to) – but only as a one of a dozen factors to consider.
When I was doing my oral argument yesterday and making statements like “Adultery is bad,” I could not help but wonder about the personal lives of the judges listening to my presentation. Did they really even share my feelings? Or was adultery just some kind of a neutral thing for them? At this point, I understood the ‘distinction’ between personal values and public life: It didn’t exist.
(As far as I know, the two judges who heard us are upstanding individuals, but I nonetheless distrust the overall system because some judges are not.)
The Extent of Legal Depravity Exposed
Furthermore, I wondered what kind of brain-dead legislator would craft Tennessee divorce law in a way that virtually eliminates fault. Then I realized that they were not brain-dead at all. Rather, many of our politicians actually want to alter the natural family structure.
In today’s world, many elitists see the human species as completely depraved and irrational. These elitists find fault with everyone but themselves. Therefore, based on their own perceived infallibility, they seek to manipulate the natural order and “improve” creation. Examples of idealistic elitists are the feminists and the communists. These manipulators impose artificial restraints on human behavior by force.
Unfortunately, even innocent observers often buy into the notion of absolute human depravity. They assume that American culture has naturally eroded over time, producing broken families. They are wrong. Although flawed, natural humans actually have many positive qualities. Humans have the ability to think creatively and improve their own welfare. Humans will rationally look out for their own interests, even without government intervention. Humans have a longing for spiritual meaning. Jesus himself is human.
Furthermore, humans have a natural tendency to form families. American divorce rates hover above fifty percent, but human depravity has not caused this family breakdown. The crooked laws are the problem. If a spouse becomes bored during marriage and recognizes that the government will actually subsidize his adultery/divorce through no-fault alimony and no-fault property allotment, why would anyone choose to remain faithful? Naturally, human societies hold great disdain for adultery, but the elitists defy the natural inclination to stone the adulterer. Instead, American politicians would prefer to give the adulterer a handout – at the expense of the innocent party. Unnatural law has turned marriage from an institution of love to an instrument of plunder.
Generally, the lower-income spouse stands to gain the most from alimony and property distribution. For that reason, women initiate more than two thirds of divorces. Donald Trump advises in his latest book that everyone, not just the rich, get prenuptial agreements to protect themselves. I agree.
In a democracy, you probably wonder why honorable citizens would tolerate such insane laws. They tolerate them out of optimism and egotism. (I admitted earlier that humans are flawed.) If you mention the absurdly high divorce rate to a man in love, he will laugh at you and say, “Hah! Divorce will never happen to me. Those other divorced men were just scumbags [50%], or they did not know how to communicate [50%], or they simply chose wives poorly [50%!].” Deluded people do not even consider that the legal system may be stacked against them.
What am I getting at with all this? Family law has been corrupted. You can get married if you want. You can try to live like a natural human being if you want. But the system will act against you at every turn. Certain people in power despise natural humanity and use their influence to destroy it. Society isn’t the problem. The lawyers are. You have been warned.
edited slightly, 5-10-2008
“Humans are in a constant balancing act between our reasoning, moral higher mind and our baser, animal instincts. It is what make us human, this weakness and the struggle. But it is also what makes the choice to do the right thing beautiful because often it goes directly against what we want right NOW. Bottom line-being human means not always making the right decision and often letting the people who love us down.
What struck me about our scenario was how unwilling she was to give him another chance after twenty-three years of marriage. I think that is why the divorce rate is high. When divorce wasn’t really an option, people had to give each another chance. I think people’s expectations of marriage are too high. You will never love anyone every day for 60 years. You may go weeks during those 60 years where you can’t stand them. That’s natural and that’s what family is; and when you get married you are creating a family seperate from your family. And just like the family you were a part of as a child, you don’t get rid of your new family just because they’re irritating you this year or they did you wrong. Unless it’s an extreme circumstance, you should get over it, forgive, and move on.
People get married based on their romantic feelings rather than actual compatability. People get married becuase they are 25 and they think it’s time. Women get married so they can have their ‘special day’. Then as soon as those feelings quite down, turn sour, or are less than inspiring-they want out. I consider her unwillingness to forgive him to be just as deep a betrayal as his adultery. There’s a reason the vow says ‘for better or worse’. It would be different if he had done it before and refused to get marriage counseling or work on the marriage.”
(04-09-2008, 7:59 pm)
“Well, I know plenty of people feel that way, and I definitely appreciate your perspective — but any girl who cheats on *me* is out of the picture immediately, no other questions asked. I consider it a total breach of the contract.”
(04-09-2008, 8:15 pm)