You Can't Outlaw FailureCommentary by Pete du Pont
June 10, 2003
Ten years ago the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan published an illuminating and unpopular analysis of American social conscience. "Defining Deviancy Down" explained how America had accepted high rates of violent crime and illegitimacy, rationalizing them as socially acceptable rather than doing anything to lower them. He noted that urban elites increasingly extolled rather than criticized broken families, notwithstanding studies showing a high correlation between single-parent families and educational failure.