Friday 19 October 2018

Mary Kenny: A Trump dynasty

Is blood thicker than water for a 'reconstituted family'?

Mary Kenny, writer and author. Photo: Tony Gavin
Mary Kenny, writer and author. Photo: Tony Gavin
Mary Kenny

Mary Kenny

There's one set of liberals who should be pleased - even jubilant - about the ascent of President Donald Trump: those who uphold and champion the benefits of divorce. During our several divorce referenda, liberals advanced the claim that divorce could be good (as against defenders of traditional marriage, who said it broke up families).

Mr Trump's "reconstituted family" - as the sociologists call kinship groups re-assembled after divorce - is surely an emblem of successful multi-marriage.

When Ronald Reagan was known to be divorced and re-married, it was kept discreetly in the background. His first wife was the film actress Jane Wyman, whom I interviewed as a rookie journalist: she was very ladylike and very determined to keep schtumm about that early marriage. The spin-doctors of Reagan's electoral campaign strove to eliminate mention of the fact that Ronnie would be the first divorced president in the White House. But it didn't become an issue: the public gave him a free pass because he was a Hollywood actor. And the Christians who supported him pardoned him because he was so solid on the subject of abortion (sincerely against).

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