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COLUMN RIGHT/ SUSAN CARPENTER McMILLAN : Ozzie & Harriet for the ‘90s: Ozzie & Harriet : When personal fulfillment became society’s goal, the nuclear family fell into disfavor. Now, it’s time to reconsider.

<i> Susan Carpenter McMillan is a KABC-TV commentator, spokesperson for the Pro-Family Media Coalition of Southern California and a founder of ShE LIST, a conservative women's political action committee. </i>

Ashley’s father left home when she was 7. Over the next four years, her mother raised her alone.

Ashley was 11 when she left home; that same year she became sexually active. By 13, she gave birth and gave up her baby for adoption. The next year she had three abortions. By the age of 15, Ashley was living on the streets, earning money as a prostitute. The politically correct thing to say at this point is, “Don’t blame poor Ashley, it’s society’s fault.”

I agree, only it’s not the parts of society that bleeding-heart liberals love to blame--those “selfish” Reagan-Bush years or the heartless conservative ideologues. No, the parts of society I blame are the liberal elite who embody the arrogant Hollywood industry, the too-hip marketing departments of many manufacturers of teen-agers’ clothing, the Jim Jones-like, hypnotic appeal of MTV and self-righteous educators who pollute our children’s minds rather than fill them with knowledge. No one of these is singularly at fault, but by combining their sleaze, they become lethal.

Over the past 20 years, the liberal wing of the Baby Boomers has made dads optional, single mothers chic, recreational sex normal and a “me first, it’s my right” philosophy that has nearly destroyed the American family pervasive. Their dogged campaign portrayed family values as antiquated, abstinence as puritanical and commitment to a single marriage as unrealistic--while at the same time successfully painting the ‘50s family as nothing more than abusive fathers and mindless mothers who were prisoners of their children.

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Well, here we are 30 years later, and what have these liberal ne’er-do-well social engineers given us?

* More teen-age suicide then ever before.

* Juvenile crime out of control.

* Violence on school campuses reaching unthinkable highs, turning our teachers into counselors instead of educators, who are trying to mend the heart instead of educating the mind.

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* One out of every two marriages now ends in divorce, while one out of every four children, during the ‘90s, will enter into a stepfamily only to have, in too many cases, that family break up again in a few years.

Less than half the adults today regard sacrifice for others as a positive virtue. Many single moms are more interested in spending time with their boyfriends than with their babies, believing that parental investment results in less time for self investment.

More than 70% of incarcerated juveniles are from single-mother households, while many low-income children don’t even know who their real fathers are and may not have the same father as their siblings. Woody Allen has become a symbol of morality, while “Leave it to Beaver” is depicted as sophomoric and outdated. So what do we as a society do?

The new thinking among social scientists, after years of research, has concluded that the answer is quite simple. We must return to the two-parent, committed family philosophy of the postwar ‘40s and ‘50s, in which children can feel a sense of permanent stability that is mandatory for their upbringing, where dads play one role and moms play another. New research shows that when the nuclear family breaks up (or was never there to begin with) children feel abandoned, confused and angry. Novelist Pat Conroy sums it up best: “Each divorce is the death of a small civilization.”

Ashley desperately needed a daddy before she became a mommy. Yet the anti-nuclear-family philosophy promulgated by today’s televisions shows, educators and pop artists is like a cancer eating away at the basic foundation of our society, the two-parent family.

What liberals perceive as progressive in reality is regressive. With the obvious so obvious, one wonders why these industries continue their campaigns of destruction. Is it because they want to justify their own behavior--if we become like them, they become normal?

Dan Quayle was right after all, and I sincerely wonder if Diane English, Hollywood’s feminist queen and producer of “Murphy Brown,” has enough class to admit it. Or is she still fighting to make us like her?


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