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Jeb Bush In 1995: Mothers Who Give Birth Outside Of Marriage Should Be Publicly Shamed

As he officially begins his quest next week for the 2016 GOP Presidential nomination, Jeb Bush may want to step carefully around some of the statements he has made in the past regarding women. In particular, single mothers.

In his 1995 book Profiles in Character, Bush wrote the following about women who give birth out of wedlock:

“One of the reasons more young women are giving birth out of wedlock and more young men are walking away from their paternal obligations is that there is no longer a stigma attached to this behavior, no reason to feel shame. Many of these young women and young men look around and see their friends engaged in the same irresponsible conduct. Their parents and neighbors have become ineffective at attaching some sense of ridicule to this behavior. There was a time when neighbors and communities would frown on out of wedlock births and when public condemnation was enough of a stimulus for one to be careful.”

The title of the chapter that claptrap appears in is “The Restoration of Shame.”

Bush even praised the kind of shaming and humiliation that takes place in the classic Nathaniel Hawthorne novel The Scarlet Letter. In the book, women who are deemed to be guilty of adultery are shamed by having to wear a red letter “A” so that everyone can instantly know what a bad person they are. Bush wrote that this was a most excellent idea:

“Infamous shotgun weddings and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter are reminders that public condemnation of irresponsible sexual behavior has strong historical roots.”

So does stoning people to death for working on the Sabbath. Should we bring back that custom, too, Jeb?

In 2003, while serving as Florida Governor, Bush even put his signature to what was known as the “Scarlet Letter law.” This draconian piece of legislation required rape victims to publicly disclose their sexual histories in the press. The bill was later declared unconstitutional. As reported by the New York Times, the law:

“Required women to run advertisements disclosing their names, ages, height, hair and eye color, race, and weight as well as the child’s name and birthplace and a description of the possible father. It also required the women to provide details of the dates and places of sexual encounters that might have produced the child. Women were required to run the advertisements once a week for a month in the community where the child may have been conceived.”

Gee, the only thing Bush and the Florida legislature left out of the law was how many times a day the women went to the bathroom and the manual counting of every hair on the person’s head.

Jeb Bush is just like every other member of the GOP running for President in 2016: They like to preach about freedom and the free market, but they don’t believe in applying those same principles to what people do in the privacy of their own homes. Their hypocrisy is truly gargantuan.

By Andrew Bradford

Proud progressive journalist and political adviser living behind enemy lines in Red America.

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