Over at the Corner, Tom Hoopes remarks on the culchah which has spawned the likes of Rep. Anthony Weiner.  The money quote goes straight to ol’ Robbo’s heart:

He grew up in a world where “family” and “religion” became abstract terms. Instead of growing up in a culture of families staying together for better or worse, he grew up in the divorce culture where other arrangements can always be made (I don’t mean that he was a child of divorce; he was, but that is a secondary consideration). And instead of growing up in a culture where religion has to do with what you believe and how you behave, he grew up in a culture where, as Moment magazine put it “Weiner has always been assertive about his Jewishness” but “doesn’t belong to a synagogue or consider himself close to a single rabbi.”

Where faith and families are impotent symbols, they no longer have the power to create boundaries. And you end up with a situation where a self-proclaimed man who “loves his wife” is sexting about Jewish sexual stereotypes with strangers. So laugh at the rise and fall of Anthony Weiner if you must, but be warned, the Weinerization of America continues apace.

Hoopes also talks about the state of media and communications that allowed for Weiner to indulge himself, but I think the key word in the entire post is boundaries.   The entire history of Western Civilization can be understood in terms of the boundaries placed on individual behavior by religion and family responsibilities.  When you do away with those safeguards, you do not get, as the Boomers thought in the 60’s, a Utopia full of liberated, self-realized saints, you get a mob of barbarians and savages.

As to Hoopes’ broader warning about the “Weinerization” of society, and I think that’s also right. There are plenty of other folks out there carrying on in exactly the same way and worse.   The question is: What can anybody do about it?  How do you turn the tide? What would make the pendulum swing back the other way, aside from some hideous cataclysm that culls the populace with Darwinian ruthlessness?

Well, that’s more than one question, but you get my drift.

For my part, as I’ve said before, I think it my obligation just to do what I can in my immediate orbit.  And hopefully, I am lighting at least a couple of candles against the darkness.  This past week, the eldest gel said to me, “Dad, I’m really glad you have rules and restrictions and don’t try to be cool like the other kids’ dads, who let them do whatever they want.”  It was mighty gratifying.

In the fight against Evil, every little helps.