“I am single like many other people. If you’ve got a good marriage, God bless you. If you're single, there's nothing wrong with you. The last time I checked, there was nothing in the Constitution or at the White House that said, 'Single people need not apply.' I'm going to be a ready-to-go commander-in-chief, protect everybody, single people included."
The Context: Lindsey Graham is an unmarried candidate for the presidency. While several candidates speak frequently about their spouses and families, Graham's bachelor status brings questions about who would serve as first lady. Similarly, while many other (specifically Republican) candidates are forging their platforms on specific concepts of American family structure, here Graham is speaking directly to the portion of the electorate who are unmarried.
Certainly, the image of the American family is changing—as younger adults wait longer to get married and with this summer's Supreme Court decision to strike down state bans on same-sex marriage. Within Graham's party, we've heard calls for the maintenance of "traditional marriage," warnings about the consequences of "broken homes," and calls for the end of "the marriage penalty." (Of course, we have heard alternative interpretations and arguments to each of these as well.) Alongside social definitions, costs, and benefits, the legal question of marriage also invokes the issues of states' rights; income inequality; lifestyle mobility, stability, and flexibility.
Given the attention that many of the Republican candidates pay to marriage and marital status, and the rarity of Graham's comment toward single Americans, we asked