By Donnie Casto II
I never expected to be back at the writing desk, much less writing about parental equality again. Since my journey started on December 23, 2003, when I was served with my divorce papers during a 12-hour shift at work, I have watched countless holidays, school moments, and missed milestones disappear. I’ve paid out over $397,500 in welfare recovery under the guise of Title IV incentivized “child support”. After 20 years of missing out on my kids and the loss of my second marriage due to drug addiction issues, I was content to accept the reality that beyond a few names still on social media promoting the message of presumed shared parenting, the bastards finally won. Ohio currently has never achieved parental equality. Donald Trump didn’t deliver the draining of the legislative and judicial swamp we were promised. It was time for me to simply hang up the worn and weathered uniform of a non-custodial dad and quietly retire to just being Dad to my 6-year-old son I was blessed to get custody of in late September. Between all the infighting, egos, progress, and hope myself and many others had been sold, palpable change or unilateral reform never came fast enough.
I was mentally, emotionally, and physically burned-out. I was drinking excessively to numb the heartbreak of a corrupt legal system that minimized me to every other weekends and “pay your child support.” My wife of five years up and left due to her drug addiction that simply spiraled out of control. I went from being a happily married man with a son, to a single dad with a 6 year old. I was in a dark place, and the sole salvation I had was the little boy who needed me. I sat there many days thinking back to many of the comments I had seen on various parental equality groups with gender feminist and their white knight defenders who routinely mentioned “male privilege”, “mah patriarchy”, and “Mom’s get court screwed too.” Totally oblivious to the reality of the number of men who plaster on a fake smile and are one more bad day away from being another suicide statistic.
I was bound and determined that my time writing was over. I accomplished nothing of value in bringing about the change of liberty and freedom from the tyrannical oppression of family court. The judiciary still has qualified immunity and zero accountability in custody cases. The legislative branch continued to pander to BAR Association and feminist groups both determined to paint fathers and men as “deadbeats” or the overwhelming perpetrators of child abuse and domestic violence despite numerous stats proving children were more likely to be abused by the mother or her significant other than the father. Even worse was legislators admitting shared parenting would create a fiscal shortage in social welfare programs for their state that made creating more noncustodial fathers essential.
In the age of ever evolving technology, we have a population of Americans with more access to the evident reality of family court corruption, incentivized child support and foster care, and the proof of the multi-billion-dollar business divorce industry but absent of the outrage, empathy, and compassion of an oppression affecting 1 out of 3 American families.
I’ve spent many nights pondering my purpose in the greater scheme. The desire was always there to write, to emulate some of the great Founding Fathers of our nation that have been some of my personal heroes. I just wasn’t sure how. What else was there to say or write that hadn’t been stated or published by so many other moms or dads in this stagnant movement? Three years alcohol free brings a fresh perspective. Out of the clear blue school sky during a night of quiet reflection, I was contacted by a dear friend in TFRM saying they were in the need for talent. To be honest, I was quite surprised that I viewed as ‘talent’. After a conversation with some of the real media talent here at TFRM, I decided to put myself back to the writing desk and get to work again.
One of my favorite Founders and one of the greatest American patriots to ever live, Dr. Joseph Warren, said in his Boston Massacre speech “Our country is in danger, but not to be despaired of. Our enemies are numerous and powerful; but we have many friends, determining to be free, and heaven and earth will aid the resolution. On you depend the fortunes of America. You are to decide the important question, on which rest the happiness and liberty of millions yet unborn. Act worthy of yourselves.” While my journey through family court formally ends next year when my youngest son turns 18, there are many other men whose journey is just beginning. Many more men like my 21-year-old are just one bad relationship or night away from being hooked into an emotional and financial quagmire the likes they will never imagine. How could I be acting worthy of myself to sit idle and say or do nothing so long as men are ripe to be placed into a court system that doesn’t hold them equal in the family unit.
The fortunes of our fellow fathers and our children rest upon ourselves men. The choices we make and the actions we take today, will inevitably affect the tomorrows of our sons. With that in mind, I want to make an introductory promise and suggestion for progress to you, the reader. With all the passion, love, and dedication I can bring I will not censor or sugar coat myself on this subject. If the truth or facts offend, let it offend. We are in the midst of another American revolution for the liberty and freedom of the family unit. It’s time for the Sons of Liberty to rise up. It‘s also time for men and the women we are blessed and fortunate to have supported us, to pursue a run for local and state officials. The essential cornerstone of our Republic was an active and engaged population with the virtue and courage to be the first line of defense in liberty. With the political duopoly failing their oath and paying mere lip-service to the plight of millions, if our cause is to evolve, we must evolve beyond likes, shares, and donations on social media to foster it. While the Tree of Liberty maybe withered, it is not quite dead yet. We stand at moment where we will either water it with the sweat and tears of the ballot and soap box or face the inevitable reality of watering it with the blood of patriots and tyrants from the bullet box.
Until next time. . .