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Op/ed: Tim Scott’s Bachelorhood Is Not a Defect

UMD Researcher of Black Singlehood Calls Out ‘Hypocrisy’ Over Wariness of GOP Presidential Candidate

By Kris Marsh

Tim Scott in profile

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) could become the first bachelor U.S. president since Grover Cleveland. Sociology Professor Kris Marsh questions why his singlehood is in question at all.

AP Photo by Mic Smith

Maybe you don’t like U.S. Sen. Tim Scott’s politics, but don’t brandish the fact that the South Carolinian Republican is single as evidence he’s not fit for the presidency, sociology Associate Professor Kris Marsh writes in a new essay on MSNBC.

The author of the recent book The Love Jones Cohort: Single and Living Alone in the Black Middle Class,” Marsh says there’s no evidence to support the idea that a single man is less fit than a married man for a position of leadership and responsibility, and yet the stigma—and chatter over Scott’s bachelorhood—continues, she writes:

As Jemele Hill recently noted on X, formerly Twitter, the fact that Republicans would be “wary” of Scott while having “no problem backing a thrice-married, racist, adulterer” doesn’t add up. (Hill is referring to Donald Trump here, of course, whose alleged struggles with marriage have been well documented.) These donors and supporters “keep showing Tim Scott who they are and it’s sad that he refuses to believe it.”

The hypocrisy really is impossible to ignore, here. But it’s not the only frustrating part of the narrative. Historically, the vast majority of U.S. presidents have been in heterosexual partnerships. Voters have not chosen an unmarried president in over a century. President Grover Cleveland was single when elected, although he would marry France Folsom a year later, in 1886. President James Buchanan, an infamously terrible president, was single for his entire White House tenure, and indeed never married.

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