If only we could isolate the liberal gene we could test for it and create liberal babies using Gattaca-like technology! Or that's what we would do if we smoked the same crack that Arthur C. Brooks does
writing for the WSJ editorial page.
Now, I know, I shouldn't be reading that damn page, it just makes me angry, but get a load of this shit.
Simply put, liberals have a big baby problem: They're not having enough of them, they haven't for a long time, and their pool of potential new voters is suffering as a result. According to the 2004 General Social Survey, if you picked 100 unrelated, politically liberal adults at random, you would find that they had, between them, 147 children. If you picked 100 conservatives, you would find 208 kids. That's a "fertility gap" of 41%. Given the fact that about 80% of people with an identifiable party preference grow up to vote the same way as their parents, this gap translates into lots more little Republicans than little Democrats to vote in future elections. Over the past 30 years this gap has not been below 20% -- explaining, to a large extent, the current ineffectiveness of liberal youth voter campaigns today.
Alarmingly for the Democrats, the gap is widening at a bit more than half a percentage point per year, meaning that today's problem is nothing compared to what the future will most likely hold. Consider future presidential elections in a swing state (like Ohio), and assume that the current patterns in fertility continue. A state that was split 50-50 between left and right in 2004 will tilt right by 2012, 54% to 46%. By 2020, it will be certifiably right-wing, 59% to 41%. A state that is currently 55-45 in favor of liberals (like California) will be 54-46 in favor of conservatives by 2020 -- and all for no other reason than babies.
The fertility gap doesn't budge when we correct for factors like age, income, education, gender, race -- or even religion. Indeed, if a conservative and a liberal are identical in all these ways, the liberal will still be 19 percentage points more likely to be childless than the conservative.
Democratic politicians may have no more babies left to kiss.
Umm, can anyone point out the glaring flaw here? Liberalism isn't born of indoctrination from birth like some religion. It comes from higher education, compassion (the real kind - not that conservative crap), and as we note here at Give Up, empirical observation of the kind of government that works and elevates people to their potential. This is a clear case of conservatives looking at how people become conservative (isolation, ignorance, religion, traditionalism) and applying the same principles to liberalism when they're fundamentally different world views. Liberals, as a general rule, aren't indoctrinated into some church of liberalism from youth. We don't go to liberal camp. We don't get sent to vacation liberal school. Conservatives are the ones that require indoctrination and the preservation of overvalued ideas from generation to generation. Most the liberals I've met have become liberal in spite
of all the Sunday school, vacation bible camp, racist preachers and family members that seek to turn one into sexists, racists, nationalists, or what have you.
And where did all those dirty hippies come from in the 60s? Did someone institute a liberal breeding program in the 40s and 50s and fail to tell me about it? Did someone put liberal juice in the water? Umm no, the kids raised in that time simply looked around and saw the stupidity of racism, sexism and war and said to themselves this is just totally stupid, enough!
It reminds me of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, "When the soul of a man is born in this country there are nets flung at it to hold it back from flight. You talk to me of nationality, language, religion. I shall try to fly by those nets." He was talking about the indoctrination that conservatives use to propagate their ideas and how he would use his mind and his will to reject the stupidity of a bigoted mindset. Also, don't forget, "History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake."
Sorry to burst the WSJs bubble, but liberalism is fundamentally unlike conservatism. Conservatism is the preservation of old, and over-valued ideas, it requires indoctrination, you don't come by it naturally (unless you're just an asshole). This is why they fear higher education so much. They have this insane conceit that college is like a church where professors repeat some litany designed to make the kids dirty liberals, but that's just not it. That's how they got their ideas, not how we get ours.
Liberalism is a constantly renewing phenomenon, because all it requires is the observation in the young and self-aware of the failure and misery of things like bigotry, sexism, and unenlightened self-interest. We don't need to breed liberals. We just need libraries, books, the internet and the occasional Give Up Blog maps. We just need to see the failures of these conservative assholes, as they mismanage our country into the ground to see that conservatism will never truly dominate for the simple reason that it doesn't work. So, don't worry about our reproduction Mr Brooks, George Bush will create more liberals in 8 years than the baby boomers could breed in a 100.
**Update** I just took another look at the picture directly beneath this post, and what could possibly have made my point better? And does anyone want to share their stories of how they became liberal? Or stories of how they avoided becoming like their racist parents like this guy?
I remember how I became liberal (it wasn't indoctrination from my parents because I was more conservative than they were as part of my teen-rebellion phase), I read two books. One was Jonathan Kozol's Savage Inequalities
which taught me exactly how lucky I was, and Stephen Jay Gould's Mismeasure of Man
which taught me how you must constantly look past your built-in biases to see the truth.