Pam Spaulding has a post up on study that foretells the shrinking of liberalism. While the piece Pam linked to explained it well, the Opinion Journal gives a more complete picture:
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 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.
What does the trend translate to?
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.
Libreals face their impending defeat many ways in Pam’s comments. We have denial:
While it may be true that conservatives are propagating at a greater rate, there’s no guarantee that their children will be conservatives.
Thus ignoring one of the central thesises of the the story that 80% do end up voting like their parents.
One person who labeled themselves anonymous came up with an alternate theory:
But if you focus on other things than having kids – writing novels, teaching, working in politics et.c. are you not then more likely to influence those around you?
As a parent you can influence your child’s party affiliation to 80% and as a non-parent you can influence 1000 persons party affiliation to maybe 0.5%?
The problem is that if you have too many people making that choice, you get in major trouble. The fact is worldview determines how these things get perceived, which is why many things very popular in liberal circles are unpopular in society as a whole. In addtion, few can be extremely influential authors and most novelists are never published. Having novels and havings babies are not mutually exclusive.
Others rely on “natural superiority”
I think there is more to maintaining relevance than simply pumping out offspring. Ingenuity and adaptivity–virtues liberals possess in abundance–can will out over simple numbers.
This article–and the way conservatives sometimes refer to the same issue in regard to “family values”–reduces human beings to simple animals. Haven’t we outstripped this reliance on simple “survival of the fitness” for our success?
Survival of the fitness? Who dragged Richard Simmons into this.
And another poster:
More proof that fundies still don’t understand the concept of evolution.
This actually shows liberals don’t understand what the theory teaches:
Natural selection is the process by which individual organisms with favorable traits are more likely to survive and reproduce than those with unfavorable traits.
If one believes in evolution, than liberalism is one of those traits it’s trying to breed out of the gene pool.
Beyond that is the first poster’s arrogant assumption that Conservatives lack ingenuity or adaptability. But, sure, I guess the left can go with the, “We’ll survive deomographics because we’re just so clever.”
Our old buddy Russ theorizes:
So Utah breeds like crazy, huh? And urban environments produce more liberals? Great! So the Mormons breed like, well, Mormons, that makes Utah’s cities larger and larger, and therefore more liberal. Hooray!
Hasn’t worked out too well over the past 30 years. In addition to this, you have many Conservative cities out there. The difference with Red State cities is that there’s room for expansion, so people don’t become like caged rats. Also, many blue cities have centuries long liberal histories. They’ve simply harderened in that direction as liberals stayed (or moved in from elsewhere) and more conservatives left.
Then we’ve got a sane, reasonable theory:
Part of the reason that conservativism tends to predominate where there are more children is because having children leads to more conservative behavior.
Abortion is fine when pregnancy is only an inconvenient byproduct of sex, but much less so when you’ve lived through one and held its results.
Drug use and sex are fine when it’s someone else’s child, but less so when it’s your own.
Welfare makes less sense when it comes out of your paycheck and decreases your ability to provide for your kids’ own.
Raising property taxes on homeowners to pay for rent control and subsidized housing sounds like a great idea — until you become one.
Of course, there are liberals with children, however many ex-liberals will attest that moving rightward began with kids. But this provides one answers.
Of course, there’s also despair:
I’d been hearing about the fundie interns/political activists-in-training for several months but never in such detail.
Coupled with the higher birthrate and generational trend, here is my assessment of the future:
We. Are. Screwed…I’m moving to the UK, I swear!
And finally we have an attempt at spin:
As for the original article, everyone is missing a prime opportunity for spin control. The title to the article and links thereto really needs to read, “Red States: Breeding Like Hungry Rabbits Or Just Too Stupid to Use Birth Control?”
Of course, spinning won’t make the liberals’ problems go away. Perhaps, winning the culture war is as simple as holding the line, raising your children decently, and waiting for nature to take its course.