Syracuse University Professor Arthur C. Brooks writes this in today’s Wall Street Journal:
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 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….
The fertility gap doesn’t budge when we correct for factors like age, income, education, sex, 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. Some believe the gap reflects an authentic cultural difference between left and right in America today. As one liberal columnist in a major paper graphically put it, ‘Maybe the scales are tipping to the neoconservative, homogenous right in our culture simply because they tend not to give much of a damn for the ramifications of wanton breeding and environmental destruction and pious sanctimony, whereas those on the left actually seem to give a whit for the health of the planet and the dire effects of overpopulation.’ It would appear liberals have been quite successful controlling overpopulation–in the Democratic Party.
Fortunately, as Kathy Shaidle (hat tip to her for Brooks’ article) points out (via Mark Shea), the liberal Dems just don’t get it. She links to this screed last October by SF Gate columnist Mark Morford:
Who are you to say that the more than slightly creepy 39-year-old woman from Arkansas who just gave birth to her 16th child yes that’s right 16 kids and try not to cringe in phantom vaginal pain when you say it, who are you to say Michelle Duggar is not more than a little unhinged and sad and lost?
And furthermore, who are you to suggest that her equally troubling husband — whose name is, of course, Jim Bob and he’s hankerin’ to be a Republican senator and try not to wince in sociopolitical pain when you say that — isn’t more than a little numb to the real world, and that bringing 16 hungry mewling attention-deprived kids (and she wants more! Yay!) into this exhausted world zips right by ‘touching’ and races right past ‘disturbing’ and lurches its way, heaving and gasping and sweating from the karmic armpits, straight into ‘Oh my God, what the hell is wrong with you people?’
I dunno–didn’t Ethel Kennedy (Bobby’s wife?) bear 13 children right in my own lifetime? That was back not so long ago when Dems had kids. I say: Keep up the good work, Mark.
Kathy also links to Mark Steyn’s WSJ piece earlier this year, “It’s the Demography, Stupid“:
As a famous Arnold Toynbee quote puts it: ‘Civilizations die from suicide, not murder –as can be seen throughout much of ‘the Western world’ right now. The progressive agenda–lavish social welfare, abortion, secularism, multiculturalism–is collectively the real suicide bomb.’