Drop in Birth Rates, Rise of Single Voters Set Rightbloggers to Raving
December 5, 2012
Digging your heels in is the right thing to do when you are right. Digging your heels in when it is the wrong thing to do is turning your back on reality.
How can you tell the difference? For one thing, if the majority of people don’t see the world through your eyes chances are you’re on the wrong track. When shunning science to the point where people’s lives are put at risk becomes the entry ticket to a particular tribe, something is very wrong. When a blind eye is turned to behavior that is discriminatory or hateful, that too, is very wrong.
We all yearn to belong and to be a part of something greater than ourselves. In one way or another, we strive to claim our space with like minded individuals. There is nothing wrong with that and in fact, it is a good thing. Our families, our groups, our community to be there for us in times of need and despair and to be there to share our joys and triumphs.
To be a part of a group is to be a part of something bigger than ourselves and to give back to the group with little or no expectations of receiving anything in return. To be a part of a healthy group is not about imposing your will on others.
What is happening now to our nation is profoundly tragic. Our community, on a charge led by many on the right, is being torn apart and ‘E Pluribus Unum’ has been reduced to a forgotten slogan.
Some on the right have lost their way. While that may be cause for celebration for some political adversaries, it is a sad time. The right- just like the left- have contributed mightily to the character of this country. Hospitals, charities built by conservative or religious Americans can be found all over the land and volunteerism by conservative or religious Americans have left a permanent and honorable mark on the tapestry of the nation. From schools to social services to endowed scholarships to neighborly helping hands good people- you neighbors- have helped make our nation a better place.
Rather than reclaiming a great history, some on the right are embracing all the ideas that are wrong for this nation. Their biggest mistake is not trusting the American people, that great body which has shown the ‘wisdom of the crowd’ has served us well.
When things go south, Americans have never been shy about showing their displeasure at the polls. That won’t change.
America, like the great document that is the Constitution, is living and breathing, growing and expanding- and when necessary, is self correcting.
The day-to-day business of rightblogging – harrying Susan Rice, cheering on congressional Republicans, and so forth — is not very satisfying to us, nor (apparently, from their tedious writing on those subjects) to them.
So we were happy for them and for ourselves when some recent reports showed that U.S. birth rates have fallen to historic lows. This excited the brethren, as it touched on some of their favorite themes, such as contempt for the childless and the fear that unless America churns its childbirth up to Yours, Mine, and Ours levels, the nation cannot long survive.
We should note that rightbloggers have long been concerned with the U.S. birth rate, for a number of reasons. For one thing, they worry that if America doesn’t outbreed its enemies, democracy is in peril. “The Islamic world is reproducing at a rate far above replacement level,” as Robert Maynard wrote at Renew America in 2010, while “America is about in the middle with a birth rate barely above replacement level.” The reason: “While we in the west are mired in nihilism, multicultural relativism and self-doubt, radical Muslims have a fanatical devotion to spreading their cause.” Many lunatics and at least one GOP County Committee member have picked up the theme, though its premise is specious at best.
That goes for rightbloggers’ domestic enemies as well: In the years before the Obama boom, rightbloggers took to reassuring themselves that, since red state procreation rates were higher than blue state rates, a Republican electoral majority was all but assured for the foreseeable future.
That’s how Joel Kotkin explained Bush’s victory in 2004: “Last month, Democrats swept the largely childless cities–true blue locales like San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Boston, and Manhattan have the lowest percentages of children in the nation–but generally had poor showings in those places where families are settling down,” he wrote. “… the problem for Democrats isn’t that they are losing among families now. The real problem is that the electoral importance of both nuclear families and the communities where they are congregating is only growing.”
He added that this also spelled trouble for Democrats among “the Latino population–which tends to be more family-oriented than any other group in society… if Latino voters continue to move into the middle class, buy houses, and relocate to more conservative areas… Democrats may have a hard time holding on to them.”
This cheered RedState: “Republicans are winning the baby battle!” Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit quoted a reader, “So, ‘dumb rednecks breeding in their double-wides’ turns out to be ‘America’s demographic secret weapon’?” “Liberal ‘Fertility Gap’ Should Worry Democrats,” announced NewsMax.
“White birthrates and Republican voting are closely correlated,” determined nativist Steve Sailer at The American Conservative. “…Lower density helps explain why red regions both attract the baby-oriented and encourage larger families among those already there.” As is his wont, Sailer also told readers that white liberals in Manhattan don’t like black people, who are all criminals. “Nobody noticed that the famous blue-red gap was a white baby gap,” Sailer added, “because the subject of white fertility is considered disreputable.” (Not for long, though: He was quoted enthusiastically by David Brooks.)
While “Red State fertility is not a hard fast rule,” said RedState in 2006, “nonetheless, we also note that Pennsylvania and Wisconsin were squeakers in 2004 election, indicating a significant Red presence in the population…” “The more America’s secular/progressive blue states emulate shrinking socialist countries of Europe in their politics and mores,” wrote Tom McLaughlin in 2007, “the more their birth rates go down. By contrast, religious/conservative red states have much higher birth rates.” Thus, “traditional religion and culture alive by producing children and staying together to raise them. That’s the whole point of marriage – staving off extinction.”
This thinking progressed to the point where libertarian Bryan Caplan declared that “the most realistic long-run path to liberty is boosting libertarians’ Total Fertility Rate to 3.” As recently as March, Glenn Reynolds quoted a rightwing reader who said of child-poor blue-state liberals, “They do realize that knuckle-dragging troglodytes like Santorum, Romney, (and me — with 3) will outbreed them thus winning in the long run right?” Etc.
Just before the 2012 election, the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics issued a report that showed historically low fertility rates. Rightbloggers seemed unsure what to do with this news. On the one hand, like everything else they didn’t like, it was something they could blame on Obama; on the other, they at least dimly grasped that if the rate was down nationally, it might also be down in the red states where they were expecting a tsunami of right wing baby voters…