Skip to comments.Is the GOP Doomed by the ‘Generation Gap’?
Posted on 11/28/2012 11:20:26 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Winston Churchill has been quoted as saying, Any man who is under 30, and is not a liberal, has not heart; and any man who is over 30, and is not a conservative, has no brains.
And any man who writes on politics for New York Magazine has neither heart nor brains --- especially if his name is Jonathan Chait:
How doomed are conservatives? Pretty doomed, if you look carefully at the Pew Research Surveys close analysis of the youth vote in the 2012 elections. The Republicans long-term dilemma has generally been framed in racial terms, but its mainly a generational one. The youngest generation of voters contains a much smaller proportion of white voters than previous generations, and those whites in that generation vote Republican by a much smaller margin than their elders. Whats more, younger voters supported President Obama during the last two election cycles for reasons that seem to go beyond the usual reasons social issues like gay marriage and feminism, immigration policy, or Obamas personal appeal and suggest a deeper attachment to liberalism. The proclivities of younger voters may actually portend a full-scale sea change in American politics.
Chait needs a quick trip to the Wizard of Oz. In addition to heart and brains, he might see if the old humbug has any common sense rattling around in that sack.
The transformation of the young from liberal to conservative begins when they get their first paycheck as teenagers. The look of shock and dismay on these kids’ faces would be comical if you didn’t remember having the same look on your face when you got your first paycheck. “What’s FICA?” they wail. The disbelief they feel that the government would take so much — enough to fill up their gas tanks or get a couple of CDs — is not quite a Road to Damascus moment, but it certainly gets the wheels turning.
Feeling this way doesn’t make them any less compassionate for those less fortunate, or resentful of those on the dole. But it is their first lesson in understanding the adage that all those who can’t wait for their “free” health care under Obamacare seem to have forgotten: “There is no free lunch.” The first step in the transformation of liberal to conservative is a cognitive one — the understanding that funding the government so that it can bestow all those benefits is a fine thing in the abstract. But when it comes to you having actual skin in the game when the government taxes you for those benefits, your perspective is altered dynamically.
Obviously, not all young people who harbor liberal tendencies end up being conservative. But something happens to many youngsters when they hit their 20s, get married, have a kid or two, and discover the real world — the world of mortgages, and bills, and saving for college, and scrimping and saving for that vacation every year. They concern themselves with things they never gave a second thought to when they were kids: values, morals, and the responsibility that comes with raising children.
Conservatism as a philosophy answers many of these needs. Conservatism as a political ideology, not so much. Some conservative ideologues have hijacked the philosophy of conservatism and enslaved it to a very unconservative agenda that is non-inclusive, revanchist, and destructive of community. It’s not that young people are any more or less liberal than they were in previous generations. Nor is it true that gay marriage and “free” contraceptives will make them permanently leftist in their worldview. In fact, to make that point, Chait goes whistling by the grave yard because he surely knows that with age brings wisdom. And the riot of conceits that still defines liberalism usually doesn’t survive the path to adulthood.
The “Millennial Generation” (we have to call them something) is no different than any other generation. Conservatives like to say that kids today have been brainwashed by liberal academia. We were saying the same thing 30 years ago, just like they were saying it 20 years ago and 10 years ago. Young people have always absorbed liberal ideas from their teachers and sought to change the world. We used to think you could do it through music and marching. We ended up ruining far more than we changed. What we know now is that a single entrepreneur has the potential to change the lives of thousands of people in real, concrete ways that no liberal could have imagined 30 years ago, and few could imagine today.
What has changed — and what is driving the young away from the GOP — is the make-up of much of the base of the current incarnation of the Republican Party — dominated by hyperpartisan ideologues, anti-government activists, and Christian zealots at war with modernity. Until more reasonable, pragmatic voices begin to be heard in the GOP, writers like Jonathan Chait will continue to fool themselves into thinking that the generational evolution from liberal to conservative has been halted and that liberals have won a permanent victory.
The young skulls full of mush need to learn that "elections do have consequences". You make a mess, YOU deal with it.
Pretty much. The demographic shift has been nothing but titanic. Time for a new party.
Why is youth wasted on the young?
Why is wisdom wasted on the old?
At some point, all those youthful voters will become older, wiser, and conservative in droves.............
Having the entire incoming House leadership consisting of white males and nothing but is not exactly the slickest step.
The GOP is done. What does it even stand for any more?
We have to seize control of education or we have no chance.
Its like leaving the German factories intact and hoping to defeat Hitler.
I could not disagree more. Appealing to voters by skin color and sex is a losing process. What we need is real conservatives, who understand and can clearly articluate basic Constitutional principles, and have COURAGE, and quick wits, and are not only willing but straining at the leash to take on the Dems/leftists and the MSM. (But I repeat myself).
That will appeal to many voters. Shoving a bunch of brown faces and females up there will never win elections. The party of feminazis and hate whitey are the Dems, and if you think Rs can beat them at the feminist/hate whitey game, you're nuts.
If women and/or candidates of other races are conservative, GREAT. Look what happened to Allen West - the "GOP" mucked up the district lines because the GOP hates conservatives, and then election fraud by Dems on top of it. As long as Rs are *ickless eunuch RINOS, they will continue to lose, and aping Dems will make them lose even more.
The more time you spend educating kids instead of indoctrinating them, the better.
The current intelligence gap is intentional and consistent with turning this country’s crop of brain power into so much mush.
I am from a different era, it seems.. I had a thirst for knowledge and read a lot of books at an early age. Has the written word in printed form and bound copy got legs? Film at 11..
I see all the little iPads and smartphones enabling this generation’s mobile ‘geniuses’ being used to pave the way to knowledge and to teach about history in a way never before imagined could be possible... no intent to Kindle a Fire .. jmho
Alice in VunderLand got nothing over this joint society.
“Winston Churchill has been quoted as saying, Any man who is under 30, and is not a liberal, has not heart; and any man who is over 30, and is not a conservative, has no brains.
Churchill’s shrewd observation made sense-—decades ago. It needs to be updated to reflect the reality that young adults are being used as a cash cow by old folks. This piece focuses on Obamacare: http://www.forbes.com/sites/chrisconover/2012/11/27/young-people-under-obamacare-cash-cow-for-older-workers/
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg since young folks also are being tapped to bankroll Medicare even though they have little assurance that Medicare will be around by the time they need to make use of it. Their lifetime earnings are going to take a huge hit as a consequence of their having spent their first 8 working years in an Obama economy that greatly under-employs their talent.
In short, the ruling class is seeing that youth get shafted six ways from Sunday which means that anyone under 30 who is not conservative has no brains.
Honestly I think the change towards conservatism with age is most likely to be in terms of fiscal policy, and a greater emphasis on being “tough on crime” (the latter was not remotely an issue in the 2012 campaign, but it was a big deal in the 1980s).
However, I think a 24 year old who likes gays and gay rights, and is pro-choice, is going to have similar views on both issues when they are 44.
Social liberalism spells doom for America, and means that liberalism will prevail.
We have come a long way from the time when Nixon could win the under vote.
I doubt even a reincarnated Gipper could win the next election.
Exactly. Once these kids grow up and get knocked around a little bit, fiscal responsibility will make sense. National security will make sense. Internal security (crime) will make sense. They are never going to care if Ellen and Portia are married. No one thought divorce was ever going to be as universally accepted as it is today, and the same will happen with attitudes towards gay marriage.
It is probably impossible to measure the incredible damage that the republican party allowed Romney to do to it, and how that will affect us in 2016.
We can rest assured that Reagan would have easily won in 2012, against Jimmy Carter’s second term, as any decent republican would have.
Republicans should be able to win in 2016 as well.
But, keep in mind, as this last election showed,
the left has done their best to insulate people from the consequences of leftist ideology.
Infinite unemployment, $60k+ in “aid” taxfree per year, etc.
These programs prevent a backlash against the failures of socialism, and they can keep paying for them until the whole thing comes crashing down.
I’ve been saying this since the election - the only way “out” is “through”.
And there wasn’t one true conservative GOP woman in the House qualified to be a committee chair? Optics matter today. Boehner just helped the Dems paint the GOP as the party of old white males, and I’m an old white male.
I know of at least 3 cases where the get a job, get married and have kids scenario hasn’t panned out. In all three cases the liberal wife has turned the moderately conservative husband to the left. It also doesn’t work in the Black community where regardless of age, marital status or income you vote Democrat.
Though it can never be proved, I'm absolutely convinced that every other candidate that ran in the primaries (and Palin) would have lost far worse than Romney did, possibly to Goldwater/Mondale levels of defeat.
We can rest assured that Reagan would have easily won in 2012
I seriously doubt that.
Dream on my friend. I was listening to Victor David Hanson today and what he said was pretty. Talking to middle and upper middle class Hispanic and Asian friends of his about the election he heard over and over that they voted for OBama because of his color, nothing else. As they told him whites have had their time, it is time for “us” to get our turn to run the country. Sobering, but probably truer than many of in our little echo chamber of FR want to hear.
I agree. I have a twit nephew who is becoming a teacher. His mother, my younger sister, is a hopelessly flaming leftist Obama bootlicker who has poisoned the minds of her two younger offspring. Anyway, the nitwit nephew opined last year at Thanksgiving that he believes individuals who make more than $250,000 annually are rich and should give all above that number to the IRS. He believes, like Obama, at a certain point individuals don’t need to make more money. Thankfully, none of that family was at our home for Thanksgiving Day this year. It could have gone bad very fast.....
Boehner is indeed a huge problem. Bachmann should be a chairman of something for sure.
For starters. But I was referring to election women/ethnic minorities specifically because of their sex/ethnicity/race. That is wrong, wrong, wrong. But the GOP establishment is so larded and controlled by RINO elitists that they’ll continue to do everything wrong and to lose over and over again. That’s why we need fresh blood in Congress. Non-professionals, non-insiders. Whatever color and sex they come in.
BINGO! Just wait until they can’t get out of their parent’s house, have no car, no job and in debt to their eyeballs from wasting time getting a degree in Left-Handed Lesbian Poetry Studies.
And while they are waiting on my table (if they can find a job) and whining about it I’ll stiff them on the tip.
There is nothing to dream about, Romney was a god-awful, lefty from Massachusetts who had only won a single election in his life and had been forced out of that office as his polling showed that he had no chance of reelection, and he left with 34% approval.
Romney was eerily like Obama, almost a white mirror image, with similar families, and foreignness, and anti-Christian beliefs and politics, from Romneycare to homosexuals in the military.
Romney couldn’t even Carter the second.
You would doubt anything that doesn’t serve the liberals and Mitt Romney.
Reagan would easily have won, and Romney’s defeat is not the end of republican presidential wins, Romney has been a political loser all of his life.
After 20 years of this goof ball and his radical liberalism, we can only hope that he is gone for good.
My opinions are based on detached, rational analysis, not my hopes and dreams.
1) Obama, on balance, was far more liked personally than Carter.
2) Carter had Desert 1 and the Iran hostages; Obama had the Bin Laden kill.
3) The economy was actually worse in 1980 overall (looking at unemployment and inflation) than this year, and there was a sharp decline in the year prior to the election.
4) Reagan’s anti-Soviet policies and being tough on crime (along with tax reduction probably his key selling points) would have had either no meaning or traction this year.
Reagan might have won in 2012, but it would have been very close, I suspect, and certainly not guaranteed. I don’t know how someone that old would have played with today’s youth vote. Probably not well.
Reagan would have rolled over Obama, Reagan would have taken many of those millions of votes that Romney left on the table, and buried Obama.
Romney was lucky to have done as good as he did considering how much he detested conservatives and conservatism, and as incoherent he was.
And of course Reagan would be running a different campaign in 2012, do you really need to mention the Soviet Union?
Reagan was 4 years older than Romney, but Reagan was a famous conservative and an effective leader and politician, while Romney was famous for being liberal, a political loser, a cult leader, anti-Reagan, a pathological liar, and such a chameleon that to this day, his politics and positions are a total mystery to almost everyone.
Most freepers can’t even say what his final position on abortion was, on election day.
Perception is a big part of the game. The entire leadership of the GOP is white male, and featured prominently attacking a black female.
Regardless of the facts on the ground, not a good thing.
I had no idea Rice was “black” until I read it the other day. She’s a pale mulatto. Catering to race card crap will get us nowhere.
So blacks, “blacks” and women can’t be criticized - they’re off limits, no matter what criminal behavior, lies or commie crap they spew. BS.
Black people vote Dem/thug in such high percentages nothing will change that - unless and until Rs get some courage and principles.
It’s really simple.
It’s not “catering to the race card crap” to point out that having all white males not only looks really bad in that it hands the left a wonderful and completely undeniable club to beat us with, but also just MIGHT be a symptom that attitudes such as yours and Boner’s are a part of the problem. The people who whine and caterwaul about “The Blacks always vote Democrat” are as much a problem and the very thing they complain about. Crying “racism” is always the first sign of a racist and an indicator that one has no other valid arguments.
Unless and until the Republican party can face the fact that it *IS* the party of wealthy white males it is going to keep losing. The faces of the House leadership are a symptom of something bad, and bitching that “Da Black Dey vote for Obama an’ dere Dem Masters’ is a bunch of useless, hokey, inaccurate, racist and worst of all INEFFECTIVE BS.
PERCEPTION *IS* REALITY.
"Perception is reality" is part and parcel of the "it's all relative/create your own truth" leftists bulls***. The reality is that pandering to leftists and skeered that they will use something to attack R/conservatives with, and therefore trying to put up some dark faces or females so they will "like" Republicans means you are advocating being a serf, a slave, of the Leftist Masters.
The R party does not consist of rich white men. There are millions and millions of people who vote "R" who are actual conservatives, and they come in all colors, all races, all kinds of ancestor locations, and both men and women. Many are poor, or lower middles class, and they live all over the country
. The R "leaders" are what is the problem. What we need is REAL conservatives, who are fighters, and let the chips fall where they may. And the chances are excellent that such principled, courageous and articulate conservatives will win elections, if and when election fraud is also defeated.
The fact that you put me and Boehner together shows that you, pardon the expression, have excrement for brains. You think I agree with him? My attitude is like his? I think he's a pantswetting syhophant elitist DC insider and his little gang of unprincipled, cowardly, corrupt and moral compass-less capons are the problem. Conservatives such as myself are not the problem. If you've got race colored glasses on (and you obviously do), you're also part of the problem.
And chew on this: Did the leftists/Dems like Allen West? He's a "person of color". DId they praise Rs for having a "person of color" in Congress? Did that gain points with the MSM? How about Michelle Bachmann? She's a woman. Do they give Rs points for women Congressmen? What about Palin, a woman running for Veep? Did they give her or Rs points for that? Obviously not. Black conservatives are "oreos", conservative women are "rednecks", etc. The fact that you think pandering to leftists is a winning strategy reveals a great deal about you. In fact, I just re-read your comments, and your use of fake vernacular and basically accusing Freepers of being racist is abhorrent.
I am (starting) to agree with that conclusion.
The GOP needs to stop selling American jobs to foreigners.
Period. Bring back US jobs now.
They stand for losing and Big Government. They've returned to what they were between Hoover and Reagan.
That anyone could say a party’s entire legislative leadership is nothing but white males and then think there WASN’T at least a problem in strategic creation of perception and very possibly a lot more than that is wrong show me that I have no need to pay attention to what they say about anything.
Dennis Miller may be right - the train has left the station and the inmates are now running the asylum. Used to hate the fact my brother is a loyal democrat - now I pity him. 25 years from now he turns 88 - when he starts needing an ambulance ride, a nearby hospital, or a good surgeon fast, he’ll be put on a 6 month waiting list instead. I also pity our poor military wounded who now have to wait that long for the VA just to respond to an application for assistance. Few people have any idea just how bad this thing is.
Run-on sentences are hard to follow...
Your problem is that you are equating me and man others - racist Frepers including - with the R so-called leadership; as though we endorsed them, voted them into said positions (like Boehner), followed them lockstep, etc. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I realize you consider yourself smarter than most people here, but common sense and mother wit are sometimes more useful for seeing the kernel of the problem than vast reading, degrees and whatever else you may be proud of.
To put is simply:
I am far from being for affirmative action, but having ALL WHITE leadership is stupid.
The same people (not necessarily you) who are appalled at 90+ percent of blacks voting for Obama and yet have no problem with the entirety of the R leadership in the house being white and male are a big part of the problem. Denial ain’t a river in Egypt.
And blaming the fact that many blacks voted for Obama on racism on their part does NOTHING to solve the problem of shifting demographics. The people fulminating and whining “but, but., 90 percent of blacks voted for Obama because he is black” are idiots, or at the very least are offering no solution. The problem lies with the Republican party, not the people who voted the way they did. The crying around here about ‘people voted for free stuff’ and other crap is just like a kid saying the dog ate my homework -so? how is that my problem.
The problem isn’t the electorate, it’s the Republican party and conservatives. The people aren’t to blame, the media aren’t to blame, the people who didn’t articulate a clear message are to blame. The MSM was just as leftist when Reagan ran.
Voting isn't a right -- it's a privilege and should be granted only to those who pay taxes (a flat tax) and have served their country in some way for a year at least -- it doesn't have to be military service, can be helping old folks, painting the town hall, teaching younger kids, helping doctors in rural areas etc
Just because you are born here doesn't mean you automatically have the right to decide to make the country socialist and pay for you
you don't want to serve the nations? Ok, your choice, you don't get to vote
And note that I know even severely disabled people who can contribute - teaching, helping others -- these are actually better citizens than fully able democrat supporters...
It’s a shame about Cain. That guy was a true conservative who happened to have black skin.