Thursday, February 07, 2013

Will Youth Culture Doom GOP?

Polling guru Stu Rothenberg has just written:
the president beat Mitt Romney 60% to 37% among voters 18-29 years of age, a much better showing than Obama’s 4-point win in the final popular vote (though not as good as his 66% showing among younger voters in 2008). Romney did carry white voters in the 18-29 age group last year, but by only 51% to 44%. In contrast, he won whites 65 years and older by 61% to 39% and whites 45-64 by 61% to 38%.
So 38-39% of older whites voted for Obama, and 44% of white youth? It’s a difference, but merely a 5% difference. Isn’t it possible white youth are at least 5% more likely than their elders to be living, playing, and working with the non-whites who voted overwhelmingly for Obama?

Still, Rothenberg has a point when he says, “Republican strategists have to consider the possibility that younger voters have different values and views than their parents have now and had when they were 20 or 25 years old.”

I’m concerned not only about “different values = poor values,” but also about the truly scary thought that people in power want those out of power to be dependent on them (on government), which means the national elite have little interest in 1) truly better schools, 2) truly viable, affordable medicine, and 3) a job-creating economy. After all, the more helpless the mass of voters, the more dependent they are on government.

Let’s review some of what we’ve seen here, in this blog:  

1. We found liberals delight in Hollywood’s domination of our culture.

From New York’s liberal Jonathan Chait:
[Hollywood propagates] an ethos in which greed [i.e., capitalism] is not only bad but the main wellspring of evil, authority figures of all kinds are often untrustworthy, sexual freedom is absolute, and social equality of all kinds is paramount.
2. We wrote that liberal domination of our culture is driving politics, and we learned from conservative Charles Murray that Hollywood’s culture is destroying working class lifestyles, even lives.

As conservative Matt K. Lewis of The Week told us:
A lifestyle of addiction, promiscuity, and chaos comes with a hefty price tag. Sadly, our elites are exporting those values to the people least capable of sustaining them. Most will likely spend the rest of their lives paying for the sins of their youth. The rich kids, on the other hand — well, they will likely land on their feet.
3. We do worry conservatives could lose any political contest between makers and takers (which media are already making an unacceptable framework for understanding today’s politics).

California-based Republican political strategist Reed Galen a year ago argued:
The messages that President Obama and his re-election campaign officials espouse -- that the system is “unfair” that the playing field must be “leveled” -- are code words for letting Americans off the hook. . . But a citizenry that expects -- even demands -- its government to provide happiness is surely bound to end up unhappy with their lives and with their government.
The Democratic message . . . neither requires nor expects anything from citizens. It doesn’t want anything from them other than lemming-like acquiescence. . .What the president and his surrogates should be speaking about is opportunity. [But t]he last thing [Democrats] want is to encourage individual initiative; that would begin to abrogate the need for Uncle Sam to . . . say everything is going to be all right if we have just a little more taxation, a little more debt, a little more government.
If the party of Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Clinton is going to abandon the old-time religion of personal responsibility, then, Galen says, Republicans in their place
should try to articulate what Thomas Jefferson really meant. If you [want happiness,] you are going to have to take the initiative to make that happen. That is inherently American. This ethos doesn’t excuse leaving the most vulnerable among us out in the cold. [But the rest] of us [should] get up every morning and figure out how we’re going to improve our situation -- because in many cases that’s the only thing we can control.
George Will, Washington Post, provides a much-needed lesson on public choice theory, which:
demystified politics by puncturing . . . the fiction that elected politicians and government administrators are more nobly motivated, unselfish and disinterested than are persons acting in the private sector. [It] extend[s] the idea of the profit motive to the behavior of politicians and bureaucrats, two groups seeking to maximize power the way many people in the private sector maximize monetary profits. Public-sector actors often do this by transactions with [other “pie cutters”]— private factions trying to maximize their welfare by getting government to give them benefits, such as appropriations, tax preferences and other subsidies.
[C]ritics cling to a comforting — and, for advocates of ever-bigger government, a convenient — theory. It is that in politics and government, people, acting as voters or legislators or administrators, do not behave as people do in markets — they supposedly are not responsive to incentives for personal aggrandizement. [Public choice] theory supplanted an ideology — the faith in government as omniscient and benevolent. It replaced it with realism.
So both sides are greedy. Both sides fear loss. Youngins, here’s the difference. Conservatives want the pie to grow so that we can all be greedy; liberals in the name of a higher cause (a cause that public choice theory exposes as false) want to re-cut the pie to give themselves and supporters more, business less.

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