You may not be aware of this, but for years American conservatives have been supremely confident they will own the future because they are out-breeding liberals. Seriously. There is data floating around in the ether that says conservatives have 41 percent more babies than liberals, so it is just a matter of time before there are so many more conservatives than liberals that we will be squashed like bugs on the bathroom floor of history. See, for example:
- Republicans’ Fertile Future (2006)
- Conservatives Are Out-breeding Liberals (2010)
- Study: Conservative baby boom will shift nation further right (2013)
There seems to be a glitch, however:
The partyâ€™s core is dying off by the day.
Since the average Republican is significantly older than the average Democrat, far more Republicans than Democrats have died since the 2012 elections. To make matters worse, the GOP is attracting fewer first-time voters. Unless the party is able to make inroads with new voters, or discover a fountain of youth, the GOPâ€™s slow demographic slide will continue election to election. Actuarial tables make that part clear, but just how much of a problem for the GOP is this?
Since it appears that no political data geek keeps track of voters who die between elections, I took it upon myself to do some basic math. And that quick back-of-the-napkin math shows that the trend could have a real effect in certain states, and make a battleground states like Florida and Ohio even harder for the Republican Party to capture.
Something seems not to be adding up here. Conservatives cite many studies that say most children grow up to reflect their parents political views, so most of those conservative babies ought to grow up to be Republican voters.
Other studies say it isn’t that simple, and in fact, the more rigidly parents try to impose views on their children the more likely the children will rebel when they get older. In any event, it appears the breeding program is failing to fill its quota of new Republican voters.
A lot of the rebelling takes place during the college years, when the suffocated offspring of die-hard ideologues leave home and can breath on their own. This may be why conservatives hate and fear higher education.Â (See also Why does the GOP hate college?)
I came across an old column by Dennis Prager complaining that universities are turning fine conservative children into liberal reprobates.Â In it I found this paragraph:
So it is sad when a parent who believes, for example, in the American trinity of â€œLiberty,â€ â€œIn God We Trust,â€ and â€œE Pluribus Unumâ€ has a child who believes that equality trumps liberty, that a secular America is preferable to a God-centered one, and that multiculturalism should replace the unifying American identity.
For the life of me, I can’t think of any way that equality displaces liberty. Kind of the opposite, in fact; without equality, liberty tends to be rationed. LibertÃ©, Ã©galitÃ©, fraternitÃ©, y’all. And why do I suspect that the “unifying American identity” is supposed to be white? Hmmm.
That takes us to a big, fat fly in the right-wing ointment — in another generation or so, whites will no longer be a majority in America. And the GOP has done a bang-up job alienating nonwhites and running them out of the party. The strategy of keeping Congress through racial gerrymandering is, it appears, not sustainable.