The youth vote and the GOP
Ever since Obama won the youth vote (generally described as voters under age thirty) in a landslide, the media have been pontificating on how significant that vote is. It’s as if these are our wisest and most humane voters, the people who will be ruling our nation in a couple of decades, so we’d better start capitulating to them right now.
The message is that the Democrats are right on track, of course, but that the poor GOP needs to get its act together. Specifically, they need to move to the left on all social issues, adopt the full global warming and environmentalist agenda, support open borders, agree to socialized medicine, and stop all this belligerent military stuff. Meghan McCain, who wants the GOP to become the “pro-sex” party and who boasts of her many homosexual friends, is recommended as the new face of the GOP, notwithstanding, or perhaps because of, her airheadedness.
What an upside down world we live in. Once upon a time, village elders were revered because they had lived long enough to know a little bit about life and propriety. Even in the era of democracy, seniority systems abounded. It’s hard to imagine Grover Cleveland campaigning for the “youth vote.” But today we’re told that the least experienced voters are the ones we should be listening to, even as we worship our least experienced president.
Such a thing could only arise in a modern liberal, suicidal era. Until the baby boomers began voting, most young people didn’t vote all that differently from their elders. At least that’s my estimation, because no one seemed to notice a distinguishable youth vote in America. Young people before WWII were marrying and forming families, working and paying taxes, by the time they were twenty if not younger. They got thrown into the real (that is, adult) world very fast, and they voted accordingly. Only a few went to college, and even they started working shortly afterward.
Today, we have an extended childhood. Kids live on their daddy’s credit card until well into their twenties. Many are still sponging off mommy & daddy when they’re thirty. Add in the dumbing down of the public schools, the liberalism of pop culture, leftist college professors, and the racial demographics of youth and voila, you have a youth vote to the media’s liking. And thus we’re instructed to overturn thousands of years of marriage tradition, a tradition based on real world human experience, because some spoiled brats say they want it overturned by a 60-40 margin in some poll.
Churchill reportedly said that if you aren’t a liberal when young you have no heart, but if you aren’t conservative when older you have no brain. That may be the first reference ever to the youth vote, or something like it. I would suppose it had something to do with the pacifism in British colleges in those days. Churchill saw only the tip of an iceberg. He couldn’t be elected Prime Minister today, just as Reagan couldn’t be elected to the presidency here.
But remember, this message, whatever its substantive content, in this case the need to conform to the views of younger people, is nothing new. The message that the GOP is too conservative and is losing and is pathetic and is worthless and is lost and must accommodate itself to changing times is a constant. No matter how much the times change, this message never changes. Yet somehow the GOP responds to each new iteration of this message as though it were something new. They never say, “You of the liberal media are ALWAYS telling us this. In fact, this is the central focus of your own propaganda efforts: to tell us conservatives that we shouldn’t exist as conservatives and should surrender to you.” They NEVER say this. Instead, they take each new “the GOP is out of date and needs to accommodate itself to changing times” message as though it had never been said before. Yes, they may reject that message, good for them, but they never identify the nature of the message as the liberal mind-controlling propaganda that it is.
Tim W. replies:
Exactly! If it isn’t the youth vote, it’s the black vote, the women’s vote, the Latino vote…..
The GOP is always expected to move to the left.
That’s why I would say to conservatives: don’t bother replying to the particulars of each “You’re out of touch with X and have to move left” message. Instead, put the left on the defensive by identifying the nature of what they are doing with this message.
But of course I’m talking to the wind. Republicans have a genetic inability to do the thing I’m talking about. In their competition with liberals they are nominalists, a nominalist being someone who deals with each separate thing as a separate thing, but never identifies the overall category to which those things belong. Thus the Republicans never identify the overall category to which all the liberal attacks on the GOP belong, but respond to each new liberal attack in its own terms, e.g., “It’s not true that we don’t care about Hispanics, we do care about Hispanics,” or, “The liberals are right, we haven’t been doing enough to appeal to Hispanics, we’ve got to try much much harder.” They never identity and attack the liberal message as the liberal message. Thus they move forever in orbit around liberal planet, instead of living on their own planet whence they could attack the liberal planet.
Ron K. writes:
Tim W wrote: “Churchill reportedly said that if you aren’t a liberal when young you have no heart, but if you aren’t conservative when older you have no brain. That may be the first reference ever to the youth vote … “
Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 18, 2009 11:21 AM | Send
Actually, the quote goes back to Francois Guizot (1787-1874), in response, so I’ve read, to an inquisitive Queen Victoria while he was France’s foreign minister.
“Not to be a republican at 20 is proof of want of heart; to be one at 30 is proof of want of head.”
“Want of head,” or whatever it is in French, is quite interesting, in light of the fact that his father was guillotined when little Francois was seven.
So Guizot predicted the “youth vote” a century before Churchill. Perhaps that’s why he would limit the franchise to men of property.
But Barry Goldwater likely carried the “baby boom” vote in 1964. Those born in the first 10 months of 1946 could vote in only one state that year—Georgia, which Goldwater carried handily. (Had she lived there, the future Laura Bush would have been one day too young to vote.)
A more direct swipe at socialism is this, by Dean Inge:
“What is a socialist? One who has yearnings To share equal profits from unequal earnings.”
Inge also said, “The proper time to influence the character of a child is about a hundred years before he is born.” And a few other neat things VFR readers might appreciate.