The fundies are procreating — and you're not
“When secular-minded Americans decide to have few, or no, children, they unwittingly give a strong evolutionary advantage to the other side of the culture divide. If ‘Metros’ don’t start having more children, America’s future is ‘Retro.'”
— Phillip Longman, senior fellow at the New America Foundation, on statistics that show conservatives are breeding at a higher rate than liberals.
[UPDATE: added more info on fundie college Patrick Henry below.]
Just looking at the numbers tossed out in Vicki Haddock’s SFGate article, Republicans’ fertile future, you imagine masses of bible beaters shooting out of wombs, ready to pull the lever for God-fearing, forced birth, homo-hating, candidates around the country.
Some stats, from the 2004 General Social Survey, considered “a bible of data for social scientists” according to Haddock:
A randomly selected group of 100 liberals and 100 conservatives found that
— the liberals would have had 147 kids
— conservatives would have had 208
And that adds up to a fertility gap of 41 percent (adjusted for age and income, it’s a 19% gap).
Now superimpose this on a map of the United States. The highest fertility rate is found in the most Republican state, Utah, home to the Mormon Church. The lowest fertility belongs to Vermont, a state liberal enough to be the first to sanction gay unions.
The states with the next highest fertility rates, according to the latest National Center for Health Statistics survey, are Arizona, Alaska and Texas, otherwise known as “red states.” States with the next lowest fertility rates are Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, all “blue states.”
Does this really matter? Does Red State parenthood ensure that the children turn out to be conservative. Apparently so – it’s the strongest predictor of political affiliation.
Political scientists have long found that 4 out of 5 people with a party preference grow up to vote the way their parents voted. In fact, while many people experience a temporary rejection of their parents’ politics in very early adulthood, virtually nothing is more predictive of your political ideology than that of your parents — it’s more of a determining factor than income, education or any other societal yardstick.
There are exceptions: While only 20 percent eschew their parents’ ideology, they do, after all, add up to a lot of people. And despite ample instances of Republicans in Southern states being raised by parents who once identified as Democrats, those parents were actually conservative Democrats who became Reagan Democrats and ultimately migrated to the GOP. The party labels changed, but the political ideology remains consistent from generation to generation.
The article goes on to explain that one of the factors that inhibits liberals from having more children is that they tend to congregate in more urban, dense, expensive Blue enclaves, which out of practicality results in families being smaller. Another obvious factor is that religious conservatives believe in being fruitful and multiplying (look at the Duggars for an extreme case), so they are less likely to avail themselves of birth control, even if they are having sex at the same rate as liberals.
It’s kind of funny to think about political balance of power in terms of sheer voter numbers (and the article is somewhat tongue in cheek), but the reality is that not only are these fundies shooting out kids, but the amount of the critical thinking skills overall in this country is clearly in steep decline, look no further than the hardcore 30% of people who can find nothing wrong with Dear Leader in poll after poll, or the 43% who still think Saddam and 9/11 are connected.
The last thing this country needs is for that number to rise.
One can only hope that this new flock of sheeple will eventually be so dumbed down and mesmerized by the idiot box that they will simply stay home and not vote.
I recently saw this frightening documentary on the Discovery/Times channel, God’s Next Army, about Patrick Henry College (“the first college in America founded specifically for Christian home-schooled students”). If those folks represent the future conservative kids, our nation is f*cked. The whole purpose of the school is to train them to be lobbyists, office holders and fundie attorneys.
The students are highly trained in political debating techniques for which they win national trophies. The college is extremely well-connected in Washington, and students are propelled towards internships working for top politicians.
God’s Next Army shows students taking their first step towards power, canvassing for a key Republican candidate. They visit a conservative lobbying company which is opposing the payment of compensation to people affected by asbestos, and is trying to repeal estate tax because ‘the earth is the Lord’s’.
Helped by the institution’s friends-in-high-places, PHC has already provided the current White House administration with more interns than any other college in the USA, and more are in the pipeline â€“ on the way to becoming ‘key players in a Christian republic’.