Conservatives, that is.
The American Hoover Institution research fellow Peter Schweizer is here to regale us with yet more tall tales and fanciful frolics in a binary universe composed entirely of liberals and conservatives. Thanks a bunch, W.S. Gilbert:
I often think it's comical – Fal, lal, la!
How Nature always does contrive – Fal, lal, la!
That every boy and every gal
That’s born into the world alive
Is either a little Liberal
Or else a little Conservative!
Fal, lal, la!
Fal, lal, la, indeed. Grab some sushi and a latte and listen up.
"Today's liberalism is completely wrapped up with the notion of self," Schweizer begins portentously. When I had managed to wipe the hysterical tears from my eyes as this classic bit of projection sank in, I began to realize that the cons do this sort of thing rather a lot these days. "I know you are, but what am I," in fact, seems to be the most over-used trick in the cons' dog-eared playbook at the moment.
Dallying with fascism? "Hey, you're the fascist." Espousing racism? "You'r the racists!" Cons are selfish, individualistic, triumphalist about the less fortunate? "No, no, no you're the selfish ones! We really care about others, unlike you, you greedy pigs."
Go to San Francisco, Seattle or Vermont--liberal enclaves all, says Schweizer--and you won't find a lot of kids. I'll admit that the addition of San Francisco gave me a bit of a chuckle, but Schweizer is in no chuckling mood. Conservatives have 41% more children than liberals. They're winning the culture wars through procreation. They're following the Nike Creed. (Next step: outbreeding Muslims? Mark Steyn would be pleased.)
A minor digression, if I may, because it's getting hot in here. Our southern pundit is only interested in same-politics marriages. He says nothing about mixed marriages. But maybe that's because they're doomed from the start:
Said the right-handed honeysuckle to the left-handed bindweed,
"Oh, let us get married, if our parents don't mind, we'd
Be loving and inseparable, inextricably entwined, we'd
Live happily ever after" said the honeysuckle to the bindweed.
To the honeysuckle's parents it came as a shock.
"The bindweeds," they cried, "are inferior stock!
They're uncultivated, of breeding bereft,
We twine to the right and they twine to the left."
A bee who was passing remarked to them then,
"I've said it before and I'll say it again,
Consider your offshoots, if offshoots there be,
They'll never receive any blessing from me".
"Poor little sucker, how will it learn,
When it is climbing, which way to turn?
Right, left, what a disgrace,
Or it may go straight up and fall flat on its face!"
Together, they found them, the very next day,
They had pulled up their roots and just shrivelled away.
Deprived of that freedom for which we must fight,
To veer to the left or to veer to the right!
Veering to the right, in any case, is just the ticket for Schweizer. And we'll get that on a national scale by continuing to fluff up our conservative demographics. "Come," he says (as it were): "[R]aising children is a difficult and selfless act that is also an important civic duty."
Ah, the joys of conservative sex. A passage from 1984 springs lissomely to mind:
As soon as he touched her she seemed to wince and stiffen. To embrace her was like embracing a jointed wooden image. And what was strange was that even when she was clasping him against her he had the feeling that she was simultaneously pushing him away with all her strength. The rigidity of her muscles managed to convey that impression. She would lie there with shut eyes, neither resisting nor co-operating but submitting. It was extraordinarily embarrassing, and, after a while, horrible. But even then he could have borne living with her if it had been agreed that they should remain celibate. But curiously enough it was Katharine who refused this. They must, she said, produce a child if they could. So the performance continued to happen, once a week quite regularly, whenever it was not impossible. She even used to remind him of it in the morning, as something which had to be done that evening and which must not be forgotten. She had two names for it. One was 'making a baby', and the other was 'our duty to the Party' (yes, she had actually used that phrase). Quite soon he grew to have a feeling of positive dread when the appointed day came round. But luckily no child appeared, and in the end she agreed to give up trying, and soon afterwards they parted.
Indeed we are in a looking-glass world once again. Repeat after me these conservative mantras: War is Peace. Ignorance is Strength.
Now, I always get a kick out of right-wing nutbars telling us what liberals think, and why they do what they do and don't what they don't. I'm not a liberal: I live in a parallel universe, I guess. But I'm not unfamiliar with liberals. My father was one. We argued for decades.
So when Schweizer tells us that liberals aren't having kids because they're pessimistic about the future, or because they regard children as a burden, or because they put their own well-being first (well, 28% of them do, we discover, but so do 15% of the conservatives), that allows me, in all fairness, the right to speculate in a similar psychedelic manner. Why do conservatives have kids? Because they oppose birth control, because kids keep the little woman tied down at home, because they're a great tax deduction, and frankly because they're a lot of fun to beat.
In any case, the fecundity of conservatives poses a real dilemma for liberals, Schweizer says, because 80% of children adopt the political attitudes of their parents. What are endangered liberals to do? He finds a professor somewhere to articulate his own classic white-guy fears: Darren Sherkat, a progressive, who might be having a little fun himself summoning up every conceivable conservative bugaboo. Increase immigration, Sherkat says. Enlarge the Black population (that one alone will have some cons I know on their fainting-couches). Take over the schools and the universities to mold the minds of the young without having to do the hard work of raising them. Write popular books. The lesson for conservatives, then, is clear: be on your guard against all of these hostile liberal takeovers, and keep on, ah, trucking.
Here I was just recovering from the MASSIVE POLL. Now this. And these guys accuse us of committing junk science? But never mind. Whatever one thinks of this zany Hoover fellow, he does offer a far more pleasant alternative to the death and destruction more popular conservatives appear to favour as their final solution to the liberal problem. For the Left, at least from a conservative perspective, our counter-strategy is obvious: we just need to stay in more.