The GOP’s generational collapse could be real

Can Republicans win her vote? (Source: White House photographer Pete Souza)

I was in Boston over the weekend, at a gathering of high school students — including a lot of kids from the North Country — who were staging a model United Nations.

The gathering was enormous and it was breathtakingly diverse, a babble of languages, a crazy-quilt of ethnicities and skin colors.

The young people were talking about issues that are shaping the planet’s future, from water shortages to climate change to the vulnerability of civilians in war zones.

All of which got me thinking about the next chapter in American politics.

People have been predicting the demise — or at least, the long term irrelevance — of various political parties for a long time.

During the Bush years, Karl Rove famously forecast that Republicans would soon establish a new permanent majority.

The concept then was “realignment.”  Conservatives would effectively end the leftward tidal movement of American history that began in the 1930s with the Great Depression and the New Deal.

Hugh Hewitt, the right-wing pundit and author, published a widely-reviewed bestseller in 2006 called “Painting the Map Red: The Fight to Create a Permanent Republican Majority.”

What followed a few months later, of course, was a Democratic resurgence that led to dramatic Republican setbacks in 2006 and 2008.

With the exception of the tea-party fueled victories of 2010, the last six years have been desolate ones for the GOP.

Even conservative successes — holding the House and gaining governor’s seats — have come with significant asterisks.  Republicans tend to win smaller, less populous, less productive states than Democrats.

And overall in 2012, House Democrats won considerably more votes than Republicans.  The GOP held its majority only because of aggressive and skillful gerrymandering.

So the question now is this: are the Republicans in as bad a shape as they appear?  Or is this another temporary wrinkle, similar to the ones Democrats were facing in 2004?

I’m leaning toward the former:  I think the GOP is in serious danger of permanently defining its brand in ways that will alienate not just Hispanic, African American and Asian voters, but also young urban white professionals.

Democrats, meanwhile, are cheerfully tapping into the complex, vibrant ferment that is the New America.

Those kids at the model UN conference were turned-on, smart, productive and ambitious. They will be the makers, the job creators, the innovators.

And according to the best demographic and political data available to us, the chances are they will vote overwhelmingly Democratic.

In a way, this is by design.  Republicans willed it so.

The GOP has, for the better part of forty years, anchored itself as the traditionalist party, identified by loyalty to a strict constructionist view of the US Constitution, by fealty to a broadly Judeo-Christian ethic, a traditionalist view of family, and by direct appeals to a largely white racial voting block.

The GOP has also branded itself as a rural institution, adopting the language, cultural aesthetic and conservative social values that are stronger in America’s small towns and in the South.  It has also been the party that positioned itself as the defender of gun rights and gun ownership.

The problem is that all of those markers represent a loyalty to the past, to what you might call the status quo ante.

As we’ve noted before, all the core Republican demographics — whites, rural people, church-going Christians, gun-owners — are declining as a percentage of voters, while all the core Democratic demographics are exploding.

These aren’t mere abstractions.

Democrats already hold deep systemic advantages in American politics, particularly in presidential races, which appear certain to grow by 2016.  States that were once red are turning purple.  States that were purple are trending blue.

Conservatives clearly aren’t sure what to do about these facts.

Just last week, William Kristol, founder of the Weekly Standard, wrote an essay lauding the GOP for being a institution that throws itself on the railroad tracks of change and social evolution.

He quoted William F. Buckley Jr., who once said that conservatives should “stand athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.”

The problem is that, increasingly, the fastest-growing groups of Americans see Republican positions not as cautious and conservative and rooted in bedrock American values, but as morally indefensible, alienating and, not to mince words, creepy.

When Republicans talk about electrifying the border fence and describe undocumented immigrants as a scourge, that may play well with the base, or with Fox News viewers, but it alienates just about everyone else.

When they talk about “legitimate” rape and argue against the availability of contraception, it falls into a hardening pattern that is, in a word, unsettling.

When conservative groups oppose even modest gun control measures like background checks and limits on the ownership of military-grade weapons, that sends a visceral message, not merely a political one.

When right-wing media outlets broadcast dog-whistle racialist arguments — talking about “Chicago-style politics,” drumming up fears about ACORN and the Black Panthers and stolen elections — that just doesn’t play well outside of white enclaves.

Perhaps most importantly (and I think the GOP still doesn’t grasp how big this is), a fast-dwindling number of  Americans want to align themselves with a party that hates gay people, even in the “love the sinner, hate the sin” kind of way conservatives espouse.

The fact that Republicans are now considering holding up an immigration bill because they want gay immigrants to be treated differently than straight immigrants is, in political terms, self-defining.

Bluntly, the danger for the GOP is that for a generation of young people the conservative movement is branding itself as a toxic movement of angry old finger-waggers.

Already in 2012, Barack Obama won by landslide margins with voters under the age of 40.  Mitt Romney only won by similar, big-number margins with voters over the age of 65.

It goes without saying that conservatives desperately need the current crop of Democrat-voting young people to evolve (fairly rapidly) into the next generation of grown-up, mortgage-holding, married and economy-worrying Republicans.

They need these voters to see the GOP as the logical “home” for voters who care about jobs, the deficit, and defense.

But if conservatives stand their ground as the movement that thinks gay people are aberrational and continues to talk in bizarre ways about human sexuality, and in fear-driven ways about Hispanics and African Americans, that’s just never going to happen.

I don’t think Republicans have very long to sort this out.

When Lyndon Johnson pushed through the Civil Rights Act in 1964, he was aware and honest with himself that “the risks are great and we might lose the South.”

The GOP, in standing its ground on traditionalist issues should be equally honest with itself about the potential for losing an entire generation of young Americans.

74 Comments on “The GOP’s generational collapse could be real”

  1. Paul says:

    “Bluntly, the danger for the GOP is that for a generation of young people the conservative movement is branding itself as a toxic movement of angry old finger-waggers.”

    Brian, this is true. But I also think with things like MSNBC (partly in this effort to match the kookiness on the right) that many liberals are starting to look like finger waggers also and some of the weirdest and most popular ones are also pretty old.

    But sure maybe their time has come? Not sure it will come too quickly.

    It is all about money. If the democrats can be successful and make it so folks can make money they don’t care what party they come from. I don’t.

  2. The modern GOP philosophy is based on the hatred of diversity. Young people are used to it. It’s a losing electoral approach given the demographic realities of this country.

  3. Paul says:

    And the people who are becoming the old people don’t have the same views as the old people that are becoming the dead people. Given the terrible views that they have, that Brian describes above, this doesn’t sound like a problem.

    I suspect at some point it will be mostly financial rather than social issues that separate the parties even if that means we end up with a very different GOP in the process.

  4. Peter Hahn says:

    The republicans do have a few electoral demographic advantages to go against all those disadvantages. Those young people who arent going to be republicans all move to the cities where they self-gerrymander themselves. The conservative oldsters stay in the rural/suburban districts and so conservatives can still win lots of congressional districts.

    But their rear-guard action is getting pretty nasty and not good for the country. We need a viable two-party (at least) system, so we should hope for a new generation of responsible swell-informed republicans.

  5. tootightmike says:

    This argument could easily be extended to include the Democratic Party. The people, are moving forward, which can often be correlated with moving leftward…tired of the old prejudices, exclusions and narrow definitions of being an American; tired of the economic and environmental abuse that falls on the heads of the non-rich…their impatience is palpable. This move to the left, and into a more hopeful future is happening at a pace that even the Democratic Party won’t be able to keep up with…especially if they try to fight with conservatives on conservative issues, by becoming more moderate.
    In this next election, I don’t want to talk about immigration, abortion, or gun control. I don’t even want to discuss climate change anymore, as we’ve proven that American style corporate culture will refuse to move, we will have to deal with the disaster rather than prevent it.
    I want to discuss the future, not the past, and for me that includes massive cuts to military spending, coupled with massive increases in spending on renewable energies, mass transit, and dealing in a timely way with our ruined climate. I want to discuss the basic rights of all humans for clean air and water. I want to discuss the ongoing abuse of the world’s poor by corrupt governments, extraction style industries, and greed-driven militarism.
    I don’t think the Democratic Party can keep up with me.

  6. JDM says:

    Brian Mann summarized all the branding buzz words. “Creepy, unsettling, finger-wagging, etc”.

    Yes, the liberal media is trying to apply a negative brand to the conservative movement.

    Yes, the GOP is really two-parties-in-one. Mitt Romney represents one side. He lost.

    Conservatives will have to establish themselves as the winners, despite the best efforts of the media to brand them as unsuitable for human consumption.

    We will see.

    We will not, however, give up or give in.

  7. JDM says:

    I don’t hear any name calling for the Romney’s of the GOP.

    No fear of them?

    Not worried about their chances in the future elections?

    I’m not. I guess you aren’t either.

    I do see where your fear lies, however.

  8. Mervel says:

    Young people want jobs and opportunity. If a party can prove that they are all about those things they can win young people. Young people don’t want to be told well we will take care of you with our government programs and we agree with you on social issues, but you still have to pay this student loans and there is still very little chance of finding a job.

    It comes down to performance. It won’t be about these side issues. I am a traditionalist in general I believe in the traditional messages that Brian points out is not really part of modern America, which is fine by me I am not impressed with modern America, however they are in the end not political issues, they are cultural. A party that can produce opportunity, jobs and careers will in the end I think win. Republicans used to be seen as that party, no more, this is the great brand degradation they have had. It used to be people saw the Republicans as the part of business and when business did well you had more jobs and more opportunity. Today no one views the Republican party as the party of business except for narrow interest groups.

    Part of this has also been the excellence of the Democratic message machine in challenging the Rove ideas. When you can get Wall Street and Silicon Valley to support your party, which the Democrats did, you can’t lose.

  9. Mervel says:

    But these things can turn on a dime. If unemployment among young college grads has not improved in 2016 this whole thing could quickly change. Does the plan work is the bottom line?

  10. Brian Mann says:

    Mervel –

    Here’s where I disagree: Republicans have a very real shot at being the “grown-up” party, the party that talks about jobs, upward mobility, entrepreneurship, and so on.

    People will gravitate to a party that seems to offer prosperity, or at least a path to prosperity.

    Here’s where I disagree:

    Young people today won’t accept a movement that sees gay people as aberrational, or brown-skinned people as “a problem.”

    Just as southern populism was discredited, I think the “southern strategy” era GOP, where Republican votes are mobilized in large measure through fear and distrust of minority groups is no longer a winner.

    The GOP can talk about money and pocketbook issues all they want.

    So long as they also talk about urban people of color and gay people not being part of the “real” America, their generational appeal will be limited.

    –Brian, NCPR

  11. Rancid Crabtree says:

    I was right there with you in agreement Brian, until you got to your so called “modest gun control measures” and started repeating Chris Mathews “dog whistles” that don’t actually exist anywhere but Chris’s mind…and yours too apparently. Might as well start claiming conservatives want old people and orphans to starve.

    Beyond your hyperbole, the Republican party has committed suicide. They can’t be conservative and Democrat-lite at the same time. They can’t be fiscally responsible and feed the pig at the same time. Only John Kerry can be for it and then against it and survive. They are dying because they don’t have a clue what they really stand for anymore. Let them die. Let something else rise from the ashes. I’m tired of voting against the liberal. I want to vote FOR the conservative, but I don’t have that option.

  12. Walker says:

    “Might as well start claiming conservatives want old people and orphans to starve.”

    No, but they do feel that if old people and orphans to starve, they have only themselves to blame.

  13. Pete Klein says:

    Currently and obviously the GOP is not just about money, jobs and the economy.
    Not everyone, not even Republicans, vote just on pocketbook issues.
    Neither do Democrats.
    It was those other issues the GOP likes to talk about, such as race, sex, sexual orientation, the takersThe and guns, that caused Romney to lose to Obama.
    As far as money goes, the GOP comes across as the “I got mine” and to bad for you if you don’t party.
    Whatever happened to the compassionate part of conservatism that Bush advocated.
    Why whenever I listen to McCain all I hear and see is a mean old man who wants the young to go get themselves killed every place and any place world?
    The Republican Party is no longer the party of Lincoln. I’m not sure what it is. Neither do I believe it knows.

  14. Mervel says:

    You might be correct Brian. I think however that this can change quickly, those issues are cultural and I think the Party could moderate its message on some of those issues. However, I think the real problem or deeper problem is that people do not see the Republican Party as providing a path to prosperity, they see the party as being bad for business, bad for opportunity, and bad for things like the deficit. Thus the party really has no where to turn once they lose the economic issues. So they return back to the strongly held hot button social issues, (guns, abortion, gay marriage, etc) and keep the House.

    I think it would be interesting to go to a Model UN in Dallas or Salt Lake City as well as Boston. Maybe youth are uniform, but maybe not?

  15. Mervel says:

    Also keep in mind that demographically with lowered birth rates, old finger wagers are on the increase and young people are becoming less important just due to their declining numbers. The young people of today are the old finger wagers of tomorrow. The people that are these old crazy farts today are from the 60′s generation.

  16. “I suspect at some point it will be mostly financial rather than social issues that separate the parties even if that means we end up with a very different GOP in the process.”

    I’m not sure I agree. The two major parties have largely converged on economic issues in the last few decades, as they’ve both been fundamentally taken over by corporate money. That’s why you’ve seen an increasing emphasis on social issues, since that’s the main thing that really divides them.

    The Tea Party was originally an organic movement designed to be based entirely around economic issues: its name stands for Taxed Enough Already. It was quickly taken over by the theocracy brigade.

  17. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Brian, re your response to Mervel. I really have to wonder if the Republican party is actually doing all you say, all this hate stuff, or if the media is portraying and scoping in on every little thing that can be taken the wrong way and amplifying it? I mean, really, guys like Chris Mathews, Piers Morgan and Keith Olbermann are completely over the top. Do you ever look at what they report and compare it to whats really said in context? I do and even with my admitted conservative bias I find a lot of what they say to be “factually incorrect”. In my view there is a practice of taking whatever a right side guy says and blowing it all out of proportion if it can be done. For instance, “Chicago Politics” is no more a racist term than NY politics or LA politics. The Daleys and Rahmn Emanual are certainly not black. It seems to me more a reaction and defense to thwart the pathetically corrupt Chicago DEMOCRAT Party that has given us what is arguably the most corrupt city in the nation! It wouldn’t be the first time someone tried to shft the focus of an issue.

  18. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Mervel- “I think the real problem or deeper problem is that people do not see the Republican Party as providing a path to prosperity, they see the party as being bad for business, bad for opportunity, and bad for things like the deficit. ”

    Do you think anyone sees the Democrats as being good for any of those things?

  19. The Original Larry says:

    “…morally indefensible, alienating and, not to mince words, creepy.”

    The same can be said about abortion, restricting constitutional rights and legislating what people can eat and drink: liberal Democrat policies, all of them. You can’t just claim the high ground, you have to deserve it.

  20. mervel says:

    Rancid yes I do.

    Is it true factually? I don’t think it is true, but you have to realize perception is more important in politics than reality. The Reagan revolution was spawned from 15% interest rates and 11% unemployment, that changed under Ronnie, we can argue about if that is really true or not, but the 80′s WERE better than the 70′s.

    Today people look at this recession they look at our crumbling infrastructure, crappy airports and roads, and then the look at the debt the Republicans ran up, and they wonder why the Republicans are supposed to be good with business?

    I would be in favor of getting back to principles that work.

  21. Paul says:

    Brian Mann, look at your 302 comment. It looks like you completely disagree.

  22. Rancid Crabtree says:

    I would be in favor of getting back to principles that work too Mervel. But you point out in your 2:56 post “Young people don’t want to be told well we will take care of you with our government programs and we agree with you on social issues…”. But that appears to be whats drawing them to the Democrats. The idea of a nanny state is being sold wholesale to them at every turn. Is there anyone other than a few old fogeys calling for them to buckle down and actually work to get what they want? Anyone that suggests that nutty idea is instantly met with a shout that the system is stacked against them, that only he rich succeed. I don’t see a reason anyone would turn to either main party at this point.

  23. The Original Larry says:

    “And overall in 2012, House Democrats won considerably more votes than Republicans. The GOP held its majority only because of aggressive and skillful gerrymandering.”

    You keep promoting the fiction that the party with a NATIONAL majority should control the House of Representatives. It just isn’t so. Election of Representatives is by district and always has been. Is this another part of the Constitution you would like to ignore, set aside or change?

  24. Pete Klein says:

    If the Republicans are hoping Congress can be held by depending on the fact that there are more “rural” districts than urban, they have another thing coming.
    Even up here in Republican country, things are changing. It is not as red as it was in the past.

  25. scratchy says:

    The bigger issue is how half of eligible voters in America don;t vote. Which is to say that many Americans feel that neither party speaks for them.

  26. newt says:

    Republicans did well in the 25 years between 1980 and and 2005, when the economy was doing well, (Partly because their studied support of corporate and banker abuses made a nice bonfire by burning the seed corn and furniture), and most voters thought the Ponzi ride would never end.

    When the bill for this came due in 2008, Americans turned to the same party and policies that bailed the country out after 1929.

    If we become prosperous again, count on Americans to turn their backs on these reforms, and once again become conservative, small government backers, and there will be a Republican revival.

    Until they once again, destroy the economy.

  27. Mervel says:

    The thing is I do believe in some of what I am sure Brian and many liberals would call far out or even creepy cultural issues. Well hopefully not creepy, but pretty out of the mainstream that would be for certain. However to me these issues should be built into our cultural institutions largely our Churches but also other cultural institutions, which can spend generations trying to persuade our culture and our society of a better more wholesome more peaceful way to live. If a political party takes these issues on I think they hurt the issues and hurt the institutions that should really be charged with change. Politics is about power and force through laws, regulations and taxes. But cultural issues cannot be forced in that way nor should they be.

    Newt I don’t really agree. The modern Republican Revolution of the 1980′s was a direct result of the very bad economic and foreign policy mess of the 1970′s. I will say this time around Obama was able to avoid the bullet of being responsible for anything in this current recession, this was pure political greatness, something Carter could never pull off. However in 2016 it will not be possible to avoid responsibility, but then again maybe in 2016 things will be humming along fine.

  28. newt says:

    Mervel-
    You are quite right that the Republican Revolution of the ’80s came out of the failure, real and perceived, of the Carter administration coupled with the winning grin of Ronnie, the Great, Fake War Hero who so charmed middle America. To be fair, his massive missile and debt buildup may have helped spur the economic recovery of the 80′s.

    I am not sure how you can say Obama was able to dodge the bullet for the current current recession (technically now over) though political genius only, since he was campaigning for the Presidency right through the whole beginning of the crash.
    I am not a fan Obama’s economic policies, except the Detroit bailout, which was a half-baked version of effective keynesianism . Especially of his his stay-out-of-jail card for wall street fraudsters and banksters, but it did produce some real, if half-baked results.

  29. tootightmike says:

    And in 2016, even if things are moving along pretty well, we will still be burdened by the cost of Bush’s wars, which will hobble our ability to deal with the disasters due to climate change.
    What a different world we would be living in if we had spent the six to ten trillion building wind and solar installations instead if killing and maiming.

  30. Mervel says:

    I can’t defend the wars. I wonder how much the collective haunting of those two misguided and failed efforts is on the GOP?

    What I meant with Obama was his ability to not be stained by economic circumstances that surround him. People really thought he could solve all of these problems, not much was solved and like you said the wall street people were all protected etc. The one thing that he did that truly made a difference was to leave Iraq, fully and completely. Whatever else happens at least that disaster is over.

  31. newt says:

    Can’t argue with that.

  32. Mervel says:

    Here is the thing I don’t get and I am probably just too lazy to dig into it and figure it out, where did all of the money that Iraq was supposed to be costing us go now? We should be saving billions and billions, where is it? I don’t see the Defense budget any lower, I don’t see our borrowing any lower, was it just smoke and mirrors?

  33. The Original Larry says:

    The reason you can’t find any savings is that the billions “spent” in Iraq were in the defense budget anyway and the Obama administration hasn’t cut that by one cent, in fact, they have increased it annually. They do however, continue to blame Bush and the Republicans for putting the war on a “credit card”.

  34. Mervel says:

    Yeah I don’t get it? I understand that Iraq was VERY expensive. But I guess we are still paying all of those guys who used to be in Iraq, as we did not shrink the size of our army or navy after the big buildup to fight Iraq? Maybe that is it?

    I think once government programs including war program spending get rolling it is almost impossible to stop. Take the F-22 fighter jet. The F-22 was designed to fight an air war over Europe against the Soviet Union. OK that threat probably is not there, but we didn’t stop building any of them. Same goes for both the b-1 and b-2 bombers. The b-2 stealth bomber (not the stealth fighter the f-117a) but the bomber is utterly worthless, built for the cold war, was never used in Iraq, it has no purpose yet we still built all of them. It applies to all government programs, not just the military.

  35. newt says:

    Clearly, there are savings from not being in Iraq. Just think of all the soldiers who are not getting blown up and having have massive medical costs picked up by the government, or life insurance payments to their next of kin.

    As long as we need to have a military that outspends the next dozen or so nations in the world put together in order to defeat a couple of thousand semi-literate fanatics, there will be no savings.
    This is the unspoken reason why the neocons hate Hagle so much. He is going to be the guy who goes after the Pentagon budget. And Congress only wants to cut the Pentagon budget in the somebody else’s state and congressional district.

  36. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Are there any young people who comment on this blog? Does anyone here really know any young people who aren’t their kids? I’m talking about people in their mid to late 20′s.

    I read the comments on here and it sounds like arguments among politburo members about crop yields. You may wish to double your crop yield by doubling the density of planting, but it just doesn’t work that way. And you may think you know what goes through the collective conscious of the most highly educated generation which is also one of the least employed generations in their areas of expertise – but you are bound to be confounded by what they find important.

    Their elders have told them too many things that have turned out to be wrong. They will be polite to you because they have been raised to be polite but they will confound you in what they do, and what they find important.

  37. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Show me a person who thinks that MSNBC or Chris Mathews or Keith Olbermann have any real influence on young people and I will show you an old finger wagger who is out of touch with youth.

  38. The Original Larry says:

    The most highly educated generation? I hope you’re not referring to anyone in America under the age of 40. I know many people in their 20s and sadly, most are poorly educated, diplomas and degrees notwithstanding. They don’t read, can’t write and their grasp of math is problematic. I have had to correct all three from recent college and business school grads. This is recent, first-hand experience in urban business settings, not the raving of an old, out-of-touch rural white man.

  39. Rancid Crabtree says:

    I wasn’t asking a group of 20 somethings who get their news from Comedy Central what they thought Knuckle. I was asking Brian Mann.

  40. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Gee, so 4 years into things, into his second term in fact, and it’s still Bushes fault? Dang man. You guys got this beating a dead horse thing down to a science. “Anything good that happens is thanks to Obama. Anything bad or expensive is Bushs fault.” Cool.

    So…how are you guys going to blame Bush for the thousands of jobs lost due to Obamacare and the hundreds of thousands of people who have their hours cut back to 28 a week? It’s already happening people. There are employers refusing to hire people part time who have other part time jobs so they won;t hit that magic 29 or 30 hour mark, whatever it is.

    How do you blame that disaster on Bush?

  41. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Good job guys, ridicule the younger generation. That is the perfect way to move them to your point of view.

    By the way, it had been shown that people who watch Comedy Central are better informed on current events than people who watch Fox News.

  42. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    And not withstanding your assessment of their business skills, Larry, it would be pretty hard for the next generation to do a worse job than the CEO’s of most of the top banks and investment firms in the last couple of decades, many of whom should be in jail for what they have done.

  43. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    So let’s take a look at what some young people have been doing on important issues in the last few years.

    Finance and business: Occupy Wall Street became a worldwide movement through organic organization and association. The skills learned by young people in that movement became useful in:

    Superstorm Sandy Relief, where young people associated with Occupy Wall Street were some of the first and most effective relief workers on the ground in hard hit areas in the immediate aftermath of the storm.

    Internet freedom activist Aaron Swartz, personified a generation of people who want to wrest the power of information away from the business interests that work to stifle innovation by extending copyright and patent protection so that companies like Disney can profit off their stupid mouse indefinitely into the future while billions of poor around the world are kept in the dark about information that has the potential to spawn unknown new technologies.

    Young people have been working on social justice issues; they tend to be highly motivated to use their own actions to promote ecological and environmental change – actions such as becoming vegetarian, lgbt organization, recycling, working on alternative energy.

    So kids out there, who do you want to vote for, the people who respect your talents and skills or the people who dismiss your abilities?

  44. mervel says:

    Yeah but all of this talk about having less kids and how that is good; How kids in general and big families are a bad thing; means that the younger generations are just not that important right? The old in a demographically unbalanced society rule.

  45. The Original Larry says:

    Telling the truth isn’t ridicule. Whatever they may be good at, it isn’t reading or writing.

  46. Rancid Crabtree says:

    OWS taught them that rape is okay, drug use is fine, destroying property is completely a good thing and that defecating in public is noble. Young people engaging in eco-terrorism have been responsible for more terrorist acts on US soil than any foreign entity. Young people expect the world to be handed to them.

    When I was young I was a hardcore liberal. Once I actually got a decent job and started watching what was happening around me I gradually changed. Today I look around and see people doing their best to limit everyone elses chances and to take as much from those who work as possible, all while not working or paying anything themselves if possible. It’s not sustainable.

    Young people are not the problem. It’s the people pulling the young peoples strings that lead to th problems.

    BTW- I don’t watch Fox or Comedy Central.

  47. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Well, if young people are so poorly educated it must be because of Bush’s No Child Left Behind policy.

  48. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Rancid: OWS taught them that rape is okay, drug use is fine, destroying property is completely a good thing and that defecating in public is noble. Young people engaging in eco-terrorism have been responsible for more terrorist acts on US soil than any foreign entity. Young people expect the world to be handed to them.

    Yup, that’s the way to win friends and influence young people. Good job, and keep up the good work. Pretty soon the Republican Party will consist of nothing but old folks who need young people to help them chage their Depends.

  49. Mervel says:

    Today’s young people are great, in general they are smart, well informed and want to make a difference.

    There is a segment of them that are indeed being totally left behind, even with No child Left behind. We have around 25% of them in the US who don’t graduate from high school, which frankly is a pretty low bar, we need to change that.

    But as far as politics go, I don’t really buy the idea that young people are a uniform voting block and more importantly that young people don’t change how they vote throughout the course of their lives.

  50. Mervel says:

    People who were part of the demonstrations in the 1960′s who voted for McGovern ended up voting for Reagan in 1980.

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