Procreate…or Else!

August 25, 2006

Within a few short days, I came across two articles inflaming fears of changing demographics:
First there’s proud racist Pat Buchanan, whose new book is about closing US borders to protect the white race.

America faces an existential crisis. If we do not get control of our borders, by 2050 Americans of European descent will be a minority in the nation their ancestors created and built. No nation has ever undergone so radical a demographic transformation and survived.

Pat fears this civilization will collapse, hastened by low whitey birth rates and high immigrant birth rates. Then there’s this bonehead, Arthur Brooks, who writes:

Simply put, liberals have a big baby problem: They’re not having enough of them, they haven’t for a long time, and their pool of potential new voters is suffering as a result. According to the 2004 General Social Survey, if you picked 100 unrelated politically liberal adults at random, you would find that they had, between them, 147 children. If you picked 100 conservatives, you would find 208 kids. That’s a “fertility gap” of 41%. Given that about 80% of people with an identifiable party preference grow up to vote the same way as their parents, this gap translates into lots more little Republicans than little Democrats to vote in future elections.

Hmm. Guess he’s forgetting about those Dem-leaning latino immigrants who give Buchanan the willies. I gotta say, both arguments failed to scare me into conception. Echidne-of-the-Snakes questions Brooks’ numbers and citations, and Digby questions the assumption that conservative parents produce conservative kids.

But where’s the guarantee that Republican embryo becomes Republican voter? There are three kids in my wingnut family and only one is a chip off the old block, and he’s pretty apathetic. The rightwing politics in my family were what turned my brother and me into raving liberals. I think that happens fairly often — the old preacher’s kid syndrome. It’s certainly possible that a lot of conservatives come from liberal families as well — I just haven’t come across a lot of them.

Me neither.