Gestating an Elephant

This is from the Wall Street Journal’s Op-Ed page, an article by Arthur Brooks, full text here.

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. Over the past 30 years this gap has not been below 20%–explaining, to a large extent, the current ineffectiveness of liberal youth voter campaigns today.

This got me to thinking– is it possible that, if we allow for a possibility briefly, that there is, in vague broad strokes, with many exceptions, a Right Wing fascination with the “blue meme” and the “blue/orange meme” and a left wing fascination with the “orange/green” and “green” memes.

If this is something that has some truth to it, in general patterns, certainly with exceptions, could it be that, part of the reason that there is this fertility gap is that left wing people take longer to feel like they are finished “growing up,” as there is a more complex cultural ideal of adult, and therefore they wait longer to have children, and additionally, they may have fewer children, because there is a more complex consciousness project that they must undertake in order to create children who become “fully grown up” (green or more complex).

It reminds me of how elephants take longer to gestate than (most?) any other mammal because they are larger. Perhaps similarly, it takes longer to “gestate” the consciousness of that who would become a “green-meme” left-winger, so there would naturally be a kind of gap that would emerge– it takes less effort and attention to raise a less complex being, so with a scarcity of time that is created, with women not feeling “adult” until their 30’s, and children taking longer to raise, all in service of a more complex emergence of consciousness, we see results such as the above. . .