Now that (most of) the results are in, it several things are clear that perhaps should have been clear much earlier.
I have always thought that lowering the voting age to 18 was foolish and illogical (the fact that one’s body is mature enough to fight does not prove that one’s mind is mature enough to be civically responsible), but some Democrats have recently been advocating a lower age yet. This election showed why. Progressive ideology is ultimately rooted in the ethics of childhood (that is to say, not ethics at all): no consequences, no accountability, being taken care of by an authority figure, pleasure without pain. Fortunately, a large proportion of infantile progressives grow out of their delusions once they have to pay mortgages and support a family, but increasing numbers don’t. This is substantially due to our society ignoring the steady accumulation and eventual domination of socialists and communists in our educational institutions from pre-school all the way to the graduate schools.
The practical effect on elections of this trend has been minimized, to a great extent, by the fact that the voting age citizens from 18-25 generally have more pressing concerns that paying attention to politics, inflation, the supply chain, free speech, racial discrimination, immigration and such trivial matters. (My son has painless dealt with gas prices by using his motorcycle more often.) A large number of them live in their parents’ guest houses and basements, so their fiscal realities are skewed. If the usual level of younger voter apathy had been in play this year, the Republican “Red Wave” would have materialized as predicted.
You have to give Democrats credit: they saw their one hope to rescue themselves from the just desserts of their incompetence and arrogance: make the election matter to the large and ignorant demographic, the young. The Party was mocked for focusing on the imaginary “fascist threat,” but if you, as Sam Cooke sang, don’t know much about history, that ridiculous claim might seem plausible and worth worrying about. Thanks to the Democrats’ loyal allies, teachers, almost none of our younger citizens know much about history, including what real fascism looks like (it looks a lot like the one party rule bolstered by a captive media and the criminalization of dissent that Biden’s Democrats have been stealthily pursuing since 2020).
But the real magic cattle prod was abortion. Sure, there’s not much that Democrats can do to return to the days of Roe v. Wade, but those young voters have no clue what Dobbs meant, what the Supreme Court does, or how laws and policy are made in this country. No clue at all! However, they do know that their entire lives, “a woman’s right to choose” has been a Constitutional right. They don’t know what such a right is, since they haven’t studied the Constituent or read Roe, but its always been there, a last resort birth control option that makes it easier to get laid and have irresponsible sex without risks or unpleasant consequences. Moreover, all the rhetoric about abortion has been distorted by cover-words and euphemisms, so the moral and ethical issues that make abortion difficult haven’t even penetrated youthful consideration. It’s just choice. after all, and only puritanical fanatics and religious zealots want to dictate what a woman chooses to do with her own body.
Maybe some younger Americans with neurons firing pause and ask, “Wait, is there really a right to kill another human being? Should there be? Isn’t this about more than what a woman chooses to do with her own body, since it involves the existence of separate, living human beings?” But our schools no longer teach ethics, and the churches have squandered their moral authority to have much influence over the general population. The vast, vast majority of voters under the age of 40 have barely thought about whether abortion was right, because they have taken it for granted, and if they had considered the question, they lacked the tools, education and objectivity to perform a valid ethical analysis.
Don’t blame them. Our society allowed them to grow up this way, and is paying the price
The Democrats gambled that the emotional desire for risk-free sex and an ignorant, self-serving dedication to the “right to choose” would motivate a previously apathetic demographic to create a wave of their own. They were right. Inflation, crime, open borders and the rest wouldn’t move this group, but protecting irresponsible sex and being able to kill nascent humans without compunction did. We’ve created these unethical citizens by neglecting to imbue ethics in our children, and the Democrats have corralled them. This election, in addition to showing how dangerous it is to have a large demographic of infantile voters, also demonstrates what happens when a culture ceases to teach ethics.
19 thoughts on “Juvenile Ethics For Democrats”
“parents’ guest houses and basements”
A distinction without a difference…?
“Youth for Abortion Rights.” Kinda says it all, don’t it?
I guess getting at least one abortion as a teenager is a right of passage.
This post actually depressed me a little.
First off, I think that people are looking at the promised Red Wave trickle up and it’s really got them beat down. Reality is that we’re disappointed because we were overpromised. In any other election cycle, this is still a pretty good gain. But I think there is a certain amount of soul searching we should do. I completely disagree with you on this, Jack. Respectfully, I also think you’re part of the problem.
I’ve mentioned on here maybe a half dozen times over the last ten years a phenomenon in Japan, a subculture of young men, derisorily referred to as grass eaters or NEETs (“Not in Education, Employment, or Training”). They rent extremely small apartments, we’re talking like 50 square feet, are purposefully minimally employed, earning just enough to pay rent, eat, and do some basic entertainment. This has been devastating to the Japanese economy. They’re still struggling through it. The people making those derisive statements blame the young… Why don’t they get real jobs? Girlfriends? Why don’t they aspire to more?! There’s a simple answer: They’ve built a system where young men couldn’t get ahead. They couldn’t buy a house, the dating scene was toxic, employment mobility was stagnant. How hard were they supposed to work for breadcrumbs and bumper stickers?
America is feeling this now.
The cost of home ownership has outpaced wage growth by an order of magnitude. Rent is actually more expensive than a mortgage, but the down payment locks people out. Education has never been more expensive, and you’ve never gotten less for it. The job market isn’t great, upward mobility has been hampered by boomers who have been, frankly, shit at retiring. The dating scene… Whew, lad.
It is technically possible for the hardworking and diligent to succeed at the margins, but the reality is that it’s objectively harder to get ahead today than it was 50 years ago. Bootstraps, if they exist, are gossamer thin.
And so we can look at the young and mock them… If they merely ate less avocado toast, then maybe they could afford a house! hweh hweh hweh. They’re lazy, they’re consumerist, they have too much screen time! All of which might be true (except the toast and the house), but the reality is that at the current rate, they’ll never be able to afford a house. They can’t envision it. There’s no clear path. And so how long do we expect them to hump along as wage slaves for breadcrumbs and bumper stickers?
I’ve been saying this for a while: Republicans need an answer for that. Because if you don’t have an answer for that, you just start losing. There’s only so much rules lawyering you can do, the electoral college only goes so far. You need to actually convince people to vote for you.
If the kids thought they could make a go of it with capitalism, they’d be capitalists. The rise of socialism is not the problem, it is a symptom of a broken system.
You’ll have to somehow reconcile that analysis with some contrary facts to convince me. The surveys so far show that the young voters were motivated by the abortion issue: I’m not making that up. They also were far more interested in climate change policies, which, destructive as they are, also increase the cost of living and the economic plight you describe. Republican policies (and Trump’s) are and have long been about eliminating regulations and burdens on industry and business. That’s the answer for the problem you describe, isn’t it? Meanwhile, studies show that college and high school students have ridiculously unrealistic assumptions about their earning potential out of school, which doesn’t seem like the despair you describe. The white kids are also supporting anti-white discrimination, which is what “diversity, equity and inclusion” is code for, because it seems nice. It’s easier to be nice when you think you’re secure yourself.
My son is earning more money at his age than I did, and doing so without a college or graduate degree. One reason is that he figured out on his own (I swear) that for him, college was a waste of money and time. Then he identified a growth industry, is mastering it, and has a side business buying and selling high end cars and trucks. Capitalism still works for those who haven’t been convinced that it doesn’t in school.
Democrats gambled that abortion would motivate young voters, and they did more than cost of living and other tangible factors that would prompt anyone who cared to vote against the Democrats. So I guess I don’t see what you’re disagreeing with.
I don’t buy it. The same surveys that absolutely failed to count those votes in the first place are now going to deign to explain to us why they voted in ways that they didn’t think they would.
“Republican policies (and Trump’s) are and have long been about eliminating regulations and burdens on industry and business. That’s the answer for the problem you describe, isn’t it?”
No. And this is what I was talking about. Boomers don’t tend to understand how they broke systems as their age cohorts moved through them…. How an entire generation and the largest age cadre in America all doing the same thing at the same time drastically realigns the priorities of a nation. When they went to school, the majority of the budget went to education, while they were working, the narrative shifted to benefits and tax relief, and now that they’re in their senior years, the discussion shifted to healthcare. Even the stock market… Boomers were great at investing, and that artificially inflated stock prices compared to what they’d been previously, and when they finally sell off en masse now that they’ve finally retired… They’re going to send the market into a spiral and blame the economy. But now… They’re starting to die. There’s going to be a golden age for funeral homes for the next ten years, and people have to adjust to the reality that millennials, in their late 20’s and early 30’s, now comprise America’s largest age cadre, that they’re starting to vote in numbers that matter, because they’re starting to see that their votes matter, and that their priorities are going to become America’s priorities.
They don’t care about eliminating regulations and burdens on industry and business, because they generally don’t own industries or businesses, and they don’t believe in the trickle down effect because they’ve never seen it. And they’ve never seen the trickle down effect because industries and businesses are horrible at applying it. Democrats have a point when they say that management salaries and corporate profits have drastically outpaced employee pay and benefits. That doesn’t mean corporate America is the perennial boogeyman that the Democrats say it is, but if the messages are:
1) “We’re going to make them pay their fair share, and this benefits you in a nebulous way that we never really explain.”
2) “We’re going to give them a tax break, and this time, you’ll get some of that too, for real though.”
What do you think resonates?
Because I agree: There are good arguments that deregulation might actually raise all boats, and we were starting to see that during the Trump years, pre-covid. But then Covid hit, and almost every corporation saw record profits, in part because of all the government spending… And the employees saw less than nothing. Hell, there were layoffs.
Your son is not indicative, as proud of him as you might be, he is an anecdote. And an outlier. Look, the entire argument that if you work hard you can still succeed both cedes the argument and misses the point. My father was a high school drop out. He worked 40 years at the post office, married his sweetheart at 19, bought their first home soon after, raised three kids and sent us all to school. On a single income. That does not exist anymore. It’s gone. Your childhood is attainable, under some very specific circumstances. But the reality is that it’s generally unattainable, particularly for the children of the poor. Right now, you have to have an overpriced education, be cunning, or be an entrepreneur to even get even a taste of what came so much easier a couple of generations ago. The economics of home ownership is *objectively* worse. The reality of the job market is *objectively* worse. The reality of education is *objectively* worse.
Failing to interact with that, trying to distract from it, just means that Republicans lose elections going forward. Because they’re not going to be distracted from the issues they care about.
But let’s say… Just for a second, that you’re right. That their issues are climate change and abortion: What’s the plan? Because I think that those are just the front facing secondary positions behind their general support of Democrat’s economic policies, because those are the ones that they resonate with… But if you actually think that the largest voting block in America now has a position on climate change and abortion… Is the new reality that you just start losing elections, or is there a plan to deal with that?
Now that’s the Comment of the Day that I was waiting for. Let me post it, and I’ll reply then.
The same issues are bubbling up in China, as well. Last year there was much talk about the tang ping (“lying flat”) movement, of young Chinese professionals giving up on the intense work schedules demanded by the culture. That movement seems to have metastatized into the more severe bai lan (“let it rot”) movement now, where those same youth are quitting entirely and working part-time jobs to just maintain a minimalist lifestyle.
It’s interesting that the same phenomenon is occurring in multiple places at the same time, across very different cultures and economic systems. There are common elements in all these cases, but what is the root cause underlying all of it? What is causing the young to lose hope all around the world, and what’s different in places where this isn’t happening?
The technology revolution. My guess would be there is less government propaganda psyops being run on the countries where this isn’t happening.
It’s occurred cross-species.
Read up on John Calhoun’s “Mouse Utopia”, it’s fascinating.
Calhoun’s most famous utopia, number 25, began in July 1968, when he introduced eight albino mice into the 4½-foot cube. Following an adjustment period, the first pups were born 3½ months later, and the population doubled every 55 days afterward. Eventually this torrid growth slowed, but the population continued to climb, peaking at 2,200 mice during the 19th month.
That robust growth masked some serious problems, however. In the wild, infant mortality among mice is high, as most juveniles get eaten by predators or perish of disease or cold. In mouse utopia, juveniles rarely died. As a result, there were far more youngsters than normal, which introduced several difficulties.
Rodents have social hierarchies, with dominant alpha males controlling harems of females. Alphas establish dominance by fighting—wrestling and biting any challengers. Normally a mouse that loses a fight will scurry off to some distant nook to start over elsewhere.
But in mouse utopia, the losing mice couldn’t escape. Calhoun called them “dropouts.” And because so few juveniles died, huge hordes of dropouts would gather in the center of the pen. They were full of cuts and ugly scars, and every so often huge brawls would break out—vicious free-for-alls of biting and clawing that served no obvious purpose. It was just senseless violence. (In earlier utopias involving rats, some dropouts turned to cannibalism.)
Alpha males struggled, too. They kept their harems in private apartments, which they had to defend from challengers. But given how many mice survived to adulthood, there were always a dozen hotshots ready to fight. The alphas soon grew exhausted, and some stopped defending their apartments altogether.
As a result, apartments with nursing females were regularly invaded by rogue males. The mothers fought back, but often to the detriment of their young. Many stressed-out mothers booted their pups from the nest early, before the pups were ready. A few even attacked their own young amid the violence or abandoned them while fleeing to different apartments, leaving the pups to die of neglect.
Eventually other deviant behavior emerged. Mice who had been raised improperly or kicked out of the nest early often failed to develop healthy social bonds, and therefore struggled in adulthood with social interactions. Maladjusted females began isolating themselves like hermits in empty apartments—unusual behavior among mice. Maladjusted males, meanwhile, took to grooming all day—preening and licking themselves hour after hour. Calhoun called them “the beautiful ones.” And yet, even while obsessing over their appearance, these males had zero interest in courting females, zero interest in sex.
Intriguingly, Calhoun had noticed in earlier utopias that such maladjusted behavior could spread like a contagion from mouse to mouse. He dubbed this phenomenon “the behavioral sink.”
Between the lack of sex, which lowered the birth rate, and inability to raise pups properly, which sharply increased infant mortality, the population of Universe 25 began to plummet. By the 21st month, newborn pups rarely survived more than a few days. Soon, new births stopped altogether. Older mice lingered for a while—hiding like hermits or grooming all day—but eventually they died out as well. By spring 1973, less than five years after the experiment started, the population had crashed from 2,200 to 0. Mouse heaven had gone extinct.
What this article doesn’t say is that when it was obvious that the behavioral sink was occurring and that the population was going to die off, they pulled the plug a little early: They took a few hundred of the beautiful ones out of the experiment and introduced those broken mice into other experiments, to see if there was the possibility that social interaction with healthy mice might invigorate them. It didn’t.
I’ve drawn different conclusions thinking about the utopia over the years. I’ve thought that it partially answers the question of nature or nurture (this is proof, to some extent, of nurture). I’ve thought that humanity is more complicated than mice, and that we as a species would figure out what was going on and deal with it before things got too serious. I’ve also thought that the space thing scales… In the life of the average Boomer, the population of earth has doubled three times. There really are probably too many people. But I’ve started thinking recently about incentive structures…. A lot of the social issues were exacerbated due to lack of space, but the reality was that the issue was, in essence, incentive structures.
What is the point of participation if you never get ahead?
What does “getting ahead” mean in this context? Americans have the most affluent youth in the world; it isn’t even close. Capitalism and individual freedom is why, though the beneficiaries have been indoctrinated not to understand that. Lots of warning and problems on the horizon, as usual, which is not to minimize the peril.
What do you mean by “affluent” in that context? Because America has the most “affluent” youth in the world… Living in their parent’s basements. They own nothing, they rent everything. They’re hand-to-mouth. They might prefer that to the average experience of an African tribesman, but we’re talking about America. America has had better economic results than a good slice of the world since it came into existence. America doesn’t compare results with the rest of the world, it compares results with itself.
They don’t own homes, but then neither did I until I was 30. Moving back with mom and dad is a smart way to accumulate savings. They have money for smart phones, cars, computers, TVs, sound systems and recreational drugs, luxuries all.
Again… Your experience isn’t material. Those circumstances do not exist anymore.
Back when I was in my first econ classes, we went through a litany of exercises that were variations on the theme of the buy/rent decision.
The exercise was generally: Do you buy a home at $X, pay it off over Y years at Z% interest, or rent space at $A month and invest the savings between X’s monthly cost and A? The questions for these problems were designed so that the math was usually tight, but even in the early 00’s, I quickly realized that the questions were unrealistic. I knew what the cost of rent was, I knew what the interest rates were. Rent was cheaper than the whole cost of home ownership and mortgage, but the equity was almost always going to end up higher in the end. That’s what I thought in 2004. In reality 20 year old me had no way of knowing what the housing market would do, and the appreciation of home values further made facially absurd. There was no question: It was always superior to buy, the hold up was going to be the accumulation of the down payment.
That changed in the following 20 years: The answer was always that the buy option was better in the long term, but now it might also be better in the short term: It costs more to rent than to buy. You’re not saving *any* money by renting anymore. So everyone should buy their home, right? I mean, if you can afford rent, you can afford the home. Period. Well… Yes, and no. The barrier of the down payment is so much sturdier now… Not only have markets tightened up lending, but after the sub-prime snafu, most lenders have a minimum 10% down.
With the median (MEDIAN!!!!) price of an American home being $420,000 in 2022. How long do you think it will take the average family earning maybe $50,000 a year to save up $42,000? Your bank will do 5%? Frabjous day! That means you need to pull only $21,000 out of your ass! Homes in your area aren’t anywhere near $400,000? Fair, but I’d bet that you aren’t making $50,000 a year to start either though. The numbers never work. We are eating our young.
WHAT circumstances? Are you talking about home-owning, or financial prospects in general? Home-owning is becoming more difficult, particularly in areas like mine. How does that translate to “eating our young”? The only reason homes were as affordable as they were was because of the mortgage deduction, which was huge giveaway to the middle class—a utilitarian win for society? I wobble on it, personally.
“The only reason homes were as affordable as they were was because of the mortgage deduction, which was huge giveaway to the middle class—a utilitarian win for society?”
This is wrong. The mortgage deduction inflated the cost of homes by making higher mortgage payments more affordable and tilting the demand scale. It was a huge giveaway to homeowners and does some massively toxic things downstream. The mortgage deduction is a cancer.
Which is part of why I wrote, to finish that section, that I was uncertain it was the ethical victory it is claimed to be. The deduction increased home costs inflation indeed, but also made buying a home more affordable since the government was now subsidizing the mortgage interest. Like all such giveaways, it is politically impossible to reform or end. One of my dad’s few political efforts was to lobby Congress to make Social Security means-tested. I have a whole file on his work on the issue dating back 30 years before he died. Hopeless.
I’m appalled that some women attend pro abortion rallies wearing shirts that say things like “Four abortions and proud of it!”. Oh my God…who on earth is PROUD of having an abortion?!?
There is a huge difference between not being ashamed of having an abortion and being proud of having one.
It’s sickening and disheartening to see so many women not just casually ending human life, but advertising and endorsing it as well.
Here’s why cynicism is probably going to be more accurate than not – all tiny conservative wins are meaningless as every generation matriculating from the high schools have been increasingly programmed by the Left to vote Left. Republican victories are only staving off the inevitable.