by Brad Nelson
I find the usual political BS so tiring. So it was nice to run into this excellent bit of commentary by Selwyn Duke: Why Millennials Won’t Turn ‘Conservative’. He’s hitting on all cylinders here.
Let me pull a few relevant quotes:
I’ll say that I don’t at all consider the WWII FDR voters the “greatest generation,” though it makes for a nice narrative. The greatest generation was the one that founded our nation and wondered if we could “keep” its republic, and there has been a consistent, but accelerating, degeneration ever since.
Moreover, millennials may have soured on Obama somewhat, but this reflects cynicism more than conservatism. Of course, that they’d be cynical is no surprise; they’ve been raised in an unraveling West in which feckless, morally-confused adults in their homes, schools, government, houses of worship and elsewhere have let them down.
Consider that while a conservative in 1952 America was staunchly anti-communist, a conservative in the Soviet Union at the time was a communist. And “conservatives” in Western Europe are often our liberals’ ideological soulmates. This isn’t for lack of truth in political advertising. Rather, it’s because the only consistent definition of “conservative” is “a desire to maintain the status quo” while “liberal’s” only consistent definition involves a desire to change it. This means “conservatism” is always changing: tomorrow’s version will reflect today’s liberalism’s success in altering the status quo. Conservatism is the caboose to liberalism’s locomotive (I treat this in-depth here).
That so few recognize this reflects the relativism of our time, where we label ourselves with provisional terms and measure ourselves against other people (it’s people who define the political spectrum). If we want to see matters clearly, however, we must define them differently: in absolute terms.
In other words, what do millennials actually believe? Well, never before has an American generation been so tolerant of intolerable sexual practices, so supportive of faux marriage and skeptical of actual marriage, so relativistic and disconnected from Christianity (church attendance is one of the best predictors of voting habits). Never before has an American generation been to their degree socially “liberal.”
This next bit is truly brilliant (emphasis mine):
This brings us to the claim that millennials are, at least, fiscally conservative. Now, not only is convincing evidence of this elusive, but considering it a saving grace is essentially saying that it profits a man to gain the world but lose his soul. Regardless, however, while the social liberalism/fiscal conservatism marriage may exist in particular cases, I suspect that in principle it is an impossibility.
For instance, speaking of principle versus particular, if you ask people, “Do you believe government should balance its budget and be frugal,” of course they’ll say yes. But if you ask them if they’re willing to relinquish their particular piece of the pie (government college aid?), their tune changes. Espousing fiscal responsibility requires only a voice; achieving it requires virtue.
Second, consider the side-effects of social liberalism in modern times. And this should be prefaced by saying that since this explanation warrants a book, my treatment here will necessarily be lacking. But just as an example, social liberalism means loose sexual mores. Loose sexual mores mean a high rate of single motherhood (today it’s 42 percent… and rising). And what does this mean? Since the modern West won’t let these women twist in the wind, the government will step into the breach and play daddy with handouts and/or mommy with tax-funded daycare. It is unavoidable.
I second Mr. Duke’s belief that the idea of being socially liberal and fiscally conservative is indeed a fantasy. More good stuff from Duke:
Government can be no better than the public’s virtue, though it can be worse. And this morality-government relationship is evident in voting patterns. Is it a coincidence that every group orthodox Christians label immoral — those involved in “alternative” sexual deathstyles, criminally inclined inner-city dwellers, effete college professors, grunge-type youths scarred with multiple tattoos and body piercings — vote left? “What fellowship hath light with darkness?” The darkness hates the light. When people have sins they yearn to rationalize away, the last thing they’ll do is support leaders who would uphold, even just through word, a moral standard condemning their passions.
I couldn’t have written a better manifesto for StubbornThings.org myself than this final paragraphy by Duke:
Speaking of wisdom, when conservatives indulge wishful thinking and suppose that millennials will “wake up,” they ignore that we actually need a shakeup, something that changes the cultural trajectory on which we’ve long been (so if an asteroid strikes the Earth, millennials may turn into conservatives — of course, they instead may turn into cavemen, too). Until then, whatever the keepers of the flame plan had better require the participation of only a zealous minority. For the masses will not wake up when beset by a cultural narcolepsy in which nightmares are fancied nice dreams.
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