This One Question From Pew Says a Lot About Our Culture

AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo

Pew Research performs a fairly large number of polls, and one of the most interesting focuses on Americans' attitudes about cultural issues. 

Unsurprisingly it shows that Democrats and Republicans live in different worlds. 

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In a sense, we already know that. We literally live in different places—there are Red states and Blue states, and within those states, there are Blue cities and Red...pretty much everywhere else. If you look at the Red/Blue distribution by county, you see a sea of Red and pockets of Blue, and if you drill down to smaller subunits (harder to do), even many of large "Blue" areas are mostly Red geographically. 

People can argue all day about whether territory matters, or GDP, or PPP, or some other variable should determine political power, but the fact is that there is no vote counting system that is going to distribute power in some mythically "fair" way. Arguably we should return to a more federal (meaning distributed power, not centralized power) system to reduce tensions, but that is a different question. 

What matters for my purposes here is to point out that in terms of political opinions, lifestyles, and especially values being a Republican or Democrat reflects something much deeper than differences over how best to produce peace, prosperity, or justice. 

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Republicans and Democrats disagree fundamentally about the meaning of life

That fact jumps out at you when reading through the poll, but at least for me the stark difference in how Republicans and Democrats view the importance of marriage and children says it all. 

Democrats, by a wide margin, say that marriage and children aren't that important to society; Republicans, by a wide margin, say it is. 

Not enough Trump supporters are so for my liking--only 60%--but it is striking that 80% of Biden supporters don't think being married and having children are important. 

Trump supporters: DO BETTER. Biden supporters: I guess that breeding yourself out of the gene pool is your goal. 

Yikes. That is insane and explains why there are so many news stories, videos, and other propaganda extolling the virtues of "Dual Income No Kids" relationships.

Apparently the road to riches and happiness is choosing to never have kids. Kids are bad for the portfolio, the environment, free time, or whatever you value. That is the nihilistic message we get so frequently from the left, who have been anti-natalists for decades. 

DON'T BREED! Find a good eunuch, or transgender person, or engage in some other form of non-generative sexual activity. Preferably in public, if you are a Lefty. 

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It's no coincidence that the left's main priorities are:

  • Alphabet ideology
  • Abortion
  • Sterilizing kids
  • Degrowth
  • Importing people for menial labor
  • Euthanasia

As much as we hear about social justice and all the other fluff, what Democrats vote on and value most is a form of hedonism that borders on (or crosses into) narcissism. 

Kids are work. They are expensive. They spread disease (schools were among the last places to open back up, despite schoolchildren never spreading or rarely getting COVID). They are an all-around PITA. 

Republicans, of course, see the world incredibly differently. For many, perhaps most of us, our families are at the core of our identity and our life meaning. Parents will literally die for their kids, and when they are on their deathbed, they want to go surrounded by their families. 

This is why we look on in horror as liberals use children as ideological accessories when they have them, and why sterilizing or sexualizing children angers us so much. 

We don't just see children differently; that difference is an expression of a deeper values disconnect. We see personhood and its value very differently. 

At both the beginning and the end of life a liberal often sees the value of the human being in terms of their being wanted and useful. If you are old, you are a drain of resources and it's time for you to go. If you are unwanted as a fetus, well that's too bad for you. There is fun to be had by the hale and hearty still. 

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I don't believe every Democrat sees things this way; apparently, it is just 80% of them. 

All this, I think, stems from a deeper malady that plagues our culture, and is too common in both parties: the abandonment of a belief in the divine. 

What makes human beings of inestimable value is the spark of the divine imparted by God, and as we have lost touch with our faiths we have lost touch with any belief that life has meaning above and beyond physical pleasure. As a society, we have lost touch with the fundamental truth that ultimately we have value because we are children of God. 

I know atheists who still have that belief, although they cannot explain exactly why they do. They are what you might call in the West "cultural Christians." Richard Dawkins, the world's premier atheist, expressed it recently. 

Those of us who grew up in a time more committed to God can recognize the loss of faith, even those who harbored hostility to much of Christian theology. Losing touch with God has led to losing touch with what made our culture great, and I believe, what made life's difficulties bearable. 

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The colors in life's tapestry have faded as the Rainbow has been splashed everywhere around us. It's devastating for our civilization--suddenly policy makers have been worrying about plunging birthrates, not understanding why people are no longer having children. 

It's simple, though: when pleasure becomes your God-substitute, life becomes less precious. 

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David Strom 3:30 PM | June 20, 2024
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