03 January 2012

So Wrong

Star Parker misses it:

Over time I have observed changes in attitude among many young Republicans and I believe the shifts in attitude I see help explain the rise of Ron Paul.
When I first started lecturing early in the 1990’s, leading heroes of Republican youth were Ronald Reagan and William F. Buckley, Jr.
Individual freedom, respect for constitutional limitations on government, and traditional values was the message. There was a sense of purpose. America as a “shining city on a hill,” quoted so often by Reagan, taken from the Puritan pilgrim John Winthrop, captured the picture.
Now, increasing numbers of my campus hosts ask that I not talk about “values.” Leave out the stuff about marriage, family, and abortion, please, and just talk about the economy.
The materialism and moral relativism that created our left wing culture is now infecting our youth on the right. Young Republicans may be pushing back on government, but too often now their motivation is like their left wing contemporaries. A sense of entitlement and an interest in claiming rights with little interest in corresponding personal responsibilities.

There are a lot of things wrong with this picture.

First, Parker’s assertion about the materialism of “kids these days” is simply begging the question:  whose fault is this?  The convenient scapegoat is the left, of course, but the more correct answer is the parents of these young materialists.  It is the parents who are responsible for implementing the materialist mindset.  This is generally accomplished by buying one’s children the latest gadgets and the nicest cars as Christmas and birthday presents.  When the only thing they know from their childhood is having things, it shouldn’t be a surprise that they turn out to be materialistic.

Furthermore, many parents have ignored their children’s spiritual well-being.  They never teach values.  They foolishly think that the public school system will get around to it.  They also think the couple hours spent in church on a weekly basis will somehow help their children to have values even though most of the teaching within the whole of Christendom is generally tepid and politically correct, and often devoid of any biblical or spiritual content.  The complete absence of parental guidance and direction in the lives of their children has, unsurprisingly, led to their children placing no value on traditional values.

Second, the culture war, from a legal standpoint, has been lost.  And older conservatives have implicitly accepted defeat.  There’s no point in beating this dead horse anymore.

There’s no point in opposing homosexual marriage given the shipwreck that is heterosexual marriage.  How could the gays possibly do worse than the straights already have, what with their 50% divorce rate, which, by the way, is the natural result of no-fault divorce laws, default custody for the mother, alimony and child support laws, and a general misandry sentiment pervading the legal system.  Yet conservatives ignore this and focus instead on gays and their ability to get a piece of paper from the government sanctioning their lifestyle.  Marriage is on life support and conservatives are arguing about funeral arrangements.

And what’s to talk about regarding family?  The legal and political system is profoundly anti-family.  Compulsory public education is one example of this, as well as child protective services.  The fundamental assumption of both these institutions is that the government, not the parents, knows what is in the best interest of the children.  Conservatives never address these premises, but instead focus on reform.

Perhaps if conservatives finally get serious about social issues young people will listen to them.  Until then, young people will see them as nothing more than charlatans and hypocrites.

Third, “a sense of entitlement and an interest in claiming rights with little interest in corresponding personal responsibilities” is more descriptive of the Tea Party than of libertarian minded “young people.”  It was the middle-aged Tea Party fools that didn’t want their Social Security or Medicare entitlements cut in spite of the fact that both those programs are unaffordable and unconstitutional.  What entitlements do older conservatives want to give up?  They have no issue with cutting welfare for poor people, nor do they have an issue with cutting the left’s pet programs, but they are remarkably hesitant to take a personal hit.  Really, Parker’s nonsense is nothing more than the projections of an older, considerably more irrelevant conservative activist.

For what it’s worth, many of Ron Paul’s younger supporters have no issue with cutting or eliminating Social Security and Medicare.  Of course, the main reason for this is simply due to the simple fact that these programs will be bankrupt before the current generation can receive anything from them.  Really, then, the sense of entitlement belongs only to those who actually receive said entitlements.  And those people are generally not young.

Finally, the values nominally espoused by Reagan are practiced by one candidate and one candidate only.  His name is Ron Paul.  Thus, if you actually support the cause of liberty, and you want a president who will defend and uphold the constitution, per his oath of office, you will support and vote for Ron Paul. The claim that Ron Paul’s youthful supporters want freedom because they are secretly fascists is absurd on its face.  And if this is what passes for Conservative social analysis, the only conclusion that can be drawn from this is that Conservatism is intellectually dead.

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