That critical thinking plays a role in falling birthrates is backed up by a study conducted at Kansas State University, in which researchers found that “people’s desire to have children is most influenced by the positive and negative interactions, and the trade-offs.” These are detailed elegantly in an essay by Lionel Shriver, the author of We Need to Talk About Kevin, a book in which a mother’s life is ruined by her psychopathic son. “I could have afforded children, financially,” Shriver writes. “I just didn’t want them. They are untidy, they would have messed up my apartment. In the main, they are ungrateful. They would have siphoned away too much time from my precious books.”
Shriver acknowledges that this attitude could be interpreted as selfish. But, it seems, her feelings are indicative of “a larger transformation in Western culture no less profound than our collective consensus on what life is for.” In other words, she’s saying, an existential shift in the way educated humans approach living—a switch from living for the (possibly celestial) future to enjoying the present—has led humans to think much more carefully about having children, since the drawbacks tend to outweigh the benefits. “As we age,” she writes, “we are apt to look back on our pasts and question, not, did I serve family, God, and country, but did I ever get to Cuba, or run a marathon? Did I take up landscape painting? Was I fat? We will assess the success of our lives in accordance not with whether they were righteous, but whether they were interesting and fun.”*
—“Why Women Aren’t Having Children,”** The Atlantic, Friday.
Of course, the liberals’ answer is to fight the numbers with amnesty, importing what they hope will be fertile new recruits for their grim ideology in from the Third World. But the problem is that once here, those immigrants who share liberal values eventually stop having babies too. It seems abortion and reproduction don’t mix. The black community has already suffered depredations from the abortion laws Democrats love, a Democrat crime that dwarfs the crime that was Jim Crow. Now immigrant women seem to be taking a cue from liberal women and doing the same. In the meantime, red states like Utah and Texas grow and grow while blue states California and New York gray and shrivel.
Conservatives, it is not enough to merely produce children or, as so many do, adopt those already here. We must nurture them and teach them properly because liberal society is determined to corrupt them and convert them into eager drones for the Borg Collective that is progressivism. Fight back. If you are religious, teach your children about God. If not, teach them to respect and understand those who are. Teach them about our country and our history – there’s no better way to demonstrate to them, as opposed to indoctrinate them, why America deserves their patriotism. My earliest memory is of standing on a Gettysburg battlefield, not far from where my family’s hometown had been burned by Confederate raiders. There really was never much question that someday I would help defend our country as I aspired to be like the heroes who died on those fields.
And teach your kids skills that will help them survive. Teach them to fight, and to shoot. Teach them to be steadfast in the defense of their rights, and to stand up for those being oppressed. My kids have a standing offer – if their school suspends them for justifiably punching a bully they get taken out for ice cream. And demand that your school teaches your kids properly – as Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds often says, sending your kids to public schools is almost parental malpractice.
Not all conservatives will choose to have kids. Some can’t, and some have personal reasons not to – as grown men and women, none of them owe us any explanation. But by and large, we conservatives will outbreed our opponents if we just keep at it. So get some cabernet poured and some Barry White on and get busy, conservatives. Get busy…for America.
—“Sexy Conservatives Will Out-Breed Barren Liberals,” Kurt Schlichter, Townhall, today.
— Arthur Kimes (@ComradeArthur) April 18, 2015
* Let’s return to this line from the Atlantic article: “We are apt to look back on our pasts and question, not, did I serve family, God, and country, but did I ever get to Cuba, or run a marathon? Did I take up landscape painting? Was I fat? We will assess the success of our lives in accordance not with whether they were righteous, but whether they were interesting and fun.”
Did Tom Wolfe call this 40 years ago in “The ‘Me’ Decade and the Third Great Awakening,” or what?
Whatever the Third Great Awakening amounts to, for better or for worse, will have to do with this unprecedented post-World War II American development: the luxury, enjoyed by so many millions of middling folk, of dwelling upon the self. At first glance, Shirley Polykoff’s [advertising] slogan—“If I’ve only one life, let me live it as a blonde!”—seems like merely another example of a superficial and irritating rhetorical trope (antanaclasis) that now happens to be fashionable among advertising copywriters. But in fact the notion of “If I’ve only one life” challenges one of those assumptions of society that are so deep-rooted and ancient, they have no name—they are simply lived by. In this case: man’s age-old belief in serial immortality.
The husband and wife who sacrifice their own ambitions and their material assets in order to provide “a better future” for their children . . . the soldier who risks his life, or perhaps consciously sacrifices it, in battle . . . the man who devotes his life to some struggle for “his people” that cannot possibly be won in his lifetime . . . people (or most of them) who buy life insurance or leave wills . . . and, for that matter, most women upon becoming pregnant for the first time . . . are people who conceive of themselves, however unconsciously, as part of a great biological stream. Just as something of their ancestors lives on in them, so will something of them live on in their children . . . or in their people, their race, their community—for childless people, too, conduct their lives and try to arrange their postmortem affairs with concern for how the great stream is going to flow on. Most people, historically, have not lived their lives as if thinking, “I have only one life to live.” Instead they have lived as if they are living their ancestors’ lives and their offspring’s lives and perhaps their neighbors’ lives as well. They have seen themselves as inseparable from the great tide of chromosomes of which they are created and which they pass on. The mere fact that you were only going to be here a short time and would be dead soon enough did not give you the license to try to climb out of the stream and change the natural order of things. The Chinese, in ancestor worship, have literally worshiped the great tide itself, and not any god or gods. For anyone to renounce the notion of serial immortality, in the West or the East, has been to defy what seems like a law of Nature. Hence the wicked feeling—the excitement!—of “If I’ve only one life, let me live it as a ———!” Fill in the blank, if you dare.
And now many dare it! In Democracy in America, Tocqueville (the inevitable and ubiquitous Tocqueville) saw the American sense of equality itself as disrupting the stream, which he called “time’s pattern”: “Not only does democracy make each man forget his ancestors, it hides his descendants from him, and divides him from his contemporaries; it continually turns him back into himself, and threatens, at last, to enclose him entirely in the solitude of his own heart.” A grim prospect to the good Alexis de T.—but what did he know about . . . Let’s talk about Me!
** I blame global warming. No seriously; if you’ve truly internalized the crazed prophesies the warm-mongers have been shouting since the first Earth Day 45 years ago that “We only have five/ten/12 years, 362 days, 35 minutes and 22 seconds” to save the Earth, why would you want to inflict that vision of a barren future world on a kid?