Ed Driscoll

Winning For The Gipper

The Wall Street Journal has an essay by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge with a distinct “win one for the Gipper” tone:

The left has reached the same level of fury that the right reached in the 1960s–but with none of the intellectual inventiveness. On everything from Social Security to foreign policy to economic policy, it is reduced merely to opposing conservative ideas. This strategy may have punctured the Bush reforms on Social Security, but it has also bared a deeper weakness for the left. In the 1960s, the conservative movement coalesced around several simple propositions–lower taxes, more religion, an America-first foreign policy–that eventually revolutionized politics. The modern left is split on all these issues, between New Democrats and back-to-basics liberals.

The biggest advantage of all for conservatives is that they have a lock on the American dream. America is famously an idea more than a geographical expression, and that idea seems to be the province of the right. A recent Pew Research Center Survey, “Beyond Red Versus Blue,” shows that the Republicans are more optimistic, convinced that the future will be better than the past and that they can determine their own futures. Democrats, on the other hand, have a European belief that “fate,” or, in modern parlance, social circumstances, determines people’s lot in life. (And judging by some recent series in newspapers on the subject, the party appears to have staunch allies in American newsrooms at least.)

If the American dream means anything, it means finding a plot of land where you can shape your destiny and raise your children. Those pragmatic dreamers look ever more Republican. Mr. Bush walloped Mr. Kerry among people who were married with children. He also carried 25 of the top 26 cities in terms of white fertility. Mr. Kerry carried the bottom 16. San Francisco, the citadel of liberalism, has the lowest proportion of people under 18 in the country (14.5%).

So cheer up conservatives. You have the country’s most powerful political party on your side. You have control of the market for political ideas. You have the American dream. And, despite your bout of triste post coitum, you are still outbreeding your rivals. That counts for more than the odd setback in the Senate.