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 Post subject: Politics of the Family
 Post Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 9:01 pm 
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Two USA Today articles caught my attention. (note I usually don't read USA Today except when I am the road hence no nice linky thingy)

The 1st Postulated based on census figures that the main difference between Republicans and Democrats is Republicans are more likely married while Democrats are more likely unmarried. Hence where Democrats are more competive this year are in districts with large unmarried rates.

The 2nd correlated the marriage statisitics with fertility rates. Those with large numbers of children are more likely Republican while those with small or no children are more likely Democrats.

Is this true? What do you think of this demographic breakdown? Or is it just a lot of huey as Rep Holt (D-NJ) thinks.

The article about fertility rates used the case studies of Chris Cannon (R-UT) the largest number of children/congressional district and Nancy Pelosi(D-CA) smallest number of children/congressional district. It also presents a nifty chart of the highest and lowest precent married congressional districts with the Republicans sweeping the top 20 and the Dems taking the bottom 20.

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 Post Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 10:21 pm 
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What're the differences in marriage rates by state? I wasn't aware that the differences were that pronounced.

On the contrary, I thought that the main difference between Dem and Rep was urban versus rural -- since rural areas in New England have a good ratio of Republican votes, and cities in the South have a lot of Democrat votes, and, further, the more densely populated states are the Blue states and the primarily rural ones are the Red states.

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 Post Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 11:26 pm 
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Well, I don't think wyo's trying to argue that. I think that he's positing the "liberals are doomed because the conservatives will outbreed us" theory.

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 Post Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 12:02 am 
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Yeah, that's the problem with democracy.

P1: Having children can be a stupid thing to do.
P2: Stupid people are more likely to do stupid things than intelligent people.
C1: Stupid people are more likely to have children than intelligent people.

P3: Parents generally raise their children hoping that they'll agree with them on political and moral issues.
P4: One's political and moral views are partially conditioned by upbringing.
C2: Any given child is more likely to agree with his or her parents than a child raised in a different situation.
C3: Stupid people raise stupid children.

Therefore, with each generation, people will get progressively more stupid.

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 Post Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 1:10 am 
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By which standard, we'd all be wandering around drooling and twitching, since this has presumably been going on for millenia.

Counterargument:
The intelligence of a child is imperfectly correlated to the intelligence of their parents.

Intelligence is governed by thousands of genes on the nature side, and literally countless influences on the nurture side. The genes of two stupid people may very well combine to produce a genius; the genes of two geniuses may very well combine to produce a drooling idiot. There is a rough correlation, of course; but you aren't as likely to see a child sporting "her mother's mind" as you are to see her sporting "her father's eyes."

Therefore, I would contend that the average intelligence of the human race is not declining in the long term. People are no more or less intelligent than in the days of old... which would explain a lot in my book.

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 Post Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 1:22 am 
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Simon_Jester wrote:
By which standard, we'd all be wandering around drooling and twitching, since this has presumably been going on for millenia.


Bush was elected. Twice.

I'm sorry*, I had to.

* No I'm not.

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 Post Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 1:33 am 
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WCH wrote:
P4: One's political and moral views are partially conditioned by upbringing.
C3: Stupid people raise stupid children.




While political and moral views are conditioned by upbringing, however, intelligence would not be affected that much by having stupid parents, as education and the child's environment play big parts in determining the child's intelligence.

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 Post Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 1:35 am 
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Well, I'd also postulate that the likelihood of intelligent people to breed has reduced significantly over the past century or two, what with sex education, increased availability of birth control, etc.

And yes, it's all imperfect. Intelligent people still breed -- P1 says breeding can be a stupid thing to do, it isn't always. It's just that when intelligent people are breeding only when it makes sense to and stupid people are breeding both when it makes sense to and when it doesn't make sense to, stupid people will end up breeding more than intelligent people. How much more I don't know.

Also, not everyone holds to the political views of their parents. I don't agree with mine, for instance. Still, you are more likely to agree with your parents than someone not raised by them, so even though many children of Republicans will vote Democrat, the more Republicans have children, the more Republican children there will be.

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 Post Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 1:39 am 
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wyoarmadillo wrote:
Two USA Today articles caught my attention. (note I usually don't read USA Today except when I am the road hence no nice linky thingy)

The 1st Postulated based on census figures that the main difference between Republicans and Democrats is Republicans are more likely married while Democrats are more likely unmarried. Hence where Democrats are more competive this year are in districts with large unmarried rates.

The 2nd correlated the marriage statisitics with fertility rates. Those with large numbers of children are more likely Republican while those with small or no children are more likely Democrats.

Is this true? What do you think of this demographic breakdown? Or is it just a lot of huey as Rep Holt (D-NJ) thinks.

The article about fertility rates used the case studies of Chris Cannon (R-UT) the largest number of children/congressional district and Nancy Pelosi(D-CA) smallest number of children/congressional district. It also presents a nifty chart of the highest and lowest precent married congressional districts with the Republicans sweeping the top 20 and the Dems taking the bottom 20.


I'll hazard the hidden trick in this is that Democrats are traditionally younger, republicans are older. This is because as one gets older, one amasses wealth, nostalgia for the olden days, and growing fear of mortality. Wealth is protected and fear and nostalgia exploited by the conservatives.

The young, in contrast, are typically for foward looking, accepting of change and idealistic. All of which are traditionally part of liberalism (although are now being actively ignored by the Democrats). So the growing number of children being born in red states may wind up having the opposite effect prognosticated here. But it will probably wind up a middle ground, where these young folk grow up into disgruntled nihilists (or mutants).

I will prognosticate that at current trends, the president elected in 2020 will be a Zapatista.

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 Post Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 1:43 am 
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Big-O wrote:
I will prognosticate that at current trends, the president elected in 2020 will be a Zapatista.


And will this be before or after we pry the levers of power from the neo-cons' cold dead fingers?

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 Post Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 1:52 am 
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Wynd wrote:



While political and moral views are conditioned by upbringing, however, intelligence would not be affected that much by having stupid parents, as education and the child's environment play big parts in determining the child's intelligence.



Childrens respect for their parents' opinions during their formative years (My daddy's the smartest man in the whole world!) tends to have a great effect on this, though. Also, let's be careful we don't define "stupidity" as "Agreeing with Conservative Values", as this thread seems dangerously close to doing.

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 Post Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 1:54 am 
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Taurus II wrote:
Big-O wrote:
I will prognosticate that at current trends, the president elected in 2020 will be a Zapatista.


And will this be before or after we pry the levers of power from the neo-cons' cold dead fingers?


What's this "we"? After the upcomming "election" I'm moving into the woods to write my manifesto. :bert:

I won't have time to pretend to vote on machines owned by this single party state.

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 Post Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 1:59 am 
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COnservative views can indeed be held by intelligent people, but they are designed to appeal to the stupid and the intellectually lazy, whereas liberal views assume and require a level of intellectual vigorousness.

The fact that conservatives now rule the country is proof once again that it never a losing proposition to appeal to the ignorance and laziness of the masses.

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 Post Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 2:07 am 
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Taurus II wrote:
COnservative views can indeed be held by intelligent people, but they are designed to appeal to the stupid and the intellectually lazy...


You forgot Cynical. They are definitely designed to appeal to the cynical. Which accounts for most of the intelligent conservatives.

Taurus II wrote:
...whereas liberal views assume and require a level of intellectual vigorousness.


Not really. Did you actually pay attention to the last 2 presidential campaigns? The Democratic position was "We represent all of the republican positions better than the republicans..."

If the Kerry nomination was anything other than stupidity or cynicism, I'll eat a sack of campaign buttons.

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 Post Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 2:12 am 
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Taurus II wrote:
COnservative views can indeed be held by intelligent people, but they are designed to appeal to the stupid and the intellectually lazy, whereas liberal views assume and require a level of intellectual vigorousness.

The fact that conservatives now rule the country is proof once again that it never a losing proposition to appeal to the ignorance and laziness of the masses.



I have to dissagree with you in part taurus, Both sides have their talking heads and soundbites that apeal to the idealogues and intelectual inferiors. Its these that make up the majority of the voter base for both parties. They are the Archie Bunkers of each side. Its the middle of the road independants or the "Loosely aligned" that make up the majority of the voters throughout the US, and these are the thinkers that both parties have to try and apeal to.

Big O, i only have one thing to say, Zapatista will never be elected as long as i can hold a rifle, take that however you want.

Now as to the actual opening post, i first heard of this listening to Savage Nation tonight, and i hate to say that i have to agree with part of his argument. This is not a gender gap, its a morality gap, and the far left is going to play it for all its worth

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