Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Winning the Culture War by Natural Selection

According to USA Today, political affiliations in the USA divide quite strongly on the basis of marriage status:
House districts held by Republicans are full of married people. Democratic districts are stacked with people who have never married. This "marriage gap" could play a role in the Nov. 7 congressional elections. Democrats need a net gain of 15 seats to take control of the House of Representatives.

Twenty-seven of the 38 Republican-held districts with seats considered vulnerable by independent political analysts have fewer married people than found in the average GOP district. The USA TODAY analysis also shows that:

•Republicans control 49 of the 50 districts with the highest rates of married people.

•Democrats represent all 50 districts that have the highest rates of adults who have never married.

The political tug-of-war is between people who are married and those who have never been.

The "never married" group covers a variety of groups who form the Democratic base: young people, those who marry late in life, single parents, gays, and heterosexuals who live together.

[…] For example, the two seats most likely to switch from Republican to Democratic are Arizona's 8th District and Colorado's 7th District, according to the non-partisan National Journal. The districts — in which Republican incumbents are not seeking re-election — rank 251st and 307th respectively in marriage rates among the 435 districts.

They also divide quite strongly on the basis of having children:
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, a Catholic mother of five from San Francisco, has fewer children in her district than any other member of Congress: 87,727.

Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah, a Mormon father of eight, represents the most children: 278,398.

These two extremes reflect a stark demographic divide between the congressional districts controlled by the major political parties.

Republican House members overwhelmingly come from districts that have high percentages of married people and lots of children, according to a USA TODAY analysis of 2005 Census Bureau data released last month.

GOP Congress members represent 39.2 million children younger than 18, about 7 million more than Democrats. Republicans average 7,000 more children per district.

I’m not going into party affiliations, since – of the two major American political parties - I loathe one and I’m currently pretty miffed at the other. Strictly in terms of social traditionalists and social liberals, however – who are still largely reflected in the split between Repubs and Dems – these statistics are both predictable and telling.

A strong case can be made that the ideals of social liberals center on unfettered personal autonomy, reflected strongly in our society in the right to freedom of sexual expression and freedom from the constraints of reproduction. The results are hardly surprising.

Social liberals tend not to get married; they tend to contracept; and they tend to have abortions in order to avoid the burden of children. These are hardly exclusive predilections – I’m sure you can find plenty of “traditionalists” who push their mistresses into abortion clinics after cheating on their wives - but, in terms of worldview, sexual promiscuity, singleness, and avoidance of children are heavily weighted towards the lib side.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, there have been over 45,000,000 abortions in the USA since Roe v. Wade. If we assume that the socially liberal-to-traditional division among these is just 60-40, and assume that as many liberal children turn conservative as conservative turn liberal, then there has been a net loss over 33 years of 9,000,000 social liberals. If you set the divide at 67/33 (possibly a bit high), the difference becomes 15,000,000. And that does not include other factors effecting fertility differences.

In other words, from a biological perspective, social liberalism, as currently practiced, is an evolutionary dead end. In a democracy, their voting power will disappear far more quickly than their presence in the gene pool. It is ironic that, in the grand scheme of things, the primary factor that leads to the final overturning of Roe v. Wade may be an unintended consequence of Roe v. Wade itself.