RUSH: Kyle Smith in the New York Post, July 19th, a couple days ago. It was posted on their website late Saturday night, ran in the Sunday paper: "Could the Next Generation of Republicans Already be Here?" And his column is bouncing off the latest results of what looks like a Pew survey for the people in the press, and it was published in The Economist magazine on July 12th. Here's how he opens the piece. Again, "Could the Next Generation of Republicans Already be Here?"
In fact, you're gonna find this fascinating 'cause we have discussed this very thing for years on this program, the generational shift of one generation, A, finally, single generation maturing and saying, "Screw the world as it is. Screw the country as it is. We're simply not gonna live your way, Dad and Mom, we're just not going to." This column purports to assert that we may have reached that generation.
"There’s probably never been a time when humanity wasn’t collectively in a torment and uproar about what its young folk were up to." And that's true. My parents thought the length of the Beatles' hair was one of the most counterculture things they'd ever seen. Just the long mop-head hair. I said, "Hey, it looks no different than Moe on The Three Stooges."
"Well, they're funny." They didn't get the music. I finally said, "Mother, I'm gonna play you some Beatles songs recorded by the Hollyridge Strings, and when she heard the lyrics she said it's some of the most beautiful stuff she'd ever heard. The last thing it was was counterrevolutionary. Anyway it's true that every generation thinks its young people are going to the dogs.
"But in contrast with our image of decadent, self-centered, pleasure-craving youth, in many ways today’s youngsters are throwbacks -- spurning drugs, crime and disorder, being sexually responsible and making sound choices about education. They might be the least disaffected, least rebellious kids since the Kennedy years. And that might have surprising political implications down the road.
"A July 12 Economist piece reviewed some surprising data, finding that (contrary to popular belief) teen drinking and binge drinking have fallen sharply in recent years. The percentage of high-school seniors who have ever taken alcohol, for instance, fell from 80% to 71% from 2000 to 2010. In 1980, that figure was 93%. Asked whether they’d had a drink in the last 30 days, only 41% said yes in 2010. In 2000, it was 50% and in 1980, 72%. Similarly, the teen pregnancy rate is slightly more than half what it was in the mid-1990s, and teens are waiting longer to have sex than they did then.
"Violent-crime arrests for people from 10 to 24 are half what they were in 1995 (for [men]) and down 40% for [women]. Juvenile incarceration is at its lowest rate since 1975. Teen smoking peaked around 1997 and is now, at an all-time low of 17%, less than half of what it was then. (Pot use is an exception to the trend: 23% of high-school seniors regularly get high. But [the evil] weed is still less widely used than it was in the 1970s, or even in 1999...)
"What's behind all these surprising numbers?" Mr. Kyle Smith, the author of this piece, writes, "I can't say, but it's hard not to notice that a decline in destructive behavior associated with peer pressure has happened at the same moment that the US became a fully wired nation." Now, here's the point. His point is that peer pressure has reduced considerably, that it's peer pressure that causes young kids to go drink or engage in risky behavior because everybody is doing it.
You do it to be cool, and you want to be a part of big clique.
The big clique is doing X, so you go do X to be accepted by the big clique. Peer pressure. But peer pressure is rapidly diminishing as broadband Internet access is expanding, which means "restless youth don't have to go along with whatever the local [ne'er-do-wells] are up to," because they have their own little world with their own peers online. Now, it's not all positive, of course, but they can find their community.
A lot of people lament that young people are withdrawing from life, that they're sitting around in their basements in their underwear and they're doing nothing but texting and instant messaging and e-mailing and so forth. They're not getting out and they're not meeting people. They're not meeting people. They're not getting to know social skills. They're hiding behind their phones and their pads and their TV screens and they're not doing anything.
At the same time, they're not getting into any trouble.
There isn't any peer pressure. They're not out engaging in destructive behavior. What they're doing is watching YouTube videos or playing video games; they're staying in and getting fat. "As a frustrated barman in England, where pubs have been closing in huge numbers, put it to The Economist, 'Kids these days just want to live in their ... own little worlds in their bedrooms watching Netflix and becoming obese.'
"That sounds right, but at least no one ever got pregnant from eating Cheetos," or watching YouTube. So, anyway, the point is that the decline in destructive behavior (and it's been demonstrated by the polling data) is explained precisely by the solitary nature kids are living now with their wired status. No peer pressure, no engaging in all this behavior outsides the home.
There are other problems obviously associated with this. But nevertheless, according to a Pew survey, when trying to find out where these people are politically, here's the news that's gonna require some further explanation. All of these kids withdrawing -- my word, not in the story. Again, it's demonstrable here that engaging in this kind of destructive behavior is down in certain age-groups.
Because there's less peer pressure because there's less activity outside the home amongst people who promote destructive behavior. So the question then became, well, how are they politically? And according to Pew, they are liberal Democrats who sound an awful lot like conservative Republicans.
RUSH: "According to a Pew survey, the 'next-generation left' has a huge, generational disagreement with older, traditional left-liberals. Among the older liberals, for instance, 83% identify 'circumstances' as the cause of poverty." But the next-generation liberals, the young liberals today, "are almost evenly split on this, with 47% blaming circumstances and 42% blaming 'lack of effort.' Fifty-six percent of the older Democrats think Wall Street does more harm than good, whereas 56% of the younger ones think the reverse," that Wall Street does more good than harm.
There is a transformation taking place here.
There's still more to this, however, plus your phone calls on the other side another brief, obscene profit time-out.
RUSH: I think in this survey that I have run across here, voting Democrat is probably the most destructive behavior these young people engage in, but the point here is that they claim they're gonna vote liberal Democrat. They actually are conservative Republicans, and there are two reasons why they don't vote conservative Republican. That's where all this is leading.
"Next-generation liberals tilt hugely left on social issues, and this, they say, is the reason they vote Democrat, in many cases against their stated economic beliefs. A commenter on a New York Times piece on the Pew survey ticked off a list of economic beliefs that placed him to the right of center, then concluded, 'The Democrats hold onto us only because of the Republic[an] obsession with religion, sexual repression and environmental denial.'"
So these young "Nexties," the next generation, these young people that we've all predicted would finally grow up and say, "Enough, we don't see the world this way, Mom and Dad." They're rejecting old-fashioned liberalism, slowly but surely, but they're continuing to vote liberal Democrat because of what they say is the Republican obsession with religion, sexual repression, and environmental denial.
Now, is there really Republican obsession with religion? Is there really Republican sexual repression, and is there really Republican environmental denial, or is it that the media has made them think that. I think the media has successfully tainted Republicans as obsessed with these things, when they are not. Let's take them one by one.
The Republican obsession with religion. All right. Whenever the media start with "the Christian right, the religious right," they create the impression that Republicans are these Victorians and that they're anti-fun and all that. The sexual repression, I'm telling you, that is the War on Women.
Do you remember, it was either last week or the week before, when I shared with you a conversation I had with a guy who said, "Rush, you're missing the boat on this contraception business. You're sounding like you're against sex. We don't care who pays for birth control pills. We just want women to have 'em 'cause we want the sex. And when you start running around talking about it's a personal responsibility issue, that you can't get pregnant without taking some kinda action, it sounds like you're ripping sex, and we like sex, and we don't want to vote for people or be associated with people who don't like sex. And we think you're trying to deny us having sex, when you start talking about how women ought to have to buy their own birth control pills." You remember when I told you that? And you remember how depressed you were that these people were totally missing the boat.
Birth control pills are nine bucks a month, it's the whole idea that government should be providing all this. If you want to have a birth control pill, it's not denied to you, go get it, go pay. Your access is not being denied. There's not one Republican policy against contraception. There's not one Republican policy against birth control pills or any of that. But these people think there is. The Democrats' successful War on Women has made people think that. And the other thing here is environmental denial on global warming. Now, gay marriage used to be in this mix, but this story says that that issue's run its course now. Let me read it to you.
"The gay-marriage debate is winding down and may be over by 2016. Some Republicans are outflanking the Hobby Lobby decision, and making a huge step in a libertarian direction, by calling for over-the-counter birth control."
Make it available. You don't need a prescription, like Aspirin. Republicans are supporting this in order to counter this idea that they hate sex. It's a silly idea, but these kids believe it because of media. It all goes back -- folks, I've got a story, haven't gotten to it, MTV has a new series popularizing incest. I'm not kidding you. It's being produced by a couple of famous gay producers, and it's popularizing incest among young people.
Now, see, if you come out and oppose this, what are you? You're gonna be portrayed as an old fuddy-duddy and you're not with it, you're not hip and you're not cool. But it's the media doing this stuff is my point. Without the media, half the stuff people believe they wouldn't believe. We dealt with that in great detail last week. Environmental denial is simply -- (interruption) On the incest thing? I'm dead serious. Let me find the story. You don't believe me on this? Why do you not believe me? Do you think I could make this up?
Snerdley, it's coming up in just a second. (interruption)
Well, I tell you, MTV does.
Here it is. It ran on NewsBusters. "Step Right Up to MTV's Incest Plot."
This is how the culture gets debased and denigrated. It's not by big things. It's these kinds of little things that the media tacitly proves of. "For those who predict the coming collapse of Western Civilization, there's always MTV for proof. At this year's Television Critics Association summer tour in Hollywood, MTV put on a panel discussion for the press with the cast and creators of a forthcoming series called 'Happyland.'
"The female star of the show ... announced the new MTV motto: 'Incest is hot, and we're going to have fun!' Lisa de Moraes at the Deadline Hollywood website reported the pilot episode of this 'soapy teen comedy' -- remember that: this is a show for teenagers -- this show 'exploring the underbelly of a popular theme park' includes a clip of Santos making out with the amusement park's 'new hottie,' only to discover ... he's her brother.
The assembled TV critics and reporters asked the obvious questions. 'So, why the twist -- why the brother and sister making out thing? How does that relate to the other things (in the show)?' And, 'Without getting too heavily into spoilers, where does this go after she realizes it's her brother?' We all know the answer to number one.
"The incest 'twist' is MTV digging ever deeper for their precious 'edge' until they've dulled the shock of every perversion. The show's creator, Ben Epstein, boosted the notion that this was like a fairy tale of the handsome prince sweeping a maiden off her feet, and he just adds the 'MTV edge to it, and makes it all weird and crazy.' That's when Santos blurted 'Incest is hot, and we're going to have fun!'"
Hey, you think I'm gonna come here and make this up? It's the same thing. Young people have this attachment. I've told you about how my little young tech bloggers are just totally convinced we're destroying the planet. Totally. I know why they glom on to it. They can give their life meaning by trying to stop it. Their parents have come along and killed the polar bears.
Their parents came along and drove all these filthy, pollution-spewing big cars and SUVs. Their parents came along and did all this rotgut stuff. But they are gonna save the planet. It's a chance to give their life meaning with a social cause and so forth -- and you can join this effort while on YouTube and you can join this effort while sequestered in your basement. You're a big environmentalist!
You care and so forth. They never hear that global warming is a hoax. They're never exposed to any of the media that they can access. They do not know about East Anglia University. They do not know of the e-mail hoaxes. They don't know the fake hockey stick graphs. They don't know anything. All they know is the cause and it'll give their life meaning.
The incest thing, that's just designed to dull the senses. Once again, that's just... (interruption) That's just... (interruption) The female star... (interruption) The female star of the show said, "Incest is hot, and we're gonna have fun," to the TV critics, and they were asking, "You're really gonna do this? You're gonna popularize incest?" and the actress said, "Oh, yeah! Incest is hot, and we're going to have fun."