Sunday, February 25, 2018

Are Conservatives More Nostalgic Because They Weren't Paying Attention to Others the First Time?

I often find as a teacher that adults who believe "things were simpler when I was young" forget to factor in that, when they were young, they were not responsible for the complexity of the world -- that is what adults did.

Moreover, as parents of teenagers (and teachers of young adults) need to remind themselves constantly, "they aren't selfish, they are just self-absorbed."  Adolescence is the time of caring deeply about how we look to our peers and how they look to us, without realizing all the other people and the great wide world that is also affected by our actions.  Maturity helps us get a proportionate sense of our place in the world.

The greatest privilege is not having to realize that you are privileged. If my world is good, then the world is good.  Caring for others who have been harmed, even when we ourselves have not been harmed, bursts that bubble.  "Caring for the harmed" is also what Jonathan Haidt says is the defining feature of liberals.

So if today we find people in privileged groups - white men, in particular -- finding that "political correctness" forces them to notice harms to others, they might feel a desire not to think about it.  And if they cast back on their youth, they may grow nostalgic for a time when they did not think about harm to others.  Restoring that time would make their America "great again."

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Baby Boomers Will Be the Last Generation to Live Their Whole Lives in Majority-White America

I am on the cusp between the Baby Boom and Gen X.  I am unusually aware of the dynamic of change at that cusp.

Somewhere around 2040 nearly all of the Boomers will be extinct.  And somewhere around 2040 the U.S. is projected to have a "minority majority."

I do not think we will, in fact, think of our population in the same terms by then.  We will always have a majority majority.

BUT we will no longer take it for granted that that majority is what we now think of as "white."

Friday, January 26, 2018

Whites Are Now a Minority Among All U.S. Children

A few years ago, non-Hispanic whites were a (bare) minority among all babies born.

Because whites have a lower fertility rate than all minorities, and especially than immigrant minorities, this trend accelerates quickly.

William Frey, a demographer at the University of Michigan and the Brookings Institution, estimated in his 2015 book Diversity Explosion that the year when we would have a 'minority majority" among all U.S. children under 18 is now - 2018.

The future has arrived.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Racists Hate the "Uppity"

Racists do not hate minorities as such.  This is why they do not think they are racists.

Racists hate rising minorities, who they fear will overtake and surpass them.

They hate and fear the "uppity."

For those who love E Pluribus Unum America, on the other hand, the ambition and hard work of minorities is our greatest hope for the future of the American experiment.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Fear of Scarcity is No More Natural Than Trust in Abundance. Both Are Learned

Economists and libertarians often believe that scarcity is natural, and therefore selfishness is rational.

However, the fear of scarcity is a premise, not a fact, nor a conclusion of dispassionate research.

Christian ethics helps us overcome the fear which leads to selfishness, through the hope we have in the inexhaustible and trustworthy source of abundance.

And the only proof we can offer that there will be enough is our own generous example.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Most Christians No Longer Support Trump

A year ago, most American Christians supported Donald Trump.

Now, most do not.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Best Social Movement of 2017: Sexual Predators are Pariahs

Of the many good things that happened in 2017, I have the most hope that the movement against sexual predators will have long-term effects.

In many fields, men known for years to have been gropers, sexual blackmailers, and even rapists were driven out and rendered pariahs.  Liberal organizations were more consistent than conservative ones in removing the offenders, but that is often what happens at the beginning of a social movement.

This movement was made by tipping public opinion, not by a change in law.  This suggests to me that it will have real staying power.