Monday, March 26, 2018

Why Older Cohorts Vote More

I saw this meme on Facebook.  I have not checked its accuracy, but it seems likely:

In 2016
70% of 18 - 29 year olds did not vote
60% of 30 - 44 year olds did not vote
Only 38% of 45 - 64 year olds did not vote, and
Just 15% of 65+ citizens did not vote.

To which I would add, people who vote live longer. 

This is not snark; people who vote tend to be involved in many aspects of their community, and belong to organizations that serve causes larger than themselves. 

People who do those things tend to live longer. 

So the older the cohort, the more it tends to boil down to the involved people, including voters.

Friday, March 16, 2018

The Scariest Hate: From the Low-Achieving Privileged Against the High-Achieving Un-Privileged.

The scariest kind of hate in America comes from people who have not much going for them besides their privileges, against people who are rising despite not having those privileges.

Thus, white racists don't hate black (and other non-white) people as such, but when they are ambitious, smart, hard-working, and rising. Hence, the insane opposition to Barack Obama from low-achieving white people.  They have little going for them but white privilege, and if that is visibly overcome, they feel it as a betrayal.  (This is the premise of White Rage, a book I am teaching this year).

Likewise, misogynists don't hate women as such, just ambitious, smart, hard-working, and rising women, like Hillary Clinton.  This comes mostly from low-achieving men seeing male privilege visibly overcome.

And, I believe, much of the opposition to immigrants comes from people who rely on their citizenship privileges -- even more than whiteness or sharing the majority religion -- to secure their place in American society.  If immigrants, legal and otherwise, come in and achieve without that privilege, that, too, feels like a betrayal.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Today's "Useful Idiots"

When Russia had a left-wing government, they found gullible liberals to be "useful idiots."

Now that Russia has a right-wing government, it is finding gullible conservatives to be very "useful idiots."

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

I Think Jeff Bezos May Be Planning to Run for President

Jeff Bezos, owner of Amazon, the richest man in the world, might be considering a run for president.

He bought The Washington Post.

He bought a house in Washington, DC.

The most likely place for the highly sought-after second Amazon headquarters is the DC area.

I have little idea what his politics are.

I have no doubt that he would be better than the incumbent billionaire.

That could be an amazing race.

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.