18 and Life To Vote

In the radio and music industry, it's understood that people establish lifelong musical preferences in their teens and early 20's.  Nate Silver says this may also be true of political preferences.  Looking at new Gallup data on partisan identification by age, Silver tried mapping it against the question: "who was President when you turned 18?"

As it turns out, "the popularity -- or lack thereof -- of the President when the voter turned 18 would seem to have a lot of explanatory power for how their politics turned out later on".

In general, however, this points toward the idea that partisan identification -- while not exactly being "hard-wired" -- can be quite persistent as the voter moves through her lifecourse. Voters who came of age during the eight years of the Bush Presidency are roughly eight points more Democratic than the rest of the country; that advantage could be worth an extra point or two to Democrats throughout the next half-century.

As Kristen Soltis has pointed out here recently, "young voters began abandoning the Republican Party long before Barack Obama was even a serious contender for the presidency. Those pinning the Republican Party's poor fortunes among young voters on the Obama candidacy miss the source of the problem and certainly underestimate its severity."

Lesson: Republicans had better become more appealing to young people, because patterns established in youth persist for life. 

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How do we sell gaybashing to the under 30 crowd?

Because all the other efforts at gaybashing have curiously not been appealing to the under 30 crowd.

Seriously though, I know the answer...tax cuts.


Shows no originality; concern trolls are the coin of this realm.

On the wider issue, while the pushback against Prejean's opponents was much more effective than I would have expected, it doesn't seem to have gone far enough. Grading on the curve (based on past efforts), I give that a B. To get an A, they would have had to had a severe impact on her opponents, such as really hammering home the "liberals as intolerant" meme to the point of damaging her opponents' careers.

concern trolls are the coin of this realm

LOL ...

If I had a nickel for every concern troll post ...


Do you mean being against gay marriage as opposed to civil unions? That kind of gay bashing? The kind Obama does?

Seriously though, when they find out they've been saddled with a lifetime of debt (thanks to Obama) the may just join the GOP.

gay marriage

Oh of course that's what he means.  He is at the Jon Stewart level of discourse.  And they are the ones who are supposed to be the smart, deep thinkers among us.

But, on the subject of gay marriage, perhaps our deep-thinking liberal interlopers, and our conservative colleagues, can answer these tough questions, which I doubt you will find discussed on the Jon Stewart show:

  • What is the purpose of marriage in civil society?  What is its modern purpose, as opposed to its historical purpose, and how did we get from there to here?
  • Why does marriage get preferential treatment in public policy over other types of living arrangements?  Using your view of marriage, should it get preferential treatment, or should all living arrangements be considered equivalent in the eyes of the law?
  • What is the principled argument in favor of gay marriage but opposed to polygamy?  Is there one?  If not, does that mean you also support polygamy?  Should polygamous marriages also receive preferential treatment under the law?
  • What role does marriage play in upholding the fabric of civil society?  Will expanding the definition of marriage increase, decrease, or have no effect on this role, and why? 

Instead of having substantive discussions involving topics like these, instead we are treated to claims of "gaybashing". 

As George Will might say - Well.

why don't you answer your own

why don't you answer your own questions?  you clearly have a set of beliefs but what is not so clear is if you have the stones to state what those beliefs actually are.

gay marriage

Oh I know where this is going.  I've been around the Internet a while.

I will compose this detailed, lengthy post on my views of gay marriage.  And then, for my troubles, will my opponents bother to argue my points?  No.  Instead, I will be called a homophobe, a bigot, and probably a traitor too, just for good measure.

Besides, I think the pro-traditional-marriage crowd has been pretty clear already that they think marriage should be between one man and one woman, that it has been historically defined thusly, that this arrangement provides the best environment for raising children and ensuring civil society, and that we meddle with fundamental building blocks of society only at great peril.

So, I'm tired of being the one to go first.  Please, be my guest.  And I promise not to call you a traitor.

i understand. Anyway, listen

i understand.

Anyway, listen up.  History is not a great guide when discussing matters of civil rights (like marriage) to minority groups (like gays). Historically, chattel slavery was part of the human condition for at least 1,000 plus years. Historically, women were property. Historically children were property. Human beings have been denying rights for a very very long time. By your logic, there should be no progress.

I imagine you would argue also that for the sake of raising children, marriage should be between a man and a woman.  Presumably this would be marriage between a man and a woman of childbearing age. Therefore I would imagine you would deny marriage to all post-menopausal women seeking to marry men for love.  Also I imagine that you would annul those marriages between men and women who opt not to have children since their decision runs counter to the stated purposes of marriage, love not being all that important.

Am I understanding your position correctly?

What is discrimination?

Whare are all these people that were denied marriage licenses because of suspicion of homosexual activity?  Or because they looked kinda queer?  Or because the clerk didn't really believe that they liked girls (or guys)?

Gays marry.  It's legal.

It's the same-sex marriage that people have a hard time accepting.  It's like saying that a hamburger bun with another hamburger bun in the middle of it is a hamburger.  Doesn't work.

And, of course, homosexual couples should be able to have children-- just as much as any heterosexual couple that relies exclusively on oral and anal sex and the use of sex toys for procreation purposes. 

Those people can adopt

Those heterosexual couples who don't have vaginal sex?  They can adopt.  I'm glad to see you're tolerant to the extent that you believe gays should be able to adopt.

Also, I loved your homophobic metaphor about hamburger buns.  "Hehe, the parts don't fit, hehe!"  Classy and persuasive.

It's amazing.  I've been reading this site for few months now, and usually you seem so much more intelligent. 


Intelligence can be readily jettisoned when speaking to an idiot.  It can serve no useful purpose there.

And make no mistake-- when someone brings slavery into a discussion of same-sex marriage, that's pretty much a red flag.

Really, it's another run by the Left to proclaim victimhood on another group of persons; as people (in their view) have no value in and of themselves, but their value is according to the extent of their victimhood.

Victims (ie self-chosen victimhood) make my stomach turn.

I would rather view people according to their capability rather than their incapacity.

So it's easy for me to tell them to go to hell. 

And in case you missed it...

... the hamburger analogy isn't quite a mechanical depiction of sex, but one of roles and relations.

Some roles might be interchangeable to some degree within the intimacy of a dedicated relationship; however, the persons are not.

Two buns nor two patties does a hamburger make; so a marriage is constricted to solely one wife and only one husband.  Any further adornments are either wallpaper or furnishings.

No, but the wife and the husband are still the wife and the husband regardless of how strongly or otherwise they might well fit in those roles-- just as some cats might act more dog-like and some dogs behave more cat-like, but they are nevertheless cats and dogs.


I have to wonder what other manner of contracts it might be that it should necessarily be declared that the entities enumerated therein should be declared as interchangeable.


Regardless of what flavor of bizarre that the young have been conditioned to accept without question as normalcy, those with some degree of greater prudence should by no means renounce their discretion.


If, perhaps, this is the case, that homosexuality can be discerned by certain chemical changes within the brain, then organic brain damage as the delineating factor should, in all cases, by no wise be embraced as the means to engage in legitimacy.


btw, that coin has an obverse.  One the one side it reads, "Go to hell;" while on the other, it says, "When, by some accident, you might at one time find your self capable of a thing, come and talk to me."  

That's funny. In many places, a marriage is between

a man and as many women as he pleases.

In others, they have three forms of marriage at once.

Marriage is not some sort of fundamental, "everyone has it" sort of dealie, like everyone has constraints about killing your children.

Ah yes, the good old substitution of identicals

A fallacious argument.

Odd that you're telling a fellow with an apartment in the same county where the State of Missouri threw Joseph Smith into jail about how wonderfully repressive all of these various forms of marriage happen to be.

If it might be possible that we confine our discussion to the contemporary period of the United States and the species of homo sapiens on Planet Earth...

So go take your many places and go to hell with them. 

yes, in Washington it is legal for two men to marry one another

so long as one of the men used to be a woman.

This is the sort of stupidity that should NOT exist.

 1.  It's historical purpose

 1.  It's historical purpose was either to enable a shift towards a paternalistic society or to help ensure that the children a man put his time and effort into raising were his own depending on how you want to look at it.  It's modern purpose is to confer rights upon people who have chosen to enter into a relationship with each other.  We have primarily got from there to here via gender equality and by the slow realization that marriage is neither a gaurantee of nor a requirement for partner fidelity.

2. Without you lending examples what you mean by other living arrangements, I'm not sure I can answer this one.

3. I support government getting out of the marriage business entirely.  Civil unions for everyone.  Leave marriage for the church.  I don't particularly see a problem with people entering into multiple civil unions if that's what they're in to, other than it requiring some major rethinking of tax code, the law, and documents requiring personal information (though the last is probably the easiest to fix).  However, I don't think any of these is a sufficient argument for government intrusion into individual's personal lifestyle choices.

4. Very little when you realize marriage as it applies to legislation is strictly a legal contract.  Marriage is again neither requires nor ensures comitted relationships.  However, when asking that the government deny particular groups the same right conferred to others, the burden of proof is on YOU to explain why liberty ought to be denied.

You are treated to the word "homophobe", because that's ultimately what it boils down to.  All arguments against allowing same-sex partners the same rights as opposite-sex parters boils down to either religion or homophobia.  These appeals to history are nothing more than a post-hoc attempt at rationalization.  The idea that marriage is strictly an institution for the stable raising of children is absurd, we allow the infertile, convicted felons, and the elderly to get married after all, and even if that were the reason there is no substantial body of evidence to prove that same-sex partners cannot raise children as successfully as different-sex parters.  There is far more variation within each of these groups (abusive parents, etc) than there is between them and for that reason we ought to treat each of these types of partnerships as equally as we do the sexes.

traditional marriage

So the idea is simple.  A man and a woman meet, fall in love, and get married.  The marriage serves to cement their true feelings for each other, and to restrain each other's darker impulses.  Of course any relationship is tough at times, but what keeps them from walking away from the marriage even during stressful times are their personal commitments they made to each other, for all eternity, which they did not take lightly.  They have kids, and the kids are better off being raised in a household where mom and dad are in a committed relationship with each other.

This type of arrangement obviously has great social and economic benefits.  There's division of labor in the household.  There's the social benefit of domestication, of two people feeling a commitment to each other, so they are less inclined to take reckless chances with their own lives or with the lives of others; hence less risky behavior and less crime.  There's the well-adjusted kids that they are raising, who presumably will become productive members of society in due time.  (In a sense, parents are the real engines of perpetual economic growth.)

THIS is the real reason why marriage has preferred status in public policy.  It's not because two people love each other and perform a ceremony in a church.  Big deal, people fall in and out of love every day!  But the law does not and cannot distinguish between the marriages which produce social benefit and those which do not.  So to the extent marriages don't do this, then no I don't think they should get preferred status.  And yes that includes marriages by old people, the infertile, the random crazies, and the gays.  Does that mean that they shouldn't get married?  No, but it does mean that they shouldn't all be considered equivalent in terms of public policy.

Furthermore marriage nowadays has become a joke.  It's not this binding commitment forever and ever, it's now little more than a "verbal agreement", i.e., scarcely binding at all.  I don't like no-fault divorces.  I think people who get married 4, 5, 6 times not only do a disservice to themselves and their partners but set a bad example for everyone and devalue the meaning of marriage itself.  If we were serious about regarding marriage as a sacred institution then we would not permit divorces over such trivialities as money.  (What exactly did you think "for richer or poorer" meant, anyway?)  Abuse?  Infidelity?  Yes, these are reasons to get divorced.  But because hubby racked up $100K in credit card debt?  No, sorry.

So in the modern era, if marriage is going to be little more than a verbal agreement with only occasional social value, then of course - open the floodgates!  Anything goes!  Marry your lover!  Marry your cousin!  Marry your cousin's lover!  Marry that biracial transgendered neo-Nazi midget that you met last night at the bar!  Marry all of them and have the world's weirdest orgy!  I don't care.

BUT, if we want marriage to mean something again, we've got to be really serious about it.  Marriage ought to be a bigger commitment than nearly any that a person will make in life and it should be regarded as such.  Marriage ought to be the process by which you and your partner become one.  Think about that.  One.  The oneness aspect of marriage has become lost.  Instead it's become a debate over hospital visitation rights and tax deductions.  How banal.

So this is what I mean when I say I support traditional marriage.  It doesn't quite fit the meme of homophobic Christian hillbillies hatin' on the gays.

(No offense to the biracial transgendered neo-Nazi midgets out there.)

This Essay is worthy of its own thread

Good food for thought. This Essay is worthy of its own thread. I am sure you'll get heat on it.

You are aware of course that

You are aware of course that "traditional marriage" in the modern view is less than 200 years old? Marriages based on love are relatively new in human experience. for much of human history marriage was based on money. 

the expression, giving your daughter away actually comes from somewhere not all together benign in our current view of traditional marriages.

while i understand you want to pretend what you believe in is eternal and everlasting, sadly it is not.

nice try though.

the modern traditional marriage

Yes, I understand that.  I don't favor the VERY traditional forced marriages, or marriages in which women are considered property by their husbands.  Conservatives do have evolving standards too, you know.  They just don't evolve daily and on a whim.  For that matter I don't favor slavery, child labor or crucifixion as a form of punishment, either.  Call me a crazy liberal!

Nevertheless I'll support the 200-year-old definition of marriage over the one divined last month by unelected judges.

Thought-provoking questions, chemjeff

And I will give them some thought and respond later (off to my son's graduation in a few minutes).  I want to consider them not only in light of my personal beliefs but with some thought given to how others who don't share my beliefs might perceive the questions.

One of the aspects of this topic that I'd be interested in your thoughts on is how conservatives sometimes frame the issue.  I realize this position flows from strongly-held personal beliefs but I think it's important to recognize it's often part of the 'messaging' on gay marriage:  Homosexuality is a perversion and immoral; to even consider gay marriage is to legitimize perversion.  Do you think this line of argument gets too much verbalization as a basis for opposing gay marriage?   I think that that argument (homosexuality is a perversion) unfortunately makes up much of the messaging against gay marriage, whereas I rarely hear thoughtful considerations like you list raised in the MSM (by either side).


Here is what I think:

I oppose gay marriage because I think that marriage is the definition of a union between a man and a woman.

-I do not think that homosexualty is a perversion

-I do not think that homosexuality is immoral

-I have no problem with civil unions that address important issues like insurance and wills, and we need a solution.


chaotic advocate...

What about all the religions that do not define marriage as such?

Since what you're saying is definitional, how much of America needs to believe that marriage is NOT only between a single man and a single woman, before you'd cease to oppose gay marriage?

Yeah, right

What about all the Santeria cults that say that it's ok to make a pot of chili out of a few college kids on spring break?

It's known as "the supremacy clause."

It means you can't build a religion out of smoking marijuana, or anything else that is illegal according to federal law.

That supremacy clause isn't something that the Supreme Court is likely to give up, no matter if Whitney Houston is the Chief Justice and you offer her a great big rock.  

please, please don't fucking slander a religion

that you obviously know NOTHING about!

It's a valid religion, please back away slowly and READ A BOOK. (there are LEGITIMATE reasons to dislike Vodun. please don't sully this site with bigotry)

American Indians have religious rites that include use of hallucinogenic mushrooms, that are banned for everyone else.


The general problem with the "pot cultists" is that they don't form a real "religion" -- not enough people believe in their particular faith, and there is generally no compelling reason to have pot in their faith.

Please don't tell me that I know nothing about it...

...when I resided for years in the Corpus Christi area, and the missing college students from spring break are the leading story on the evening news for weeks on end just about every year.

And in every single case I have ever seen without exception, it's always a santeria cult that chopped them into chili.

Now, ask me about how my grandfather cut his hair and moved to Texas, telling people that he was a Mexican so that he could get a job.  I could give you some real information.  I know some of those old men out there harvesting the peyote. 

do me the favor of citing some papers

and a court case, if you've got one?

;-) maybe there are some things I shouldn't be asking about... ;-)

Riiiight. And you do me the favor...

... of occupying your own leisure time with those type of searches.

The cases I know of are all in Mexico.  That's how it happens.  They disappear by ones or twos; weeks later, they are eventually discovered.  Being crapped out by some santeria chili cult, by that time.

But look, Corpus Christi is a major city.  They have several television stations there.  Look at the archives on some of those stations, or call the station and ask a few questions.

But feel free to ask anything at any time.  There is a chance that I might just tell you to go fuck off, but you're free to ask.  If you're willing to accept that risk, then I'm willing to accept the risk that you might be saying something really stupid in listening to you.

I'm not trying to prove anything to you.  I'm just saying that you're full of shit.  Whatever proof of that I might offer can make you no more nor no less full of shit. 

What about them?

I'm talking about the legal definition of marriage in the U.S.

How much of America needs to believe they want to call strawberry ice cream vanilla ice cream before I would cease to oppose it? 


okay. In at least three states of America

if two gay men refer to each other, and sign papers as Mr and Mrs Last-Name-Here for five years, they are married. At least, I think that's how the common law marriage works. There may actually be case-law showing that you need to have a man and a woman for the common law marriage to work.

Legal definition of marriage varies considerably from state to state. In states that will not allow you to change your gender, it is quite legal for transgender people to marry homosexually, but it is not legal for non-transgender people to do the same.

I liked Jon Tester's answer

"That's a matter for the churches, not the state"

Why can't we all just get self-uniting marriage certificates from the state, and get whatever ceremony wherever and whenever we want it?

I gotta give you props Jon

I gotta give you props Jon for  the Skid Row nod. Clever.


this is priceless.....henke points out that the youth are identifying as democrats by large margins and it turns into a post about gay marriage....can the republicans talk about anything else? no, abortion doesnt count.

As someone who turned 18 when bush took office i will support the premise of the post; however i would add a note that younger voters are less likely to be completely committed to one party for life than their older counterparts. with all of the scandals, lying (in both parties) there is a lot of skepticism.

if republicans want power they have to clean up their own house and stop worrying about obama. there was a post on here yesterday about the gov of GA and how he vetoed a tax cut. Bush ran up the deficit.  republicans aren't going to regain trust until they admit their mistakes.

dont underestimate the impact mccain's nomination had on young voters...here we are in 2009 and a presidential nominee admits to not really knowing how to use a computer. seriously?

Supporter of traditional marriage, here.

And you know what? I actually agree. Your whole post is pretty much dead-on except for the lame crack about McCain & computers. The “youth” threads at TheNextRight are dominated by gay marriage. That’s a shame.

Opponents of 8 argued that support for the measure was “a mile wide and an inch deep”. True, many voters haven’t thought much about the issue. However one could say the same thing about the people opposed to Prop. 8. More than 90% of the population is not gay. Therefore we don’t really care. Youth aren’t especially noble or thoughtful on this point.

The nation still needs a good discussion of the issue. But there are much better ways to attract young voters. See here:


Young voters disagree with many Republicans on marriage. They’re also probably working as temps without health benefits. Guess which issue is more important to a young person.

Not to suggest Republicans support socialized medicine. The GOP needs to be more proactive about free-market reforms. McCain actually had a pretty good start on this. But Obama owned him by stirring up fears about “taxing health benefits”. McCain needed to punch back & punch hard, but never did. He only spoke about a vague socialist threat. That may have worked in the days of the Soviet menace. Not today.

Appeal ,how?

This whole blog is about how Republicans will appeal to people who reject present Republican positions.  In addition to gay marriage, young people are against torture and unfunded tax cuts.  They believe in evolution and global warming.  Do you think a slick web site with Eminem will attract teenagers revolted by Republicans policies?

Two words: Social Security.

And young people aint too hot about tax hikes, either.

Odd that you bring up torture. Young people are actually more likely to support it:


Evolution? You'd be wise to note that Democrats have a creationist streak, too:


Phony Baloney AttackTheRight

This whole blog is about how Republicans will appeal to people who reject present Republican positions.

Thus says the lib-troll ankle-biters. Let me correct the record:

This whole blog is about how Republicans will appeal to people by increasing the appeal of Republican positions and conservative policies to all voters. WE will do this partly by correcting the record on what those positions are when lib-trolls distort, defame or deride the public policy positions of the GOP.

To wit:

Your statements on torture is pure utter strawman. Noboy is 'for' torture, so dont try to claim any moral high ground on 'against torture'. Polls show large majorities of Americans support the limited use of interrogation techniques as was done in Bush admin.  It's interesting that knowledgeable and involved citizens dont line up like the liberals claim. Majorities wanted less spending and more tax cuts in the 'stimulus bill'. Gay marriage is widely opposed by the people in this coutry who have a stake in families. Tax-and-spend is widely opposed by the people in this country who hae a stake in the economy. Why would they believe in such nonsense as "global warming is a crisis", when the earth is cooler now than 10 years ago? What phony baloney superstition are you trying to foist on people? less than 40% of US voters attributed climate change to man's actions - and properly so, as the temperature data is refuting the Goronic mythology about AGW.


Obama got elected with the

Obama got elected with the same position as McCain on gay marriage.

Believe it or not, torture, creationism, and unfunded tax cuts are not GOP positions. They are positions projected onto the GOP by the left.


In fact, unfunded tax cuts are an Obama position.

cheney sure seems to like torture

and he was a Republican VEEP.

I say you ought to disown him for the lying coward that he is. ;-)

Funny, I never heard McCain talk about what was going to fund his tax cuts (if you did, can you oblige?)

"I never heard McCain talk

"I never heard McCain talk about what was going to fund his tax cuts"

But mommy, the Wepublicans are doing it too!

Kinda sad that the drooling O-drone's answer to every question is "but Bush/Cheney/Rove/etc".

Anyway, I think I know how Odinga's bastard is going to fund his "tax cuts".

-Bankrupt the coal industry

-Tax small businesses into the ground

-More money to do-nothing Union scum for less work

-Handouts to the least productive demographic and racial groups in the country

-Taxpayer-funded public works projects in districts that don't need them

And that's probably just off the top o' his jug-eared little head. Sounds like a plan, don't it??




Funny story.

I recieved a mailer from some fly by night organization calling themselves the Ohio Christian Fund or something like that (one of those organizations that exist for two weeks during a campaign then vanish).  They were highlighting the policy differences between McCain and Obama by showing just how much difference there was on the issue of gay marriage (reality not a whole lot).  The only problem was, the flyer failed to point out that between the two of them, McCain was the only one to vote against a federal same-sex marriage ban amendment.  I wouldn't have been surprised if the flyers had been funded by the McCain campaign themselves.



More proof of why RINOs make lousy candidates

The bottom line on that is that while McCain still nailed down most of the Christian conservative voters, the 'bright clear line' on the issue was more than muted by McCain's history, campaign and Obama's clear attempt to also confuse the issues.

RINOs spend half the campaign saying

"My opponent is 100% wrong"

and spend half their time saying

"But I agree with half of it".

The cognitive dissonance is jarring.

unfunded tax cuts are an Obama position


Good point. One we need to hammer home. It's Obama/Pelosi/Reid's deficit now, and no finger pointing or excuse making can cover up their complicit acts of making it much much worse.

"Lets not raise anyone's taxes"

Remember? No tax cuts from McCain.

Obama beat McCain on tax cuts

"Remember? No tax cuts from McCain."I also remember Obama touting his 'tax cuts for 95% of Americans" and rolling my eyes and gnashing teeth at the absurdity of a pandering politician getting away with the "95%" line when any informed person knows that a far smaller portion of working Americans pay ANY income taxes.  

In short, we knew it was a bait-and-switch political promise.

McCain was a pretty bad candidate to let Obama steal his lunch money on that issue.



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10 % Un employment and climbing will Be a lasting Lesson for High school Grads and College Grads alike.
I LEARNED the Reagan lesson.....The Negative Obama Lesson will be a very Negative lesson comparatively.......Revolutionary for sure.

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