November 26, 2002

THAT NELLY-BOY GORE

THAT NELLY-BOY GORE: On a day when Al Gore gets a 19% favorable rating and a 43% unfavorable (buried pretty deep, naturally, in the New York Times report), aren't there ways to mock him that, unlike this graphic from the NRO homepage, would not depend on implicitly calling him queer?

I do have thoughts on gay marriage, but if you're interested in the topic you probably read Andrew Sullivan anyway. (Actually, it was Deroy Murdock who had the best suggestion I've seen.) As to the politics, Kurtz's idea-- that gay marriage will help Republicans-- may be true in the short term, but very wrong in the long term. Why? Young voters, of course. From Sunday's Washington Post:

The survey found that the nation's youngest voters, who turn out in very low numbers on Election Day, are significantly different from the rest of the electorate. Their libertarian views cut across the social and economic spectrum. They support gay marriage and are more suspicious of religious values in public life, making them fair game for the Democrats. But they are also the only age group with majority support for partial privatization of Social Security (62 percent) and school vouchers (56 percent), both Republican issues.

As these voters grow older and turn out in larger numbers over the next decade, they are the only age group in which a plurality of people identify themselves as Republicans, edging Democrats by a 46-to-41 margin. This suggests not only that the Democratic Party cannot depend on the electorate of the future to restore its competitiveness, but also that the party faces intensified conflicts between its traditional constituencies and the more libertarian young electorate.

If Republicans define themselves as the anti-gay party, they'll risk forfeiting their electoral advantage in the coming decades. If Democrats are savvy enough to grow a free market wing (admittedly not on the immediate horizon), Republicans could be in real trouble.

I hate the term "eagles," which Andrew Sullivan has coined for the pro-defense neo-libertarians that have risen to prominence (at least on the Web) since 9/11, primarily because it reminds me of the Eagle Forum, and Sullivan's eagles have little in common with Phyllis Schlafly. But I am delighted at the prospect of this ideological bearing becoming a serious political force in the future.

Posted by John Tabin at November 26, 2002 02:38 PM
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