Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Breeding Like Drunken Ferrets

Pro Ecclesia links to another high-larious opinion rant by SFGate columnist Mark Morford titled: "Stats say the GOP is dying. But red-staters are breeding like drunken ferrets. Who wins?"

Sometimes the title says it all, doesn't it. Morford is worked up over statistics that say social conservatives are significantly out-reproducing social liberals, while other stats show that children generally retain the political affiliation of their parents, and that this trend is accentuated among conservative religious groups. (He even hurls out, curse-like, the word "homeschooling" as one of the sources of all this trouble.)

From the horse's mouth (or some orifice of the horse at any rate):

According to another set of data, for the past 30 years or so, conservatives -- particularly those of the right-wing red-state Christian strain -- have been out-breeding liberals by a margin of at least 20 percent, if not far more.

It's true. The reason? Why, God loves babies, of course. White American babies, most especially. Also: issues of space, religion, sexual orientation and, of course, conscience. Or, you know, lack thereof.

One theory goes like this: Libs are generally more socially conscious and hence tend to actually give a modicum of thought to what it means to pop out a brood of children in this modern overstuffed age. Also, many other liberal bohos are (admittedly) happy selfish suckwads who want all the modern booty for themselves and won't want to give up the Ducati and the plasma and the biannual trip to Cinque Terre for the sake of a pod of rug rats and 15 grand a year (each) for private kindergarten. Translation: Libs just aren't procreating like they could/should be.

Conservative Christians, of course, have no such conscience. Among the right-wing God-lovin' set, there is often little real awareness of planetary health or resource abuse or the notion that birth control is actually a very, very good idea indeed, and therefore it's completely natural to worship at the altar of minivans and SUVs and megachurches and massive all-American entitlement and have little qualm about popping out six, seven, 19 gloopy tots to populate the world with frat boys and Ford F-150 buyers and food court managers.
Nice to know there's no classist prejudice involved, eh?

Now, if this were just another pathetic rant from a hateful person, it wouldn't really be worth commenting on (goodness knows the capacity of humans to hate is not news at this point in history) but it strikes me there's something a bit interesting about this in that the very absurdity of its excess underlines one of the persistant problems with the way that many of us in the modern world have come to think about ourselves.

Pick your starting point: the ancient Greeks, the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, the Romanic Era -- whatever the starting point people have come to see themselves first and foremost as individuals. Now, this is not without truth. We are individuals, possessed of a unique and immortal soul as well as a unique set of DNA. But we are also and at the same time animals, members of class mammalia just like anything else warm blooded, furry and, in the case of females of the species, to one extent or another endowed.

To the extent that we are individual, intelectual, and spiritual creatures, we have purposes in life such as self realization, knowledge, wisdom and discerning and loving the truth. However, in that we are also a species of animals, we have the purpose (as a population, though not necessarily each one of us individually) of bearing and rearing children. This doesn't necessarily mean breeding like rats, but it does mean breeding -- at as an annoying necessity, the effects of which to be shoved off upon daycare workers, nannies and schools as soon as possible, but as one of the central purposes of our lives. Species exist to reproduce themselves, not to own nice condos, have ocean views, own expensive cars and foster bleeding-hearted but generally condescending political opinions.

Not only is an ideology or lifestyle which scorns reproduction doomed to extinction, it is also fundamentally at odds with what we are as members of the human species.

But all other things aside: Have you watched ferrets? Can you imagine drunken ferrets? If we conservatives are going to breed, let's definately do it like drunken ferrets.


Literacy-chic said...

I haven't had a laugh like this in a while. But please, let's not encourage liberal procreation. There are enough liberal babies coming out of my grad program right now, thanks. I think it's a trend--a disturbing trend. But they're still kinda cute, and there's no accounting for teenage rebellion. They may all turn out to be red-state Fundamentalists to spite their parents!

Literacy-chic said...

Hmmm... I'm getting hung up on my term "liberal procreation." Oh well.

Anonymous said...

Love the picture! It reminds me of one of the few memorable quotes from Star Trek New Gen:

"He's biting that female!"

Anonymous said...

What sort of self-respecting man uses the term "delicious" to describe something other than food and drink?

Kiwi Nomad said...

Actually we are trying to get rid of ferrets here. They are introduced predators that are killing off many of our endemic birds, (that evolved without having to worry about mammalian predators.) How about I get a few ferrets drunk and ship them over your way? Then everyone over there can find out how drunken ferrets breed, and maybe some good natural things will come of it all.

Anonymous said...

Whenever I read one of Mark Morford's incoherent rants, I get a big grin on my face. It's the screechy, whiny, pouty attitude of a guy who's losing.

When he says the younger generation is rejecting Republicanism, if he means Republicanism as it is now (differentiated by Democratism by virtue of having a different letter) I have to agree with him.

However, the younger generation is much more conservative than their parents' generation. Maybe part of it is youthful rebellion, but I take heart at his assertion that 4 out of 5 children retain their parents' ideology into adulthood, and the liberal indoctrination stations (otherwise known as "state schools") are not being successful in stopping that.

Mark Morford is a great indicator of what to do. If he hates it, do more of it. :)

Domenico Bettinelli said...

I think that would make a great pro-life, pro-family T-shirt:

"Do it like drunken ferrets!"

I didn't say it was in good taste.

Domenico Bettinelli said...

Sorry so caught in my little joke, I forgot to add my serious point:

My guess is that the average "breeding" family uses fewer of the world's scarce resources per capita than the average liberal preening columnist for a big-city newspaper, while giving more back to society in the form of happy, well-adjusted and productive citizens.

While the liberal drives alone in his car and eats out and buys big-screen TVs and putters about his empty condo, the home-school family is making do on one income, doubling up bedrooms in a house just a little too small for them and trying to make their food budget go a little bit further.

mrsdarwin said...


One of my first reactions on reading Morford's column was, "Has this guy ever met any large families? Or any families? Does he even know any parents?"

I have a pretty extensive acquaintance with some serious reproducers, and none of them answer remotely to any of Morford's descriptions. His stuff may be funny if you've never met anyone who has children (or if you think kids are stupid). I feel a little sorry for him -- it must be miserable to be that hollow.

Literacy-chic said...

liberal indoctrination stations (otherwise known as "state schools")

Ouch! I always thought the private schools were worse! (You know, like Tulane, *insert Ivy League school here*, Duke, Georgetown...) I guess it all depends on the state, though.

CMinor said...

Species exist to reproduce themselves, not to own nice condos, have ocean views, own expensive cars and foster bleeding-hearted but generally condescending political opinions.

Indeed. And I doubt any evolutionary biologist would disagree.

Re Dom's comment: When Anglican PB Schori made a tactless remark about the breeding habits of Catholics and some other denominations not too long ago, I suggested that she might want to try compacting two weeks' worth of trash for a family of six (including baby) into a 50-L can, as I did for several years.

Bob the Ape said...

The Drunken Ferret Villanelle

No scion of the barren Left inherits
The rule of Earth - their power is but fleeting:
The future is to us, the drunken ferrets.

The angry columnists may curse and swear - it’s
Bootless to prevent their tide receding;
No scion of the barren Left inherits.

Our heedless reproduction richly merits
Their empty wrath and fearful fruitless bleating.
The future is to us, the drunken ferrets.

The world is ours - ungrudging we will share its
Estate with our descendents; heed, unheeding!
No scion of the barren Left inherits.

Ha, ha! With frolicsome and fecund spirits
We hasten to progenitive proceeding.
The future is to us, the drunken ferrets.

Look on our wombs, ye mighty, and despair! It’s
Within them that our victory is breeding!
No scion of the barren Left inherits.
The future is to us, the drunken ferrets.

CMinor said...

That was Episcopalian, not Anglican.

(bangs head on keyboard.)

Bob the Ape, I bow to your poetic skill.

Kiwi Nomad said...

I had a reminder of differences in consumption for larger and smaller families yesterday.
At the school I teach at, the classes for 5-6 year olds have had an "Easter Bunny" hunt just before the Easter break for several years. (I teach at a state school.)
The children had each made a small Easter Bunny basket in the morning. Each child in my class was to find three smallish eggs in their basket at the end of the hunt.
When the school day ended, one of the children was being picked up by her three younger siblings (including a baby). When I saw this, I mentioned quietly to the mother that I did have some more eggs. But her response was that it was OK, her daughter could share. What a different way to grow up - sharing, rather than having all the material things you desire. Lucky girl.