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Friday, April 10, 2009

Red Tide: Capitalism Losing Youth Vote

1950s Soviet propaganda poster claiming the glorious socialist system was building more schools while the dratted capitalists were spending more on war than education. As if anyone would ever believe such Red nonsense.
Turn me lose in the public education system for a decade and a half, and look what happens: America's youth start turning socialist. A new Rasmussen Reports survey finds that when adults under 30 are asked, "Which is better: capitalism and socialism?" capitalism wins, but barely, 37% to 33%. (The other 30% are undecided.)

That's what I get for teaching the kids at Montrose The Grapes of Wrath. Of course, I was a registered Republican until 2004, so alas, I can't claim sole credit for this new Red Tide. More likely we're just seeing a natural shift in at least surface-level reactions from a generation of youth who have grown up with no grasp of ideological warfare and rhetoric of the Cold War.

Anyone care to speculate on the correlation between capitalism and fundagelicalism losing the youth?


  1. Ha! I taught Grapes of Wrath as well, and was bashed in one student evaluation for teaching about Marxism.

  2. In my opinion, socialism's gains are almost entirely attributable to the excesses and abuses of the administration in the period 2003-08.

    The "Bush II" administration messed up so badly that a lot of people, many of them Republicans, got the idea that any change would be for better, and they voted accordingly.

    Also in my opinion, socialism is great in theory, but not in practice. Maybe we should go ahead and try it here in the U.S., so that "we the people" can find out what socialism's all about when the tires hit the tar. I suspect that most Americans won't like it.

    It's one thing to teach or learn about Marxism in a classroom. It's quite another thing to toil under it day after day after God-forsaken day.

  3. Stan gets my brain working this morning:

    (1) 2003-2008: Interesting choice of start date. Why '03 and not '01? You could be on to something there; the GOP didn't drive me away until 2004. [Wild blue speculation: could it be that George W. Bush's main goal in seeking to become President was to finish off Saddam Hussein's regime, and that once he completed that task, he lost motivation to do anything else?]

    (2) "...great in theory but not in practice..." Well, so's controlled fusion, but that doesn't mean we don't keep trying to develop the technology to make it work.

    And flying tomato -- oh! if only I could teach lit here at DSU! Funny: had you been my prof when I was at SDSU, I'd probably have written such an ideological evaluation. Now I'd frame it.

  4. Cory,

    Yes, I put in the date 2003 because of the Iraq war, which (if memory serves) was launched then. The President's popularity went down from there.

    I suppose only G.W. really knows his true motivations for his starting that war. Well, maybe even he doesn't know. Denial can do some strange things to the human mind. I'm no mind reader, but even if I were, I don't know if it would do any good here.

    As for socialism, I'm surprised that you didn't call me on my statement there: The Scandinavians have apparently made socialism work pretty well in practice. But their systems are a long way from Marxism, aren't they?

    I suspect that the Scandinavians have more inherent trust of government than we Americans do. We're a nation of refugees, largely from oppressive governments; it all began in the 18th century and a lot of it has remained in our minds sort of like a mutation brought about by a gamma-ray burst ...

    In any case, that Soviet poster from the 1950s is eerily apropos if you want to spin things a certain way ... It is most convenient, of course, to leave out the Gulag and the barbed wire and the Berlin wall.

  5. I'd like to think socialism and totalitarianism are not inherently mutually inclusive. Of course, there are some people who find the "community spirit" of small towns capable of exerting its own form of oppression.

    Isn't there a contradiction between our democratic faith in our ability to rule ourselves and an inherent mistrust in our ability to operate a good government?

  6. Yes, Bring back the draft and start sending them all to Aphganistan. That should help remind them how freedom is won. Tell me more about your idea of a perfect euphoric socialist society. Would everyone have the same income? Would churches be allowed? How would you dedide who gets to see the best doctors? How would you decide who get to see the worse? How would you decide who get to have the best education? How would you decide who gets the worse? Would all of our houses look the same? Would we be allowed to dress in differnet clothes? Would you Cory, be the "Grand Marshall" at all town hall meetings, with your vast knowledge on health care, education, earmarks, race, sexual orientation, bills, laws, biking, infrastructure, technology, Facebook, networking, the stock market, God, politicians. How would you develop your streamline, better, efficient government? Would kids be challlenged to think for themselves, work hard, establish morals, treat each other with respect? You seriously ask why kids would consider socialism? I'll tell you why. Because, kids are lost. They point blank expect to have things NOW! Whether they have worked for it or not. When I see college kids order food at McDonalds, Burger King, Taco John, they pay for it with a credit card. That allows them to have it NOW! They do not understand the circumstances. What we need to do is start teaching kids fiscal responsibility. Have you noticed that the late baby boomers and generation x do not even know how to count change. Why? Apparently it is because of all the technological advances that you so lovingly like to teach about. Here is what I think about your sacred "Facebook" It is a bunch of crap. It now allows teenagers to place pornographic pictures of themselves all over the internet. Why are you Cory, not teaching the kids about the circumstances that they may have to live with in regards to that decision? I'll tell you why! Because, you have decided to be ruled by the "World" You have turned away from your creator. Do you not realize that when you put your faith in this "World" you will always be disappointed!!!!!!!!!!!! Please see the following. WHY DID JESUS FOLD THE NAPKIN? INTERESTING & AWESOME -----

    Why did Jesus fold the Napkin? Why did Jesus fold the linen burial cloth after His resurrection? I never noticed this.... The Gospel of John (20:7) tells us that the napkin, which was placed over the face of Jesus, was not just thrown aside like the grave clothes.

    The Bible takes an entire verse to tell us that the napkin was neatly folded, and was placed at the head of that stony coffin.

    Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, 'They have taken the Lord's body out of the tomb, and I don't know where they have put him!' Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb to see. The other disciple outran Peter and got there first. He stopped and looked in and saw the linen cloth lying there, but he didn't go in. Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus' head was folded up and lying to the side.

    Is that important? Absolutely! Is it really significant? Yes! In order to understand the significance of the folded napkin, you have to understand a little bit about Hebrew tradition of that day. The folded napkin had to do with the Master and Servant, and every Jewish boy knew this tradition. When the servant set the dinner table for the master, he made sure that it was exactly the way the master wanted it. The table was furnished perfectly, and then the servant would wait, just out of sight, until the master had finished

    eating, and the servant would not dare touch that table, until the master was finished. Now if the master was done eating, he would rise from the table, wipe his fingers, his mouth, and clean his beard, and would wad up that napkin and toss it onto the table. The servant would then know to clear the table. For in those days, the wadded napkin meant, 'I'm done'. But if the master got up from the table, and folded his napkin, and laid it beside his plate, the servant would not dare touch the table, because.......... The folded napkin meant, 'I'm coming back!' He is Coming Back!

  7. "Isn't there a contradiction between our democratic faith in our ability to rule ourselves and an inherent mistrust in our ability to operate a good government?"

    Cory, I didn't mean to imply that we have an inherent distrust in our ability to operate a good government. I did mean to say that I believe we have an inherent distrust of large and powerful instututions, including (but certainly not limited to) government, because, quite simply, power corrupts.

    Right now, I think the Obama administration is concerned with figuring out how to operate good corporations as well as good government. The people have lost trust in large corporations for good reason, just as the founders lost trust in large government for good reason.

    I do believe that we have faith in our ability to govern ourselves, to run responsible corporations, and to direct our own individual destinies while at the same time looking out for the common good. If we didn't have such faith, we would never have elected a man such as Barack Obama to serve as President.

  8. All good points, Stan. Evidently I agree with you, since a running theme on the blog is my mistrust of the powerful and demand for transparency that will allow us to keep the powerful accountable.

    And Anon, if elected Grand Marshall, I will be happy to serve. No uniforms or loyalty oaths necessary. I will also establish a Grand Marshall blog and Facebook page. [And you know what: I've never seen porn on Facebook. What are you clicking on?]

  9. Youth are idealistic and most have never really existed in the real world of taking care of family, paying bills, paying taxes, being responsible for more than themselves, being out of an environment that takes care of them, etc. They vote socialist because they think it's a statement against the establishment, because they have never had to really take responsiblity for themselves,because they are influenced by the liberal colleges they attend, because they think it would be nice for everyone to be equal, and/or because they are idealistic, take your pick.

    But then they grow up, marry, have kids, pay bills, pay taxes, realize how their taxes are being wasted many times, and become more conservative or capitalist.

  10. That does not tell me how you would envision your socialist government being formed or organized. I'm serious, what is your big plan?

  11. Anon 7:49: "vote socialist"? When's the last time anyone around here had an actual socialist on the ballot to vote for?

    Age and conservatism: I started as a Limbaugh conservative in college. Then I started a family... and became a Democrat. Your equation of admirable family responsibility and conservatism may make you feel better about your worldview, but it's not true. Families in Sweden would also disagree.

    Anon 7:53: Oh! Ha ha ha! You were actually serious! I had no idea. I thought you were just practicing your sermon. For an answer, please review the 2300 other blog posts here that lay out a pretty clear agenda for education, health care, taxation, and social and economic justice.

    And if you'll review this specific post, my point was not that we are building socialism, or even that we need to. The survey simply shows that your Palin-plumber Cold War rhetoric just won't resonate with the coming generation. Of course, the 2008 election could have told you that....

  12. I'm not trying to resonate with anyone. I don't care what Sweden, France, or Norway think! I live in the United States. I'm free to live and think as I please. You make excuses, I don't. I want to see "In God we Trust" still printed on money. I want to see "Flag Burning" outlawed. You might have felt differently had you made the decision to serve this country in the Armed forces like so many before you. Besides, its 0812AM, don't you have a job to perform? I expect my tax dollars to go far so get to work.

  13. [I put four hours in on Sunday. How was your Easter? ;-)]

  14. Funny thing, Anon... I asked my cousin, who served in the Army and makes Rush Limbaugh look like a liberal, about the Flag-burning Amendment. I figured he'd be one to string these flag-burners up by their unmentionables.

    He was against a flag-burning amendment.

    His argument was very clear. He and others before him served this country to protect our freedoms, especially freedom of expression. And if that means some puke wants to make an ass of himself and set fire to the flag, so be it. But he said he didn't think that person would make too many friends.

    To me, burning the flag is the grown-up equivalent of a temper tantrum. Best thing you can do is ignore it and it'll go away.

  15. Jackrabit1,

    Thank you. You and your cousin said what I would have posted concerning the burning of the flag.

    I take it a little further, burn the flag if you want, no soldier ever died for a flag but if you burn a copy of my Constitution, the angry groundskeeper will get even more up front and personal. It is the Constitution that is our nation, not the flag.

    Soldiers serve to protect and preserve the Constitution of the United States of America, not the flag.

    Anon 9:12, "I'm free to live and think as I please" sounds to me that you want others to live and think as you do.

    Joseph G Thompson


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