Tuesday, December 07, 2004

The Red Jihad

In today's NYTimes, columnist David Brooks defines a growing demographic in the United States as "natalists," couples who marry young, have three, four or more children and have set-up more gender traditional families in the exurbs of the Plains states and the Southwest. "Natalists," says Brooks, "are associated with red America, but they're not launching a jihad." Well, I guess it depends on how you define "jihad." By definition, these natalists have dropped out, shunned cities and urban problems and surrounded themselves with sameness. You've seen it, shopping malls dominated by national chains, cookie-cutter houses, everyone driving the same models of SUV's and minivans, everyone's natalist family looking much the same, acting much the same as any other family in the exurb. For them, sameness is comfort and security. And they vote. In large, dependable numbers. And, because of their drop-out, leave-me-alone-with-my-family mentality, they are easily manipulated with fear tactics. Isolated in a world of their own making, they vote against measures that would improve the lives of the less fortunate. They don't come in contact with anyone struggling to make ends meet by working two minimum wage jobs. They don't know anyone who can't go to a doctor because they won't be able to afford to pay for an office call, much less a diagnostic test or a prescription drug. They know their world, and their world looks and acts just like them. And when they vote, they vote against the "other" that they do not know and never see. Natalists may be casting their vote with pure loving hearts - for their own families and neighbors - but the result is the same, intolerance for difference. Sounds like "jihad" to me. For the Brooks editorial in its entirety : //www.nytimes.com/2004/12/07/opinion/07brooks.html?hp


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You wrote "natalist," which I read "nudist." Time for new glasses. ;-)

12/08/2004 12:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, here's a real comment. Out here in our very own red state, some lock-step Republican suburbs have been alarmed by the numbers (and percentages) of Dems moving to their little corners of Happyville. (It's a school district thing.) Could make for some interesting results come 2006.

12/08/2004 12:59:00 PM  

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