Wednesday, May 18, 2011

JUST A HIPPIE DREAM. Some of you may remember the South Park Republican craze of the '00s, which posited that young people were going right-wing ("Some agree with every plank in the party's platform, in spite of having a nose ring and purple mohawk"). It had its roots in the conservative meme that liberals were the Anti-Fun, as described by Merry Prankster George F. Will: "Some Americans (let us avoid the term "liberals") hate fun, such as cheeseburgers, talk radio, guns, Las Vegas and cars that are larger than roller skates..."

This kind of talk gives some comfort to the old-school wingers, and every once in a while another contender shows up to tell us things like "the current youth ethos embodied by internet subculture is fundamentally conservative in character, even if its denizens have not yet caught on to that fact."

Tom Tomorrow tips me to the latest edition, by Matt Barber at the Washington Times. Barber tells us about an old hippie whose son went right-wing. The hippie "once discovered magazines hidden under the boy’s mattress. He was shocked to find his son looking at such smut: National Review."

Haw haw! This speaks to Barber's point that while "hippies once were the counterculture," today they are "the establishment machine," and "today’s counterculture is rejecting the tired progressive policies pushed by this president and his secular-socialist sycophants," which will have the hippies "writhing in their Birkenstocks."

Some readers will notice that the hippie dad is 70 years old and his son is in his forties. Still more will wonder why we're talking about hippies at all, as they have as much relevance to our day and age as flappers writhing in their Symington Side Lacers.

Barber cites "a 2010 Marist Institute for Public Opinion poll" which "determined that nearly 60 percent of millennials believe abortion is 'morally wrong,' a nearly 10-point increase over the more progressive baby-boomer generation," and declares, "The tide is turning." UPI confirms the abortion figure, but the Marist Institute's own report says the kids nonetheless gave Obama a 60 percent job approval rating. Maybe they don't know who he is, despite Barber's educational outreach.

Barber also refers to "a recent survey from Harvard University’s Institute of Politics [which] found that millennials are worried sick about their futures." Since he doesn't specify the Institute of Politics poll, nor quote figures from it, we wonder if he means this one from March, the release for which is headlined, "Obama Approval Ratings On the Rise Among Millennials, Especially on College Campuses, Harvard Poll Finds."

It turns out that even though the hippies have shuffled off to rest homes, the groovy Republican revolution is not in full swing, according to Barber, but merely anticipated: As "President Hopey Changey and Democrats in Congress continue to play back-alley dice with their lives," he asks, "do you think these kids won’t rebel as the clouds quickly darken?"

Humorous as that is, the real punchline is that Barber is vice president of Liberty Counsel Action, an organization known mostly for fighting gay marriage, Planned Parenthood, and the ACLU however it can -- and going to extraordinary lengths to do so.

Maybe in the follow-up Barber will tell us how the kids' opinions on gay marriage, contraception, and civil liberties are central to his point. At least I hope he'll update his human interest angle, and tell us about some aging punk rocker whose kid has a picture of Maggie Gallagher on his bedroom wall.

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