November 21, 2010 Leave a comment
Worth a full blog post, but with the baby coming soon, I know I’m just not going to get around to it (and I’ve been holding onto this one for a while). So, I’ll just mention that this is a really interesting post over at Frum Forum that analyzes why the Republicans aren’t just losing young people, they are especially losing smart young people. Here’s a bit:
To simplify: Republicans have gone from having a clear advantage among top students in the decade following the Eisenhower administration, to being competitive under the Nixon and Ford administrations, and from being an energetic minority during Reagan and Bush Sr. to being almost eradicated today.
So if we accept that the trend is drastic, that it is real and applies to most of the top universities – and I think that is reasonable – the next question is: How did this come about?…
Let me advance another hypothesis. Today’s top students are motivated less by enthusiasm for Democrats and much more by revulsion from Republicans. It’s not the students who have changed so much. It’s the Republicans.
And here is where Applebaum’s point gains its force.
Under Presidents Eisenhower and Nixon, Republicans championed science and knowledge. But over the past 30 years, national Republicans have formed an intensifying alliance with religious conservatives more skeptical of science and knowledge. I don’t know whether discarding evolution goes against common sense; but I’m pretty sure it goes against most Ivy League-educated senses.
Interesting food for thought.