Are We Really Going to Take Electoral Advice from a Hoover?


Over at Fox News (naturally!) Margaret Hoover, an advisory board member of a major gay rights organization, is passing out advice to conservatives. [Margaret Hoover, “My Fellow Conservatives, Think Carefully About Your Opposition to Gay Marriage”] .

It would be easy to take cheap shots at Herbert Hoover's great-grandaughter giving Republicans advice on how to win elections – for the heart of her argument is the nakedly political--the idea that the next generation will turn against the GOP. “With polling definitively indicating that Americans under age 30 overwhelmingly favor gay rights, with a majority supporting gay marriage according to the Pew Millennial Attitudes report published in February this year, there are multiple reasons for conservatives to think carefully before digging in their heels against gay marriage.”

Hmmm, so that's what we should do? Poll the 18 years olds and do whatever they think is right? In that case, maybe conservatives should give up on capitalism, too. Because the polls of the next generation on that issue are also unfavorable.

In his new book, The Battle, AEI President Arthur Brooks points out that the "culture war" has moved into core economics and foreign policy issues too. The 30 percent coalition of liberal elites and their followers is trying to ignore the majority views and "europeanize" America. And he points out "the vital core of the 30 percent coalition is young people – adults under 30 . . . and this group has exhibited a frightening openess to statism in the age of Obama. ‘Socialism’ may sound bad to you, but it is not a dirty word to many of today's young people." In March 2009, the Pew Research Center asked people to choose between capitalism and socialism. Only 13 percent of those over 40 favored socialism. Adults under 30 were "almost evenly divided." In a January 2010 Gallup poll, a majority of young adults under age 34 had positive views of socialism.

Bottom line: we've got some education to do with the next generation. If we decide to just poll folks under 30 and do what they think, we're in bigger trouble than Hoover can even imagine.