I'm actually reading the NYT piece on the New Young Republicans, and I think it's a mistake to simply deride these people for their "conformist" views and the fact that they probably don't get laid all that much. The truth is, they're exposing a dangerous weakness in the Left: the Liberal establishment. Leftism has become a dominant norm at many colleges, creating a political environment weak in critical thought or individualized reasoning. In short, one ripe for upheval.
The paper has published an annual ''Penis Monologues'' rich in sophomoric humor (''My man-hammer has not clubbed a single baby seal. . . . ''), and each year it sparks anger in the college's various women's support groups. ''Did we print that piece knowing that the feminists would blow a gasket?'' Boland says. ''Yes. But we did it anyway, because it was fun to write and the response allowed us to show how intolerant and intellectually lazy some feminists had become.''
And you can find examples for every sort of left-wing nexus. Part of the problem stems from the factional echo-chambers and conflicting entitlement corruptions that identity politics inspire, and part of the problem stems from people being afraid of loosing what they have, of not really thinking forward. The left is a haven for anti-positions; as of late churning out little in the way of new dreams.
This isn't really a revelation for me. I've been harping to people lately that the Democrats are the real conservatives these days, in the sense that they're really trying to conserve the status quo. They havn't put forth much in the way of their own big ideas since Clinton's health care plan went down in flames and the Republicans swept into congress with 1994's contract with America. Since then, the Dems have been the conservative party; trying in vain to hold the line against the advance of big right-wing notions, often simply forced to grudgingly accept the new political realities, beginning with Clinton's "the era of big government is over," running up through the Gore campaign and reaching it's highest note yet with October 2002 war resolution and subsequent electoral disaster.
Youth mirror these trends, consciously or not. They are attracted to progress and can sense weakness of belief. The left needs to inspire people to believe in something again, to break new common ground, to grow, all of which is why I'm so fired up about Howard Dean. I still believe that these turbulent times can lead us to a brighter future. If you want to resist "Liberal Indoctrination" in higher education, reduce class sizes. I do believe that open and contentious debate is a positive more than a negative. It is through adversity and necessity that great things are created: that's the whole notion behind competition as a spur to progress. I buy it. I think now is an exciting moment, one pregnant with challenge and opportunity. I'm generally not one for lazy days. Perhaps the appearance of these new Young Republicans will breathe more vitality and life into the left. Let's get it on.