TCS Daily


The Monster and the Nursery

By Douglas Kern - January 13, 2005 12:00 AM

Monsters, like leftists, don't reproduce naturally. Ordinary uncontraceived heterosexual relations do not create little vampires and zombies. Monsters perpetuate themselves through blasphemous acts, like assembling dead body parts into human form, or sharing ancient curses through biting. Indeed, much of the pathos inherent in horror movies and fiction springs from the parasitic manner in which monsters absorb non-monsters into their unholy fold. It's bad when George Romero's zombies rise from the dead to eat you, but when their bites transform your friends and your wife and, eventually, you into a zombie ... that's scary. And Dracula is just a weirdo with a fang fetish until his nocturnal prowlings turn your fiancée into the Bloofer Lady. Deformation is creepier than plain ol' death.

Exceptions exist, of course. Jason and Freddy and Pinhead don't reproduce - they just kill. But all of those characters have evolved (degenerated?) into semi-sympathetic anti-heroes - avatars of an adolescent will to power. And it's true that Godzilla ended up in a family way, but that exception proves the rule: Godzilla had his son in the late sixties and early seventies, at which time he discarded the whole disguised-symbol-of-American-nuclear-aggression vibe in favor of a more mellow, dim-witted-defender-of-Japan-against-poorly-adjusted-monsters approach. When monsters start appearing in movies that have the word "Vs." in the title, they aren't really monsters anymore.

Generally, though, monsters reproduce by hijacking the bodies and souls of the living - or by crafting perverse facsimiles of themselves that inevitably turn against them. Just like the Left!

By now, it's a right-wing pundit cliché to point out that birth rates on the Left are plummeting rapidly. Over in flawlessly liberal Europe, the non-Arab population treats childbearing the way the Atkins diet treats carbohydrates. Here in the states, the reproduction rates among the Religious Right - and in the red states generally - greatly outpace the reproduction rates of our over-educated latte-sipping superiors. But in one-man one-vote democracies, small populations either discard their political power, or discard democracy.

Moreover, history teaches us that children are the most successful way to ensure that your cultural and ideological preferences survive after you depart. Eventually, the Greatest Generation and the Baby Boomers will die, and their preferences for big government and laissez-faire social morality will die with them. If, in 50 years, the home-schooled and Sunday-schooled outnumber the boarding schooled and Ivy Leagued, who can doubt that conservatism will own the future?

What's a non-reproducing leftie to do? Discarding leftism is out. Having more ... ick ... children ... with their stinky diapers and expensive college educations and drain on the world's limited resources and whiny tantrums right in the middle of All Things Considered ... is out, too. So the Left is, er, left with two options for ensuring the survival of their ideology: the Bride of Frankenstein option and the Dracula option.

The Bride of Frankenstein option is immigration. By importing hordes of proto-citizens unassimilated into the prevailing culture, the Left hopes to create an overclass of ethnic leaders dependent on affirmative action and government jobs to maintain their mandarin status. In turn, those ethnic leaders will keep the underclass immigrants dependent upon welfare handouts and government-enforced language barriers - and, thus, wedded to leftist economic policies. If the mass of immigrants is big enough to exercise appreciable political power, and if the prevailing culture is sufficiently indifferent to assimilating new arrivals, this strategy can work for a time. Indeed, in just this fashion, the Left has kept a stranglehold on black and Hispanic votes for decades. And, best of all, immigrants reproduce in large numbers, so you don't have to!

The problem, of course, is that the Bride of Frankenstein reviles the monster it was created to marry. The Europeans are learning to their horror that their Arab immigrants detest and revile the socially liberal ideology that their presence permits. Similarly, the American left is discovering that most blacks and Hispanics want no part of the radically heterodox morality that leftist intellectuals promulgate. Whereas the left wants to reform (or, in the extreme, abolish) bourgeois middle-class American morality, most American minorities want to embrace that morality more fully. As the '60s generation of minority leaders passes away, a new, independent-minded, and conservative-friendly generation of leaders is coming to take their place. And this new generation of leaders will not be bought off as easily as their parents were.

The innate social conservatism of American minorities will push them to the social Right - not as quickly as conservative immigration cheerleaders would have you believe, and not before contemporary minority leaders inflict serious damage on America from the Left, but soon enough to dash the hopes of a liberal legacy.

The remaining option is the Dracula option: the hijacking of little red-state kids through academia and the mass media. It's the lament of conservatives since time out of mind, and it's the plot of Tom Wolfe's latest novel: every year, conservative families spend outrageous sums in order to send their smartest, most capable children to elite colleges, wherein radical leftists brainwash them into newly-minted blue-staters. And the less-capable red-state kids hear the siren call of leftist values every time they flip the "on" switch on the idiot box. Prime-time television and the network news highlight the glamour and appeal of liberal places, beliefs, and lifestyles, while conservative values are either ridiculed ("dumb old Dad"), reviled ("The priest did it? The businessman was corrupt? Who'd've guessed?"), dismissed ("We at CBS News stand by our story"), or ignored (insert any aspect of religious life here). The old song is still mostly true: How ya gonna keep 'em down on the farm, after they've seen a TV show about Paree?

In the movies and in the book, Dracula dies when a stake is driven through his heart. Sadly, we won't be staking Harvard or CBS anytime soon. But there's another way to kill a vampire: starve him. Without fresh blood, vampires wither into irrelevance. At the beginning of Bram Stoker's Dracula, Dracula was weak and enfeebled for want of fresh blood. Keep the fresh blood away, and the vampire ceases to be a problem.

The process of starving the leftist vampires is already underway. The readership of mainstream newspapers is declining, even as the major networks suffer drops in their ratings. Cable TV and the Internet allow ordinary people to enjoy news and entertainment free of the vampiric taint. Similarly, the massive rise in college tuitions will eventually compel red-state America to find alternatives to the elite college monopoly. In the next 20 to 30 years, Internet schooling will grow more effective, more affordable, and more selective. We will soon see Internet universities with competitive acceptance. Red-state community colleges and commuter schools will improve their ability to provide practical, no-frills, undergraduate-focused educations at reasonable prices that the bloated blue-state schools cannot match. As more and more middle-class red-state parents send their sharp kids to local and/or Internet-based colleges, the stigma attached to those colleges will be broken - and the power of the Academic Left to produce bright new leftists will decline precipitously.

Monsters never truly die, of course - there's always room for a sequel. Leftism will reappear in every generation. But the leftism of tomorrow will be a leftism compatible with the mores of the socially conservative children who will win the Darwinian sweepstakes, even though those kids don't believe in Darwin. If the Left means to survive in its current form, it will need a better Bride, or a better way to bite us in the neck.

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