Young, happy conservatives

From the department of the bleeding obvious, the Oz tells us young people — as in under 25s — are increasingly conservative and more likely to vote for Johnny than Big Kim . . . while they’re living with parents saving up for a mortgage, going to church and getting ready to get married and make babies. Not making excuses or anything but author Caroline Overington explains it thus:

In part, that’s because young people do not have time to paint slogans on to protest signs. They work an average of 20 hours a week, on top of full-time or part-time study, and they leave university with HECS debts worth $30,000 or more. Since the collapse of communism, young people are less likely to adopt the Marxist view that capitalism contains the seeds of its own destruction. To them the fruit of capitalism is new cars, plasma TVs and trips overseas. They have grown up in an age of prosperity in which the welfare state appears redundant. A vibrant economy has emboldened young people to create small businesses of their own.

Even my own 18-year-old sister sent me a creatively spelled text message yesterday to let me know she got a job at the evil coffee empire before asking me to find her the best price on a shiny new mobile phone which is blatantly aimed at young women. Allow me to quote the marketing copy:

The E530’s integrated Megapixel camera with its Flash LED is ideal for taking pictures of the latest bargains! Send an MMS and make your friends turn green with envy or see what they think about that pair of shoes you’ve always wanted. Or how about filming your own personal fashion show in MPEG4 video format? Then you can see for yourself which dress goes with those high-heels best.

Puke. However, even sis thought that was a wee bit sexist and condescending; the household traditions of scepticism and contrarianism have evidently not passed her by entirely.

But Overington raises a very good point: the welfare state appears redundant . . . now, when there are jobs aplenty going at Starbucks and shiny new phones to be had. Even I am not immune to the charms of capitalist excess. It’s when things go bad, like they were when I was in high school and university, that suddenly the idea of a society that looks after its less fortunate citizens becomes more appealing. As my mortgaged-to-the-hilt McMansion-dwelling conservative friends may find out one of these days.

Perhaps then they will also be as disillusioned as grumpy know-it-alls like me. Probably not, given their cheerful dispositions and faith in the Lord. But a man can dream . . .

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