The Patriot Post® · A Nihilist-Driven Birth Dearth
According to provisional data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), America’s birth rates hit a 32-year low in 2018. The data on more than 99% of America’s birth records indicates there were 3.788 million children born last year, marking the lowest total since 1986.
The CDC also noted that this is the fourth straight year of declines. That’s because slight gains made by women in their late 30s and early 40s, were more than offset by record-low birth rates for women in their teens and 20s. More ominously, the total fertility rate also hit a record low of 1.728 births per woman — meaning there aren’t enough babies being born to maintain current population levels.
Why does this matter? “A country’s birthrate is among the most important measures of demographic health,” columnist Ariana Eunjung Cha explains. “The number needs to be within a certain range, called the ‘replacement level,’ to keep a population stable so that it neither grows nor shrinks. If too low, there’s a danger that we wouldn’t be able to replace the aging workforce and have enough tax revenue to keep the economy stable.”
Those who responded to the report cited obstacles to child-bearing that included a lack of child care and parental leave, high insurance costs and job instability, as well as a lack of other policies to help younger adults cope with student-loan debt and housing costs.
University of Southern California demographer Dowell Myers believes those obstacles reflect an overall feeling of hopelessness. “The birthrate is a barometer of despair,” Myers asserts, explaining that people don’t have children unless they’re optimistic about the future.
No doubt, but quite likely something more insidious is in play here. Previous generations of Americans have coped with similarly pressing problems, yet continued to have children and raise families.
So what’s changed? While the opposite of optimism is pessimism, the bet here is young Americans have heartily embraced nihilism: Traditional values and beliefs are unfounded, and existence itself is both senseless and useless.
That’s not hard to understand, since they’ve been fed a steady diet of nihilism beginning as early as kindergarten. That’s where they begin learning that America is an inherently flawed, hopelessly bigoted nation in need of “fundamental transformation.” Transformation that wholly embraces the nihilistic dogma that men are “toxic,” whites are “privileged,” minorities and women are “victims,” gender is “fluid,” Christians are “bitter clingers,” the rich are “greedy and selfish,” certain speech is “hateful,” and social justice must transcend the Rule of Law.
More telling, as one moves up the educational ladder, the level of infantilism increases, as students become coddled by “trigger warnings,” attuned to “micro aggressions” and comfortable with safe spaces — replete with Play-Doh, therapy dogs, and coloring books.
Unfortunately for many young Americans, it’s a seamless transition from their “helicopter parents,” who are firmly convinced that even the slightest dent in their child’s self-esteem has the makings of life-long catastrophe — especially in a world where everyone gets a trophy just for showing up. This one-two punch has produced a generation of Millennials that considers itself the most stressed generation in history.
Thus, growing up — as in the primary prerequisite for responsible child-bearing — is to be feared.
Yet the most nihilist agenda force-fed to America’s youth is global warming. “It is not an easy time for people to feel hopeful, with the effects of global warming no longer theoretical, projections becoming more dire and governmental action lagging,” The New York Times reports. “And while few, if any, studies have examined how large a role climate change plays in people’s childbearing decisions, it loomed large in interviews with more than a dozen people ages 18 to 43.”
Those interviewees felt “saddled with painful ethical questions that previous generations did not have to confront,” the Times adds.
Really? Wholly inaccurate doom-and-gloom predictions have been an integral part of the leftist agenda for decades. In 1970, Nobel laureate and Harvard biology professor George Wald insisted the world “will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” The same year Population Bomb author Paul Erlich declared that the “death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next 10 years.” Erlich further insisted “all important animal life in the sea will be extinct.”
In 1975, British science writer Nigel Calder warned that the world will endure a new ice age, a threat that “must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind.”
And who can possibly forget the pronouncements of Al Gore and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who predicted the end of polar ice caps by 2014, and the end of the civilized world itself in 12 years, respectively?
Independent Women’s Forum senior policy analyst Patrice Onwuka views such rhetoric as counterproductive. “I would love to see a national campaign that says, ‘If you want to have kids, you should,’” she stated. “What we should not be hearing particularly from the far left is, ‘No, don’t have children right now because they are going to die in 12 years.’ And unfortunately, that’s what is picking up steam.”
What else is counterproductive? The Left’s ongoing love affair with abortion on demand right up to — and on occasion, beyond — the moment of birth. Since the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling in 1973, this nation has endured 60 million abortions.
Coupled with declining birth rates, that genocidal level of carnage ought to elicit a slew of proposals regarding ways to incentivize child-rearing and the moral responsibility necessary to undertake it properly. Instead, exactly like the EU, America’s Ruling Class has a “better” idea: incentivize a wholesale invasion of the nation by illegal aliens, coupled with it unsupportable levels of legal immigration — and tell Americans it’s all for their own “demographic good.”
What are they really saying? Americans must sell out their culture, customs, language, and borders to maintain the solvency of Social Security and Medicare.
Does it get more cynical? The Trump administration has announced a comprehensive plan to deal with illegals, but every sentient American knows it’s a non-starter, because every sentient American knows that when each party had two years of unassailable control of Congress and the White House, the border remained wide open, and visas continued being overstayed with impunity. Moreover, the cap on H-1B visas for legal immigrants has already been filled — for the year 2020.
“Getting married, raising families, staying in one place, still working with our hands, and postponing gratification may be seen as boring and out of date,” writes Victor Davis Hanson. “But nearly 2,000 years later, all of that is what still keeps civilization alive.”
Not without hope. And for an American Left that embraces the institutionalization of victimhood and the grievance culture that sustains it, the choice between keeping civilization alive and “saving the planet” is becoming irreconcilable.
That’s the essence of nihilism. And unless Americans become willing to reject the intellectual and moral bankruptcy that sustains it, expect the “birth dearth” to continue.