Can a childless, yuppie country prioritize the future?

Tech entrepreneur Pete Thiel and his billions are sitting out 2024, Save Jerseyans.

According to Reuters, the GOP mega donor is reportedly worn out by culture warfare and disappointed that the focus isn’t innovation, economics generally and China. He’s decided to opt out of the upcoming federal elections altogether, and that’s undoubtedly rough news for Republicans given how generous Thiel’s been in the past.

That’s the process story. Media outlets love process stories. The real story? There’s a growing “kid gap” in this country, and it’s exerting a profound impact on our politics. Thiel is gay, 55-years-old, super fucking rich and until recently childless (the two dozen kids he paid to drop out of college don’t count). He apparently has two young children (toddler according to Reuters) with his husband; good luck finding any details about them online, but allegedly they exist.

I wonder if Thiel’s kids will attend a private school or a local public school?

Thiel and his hubby are now in the parenthood game. It’s undeniable that choosing NOT to raise kids changes an adult’s perspective on life in both obvious and subtle ways. Your day-to-day spending, lifestyle, associations, and ultimate life goals are fundamentally different depending upon whether you spend your 20s/30s/40s changing diapers and saving for college. Your perceived stake in the future of the nation, our civiliation, and humanity as a whole is impacted by whether your genetic lineage ends with your own expiration.

There’s data to back it up.

Election 2022 exit polls discovered differences in voting patterns based upon the presence (or lack thereof) of children in a voter’s life. For example, voters who were “married with children” went for the GOP candidate in landslide fashion (55% to 42%), while it was a dead heat between the two major parties among those who didn’t fall into that particular category (49% to 49%). Meanwhile, even with abortion “rights” prominently figuring into the cycle’s messaging, the battle for woman who had kids was actually pretty tight (51% to 47%, a +4 Democrat edge). Republicans lost women without kids in a blowout: 55% to 44%.

Is it any wonder why Republicans from Donald Trump to Marco Rubio are increasingly embracing plans to use to the tax code to incentivize making babies? Contrary to what the Left would have you believe, the falling U.S. birth rate is a far bigger challenge to the Republican Party’s survival than the nation’s ethnic diversification. People with kids have different priorities than those who do not, so it shouldn’t surprise us that those divergent values translate to different politics.

Which brings us back to Mr. Thiel. He’s a conservative and, even now, definitely more in line with Republicans than Democrats. Until recently, Thiel lived a different life than most Republican voters who continue to tell pollsters they want their candidates to prioritize issues like defending parental rights, savings minors from “gender reassignment” experimentation, protecting girls’ sports, and promoting transparency in public schools. Drag queen story hour sounds harmless until it’s your kid – without your knowledge or permission? – watching a middle aged man dressed like a stripper shaking his ass or discussing adult topics.

I understand Thiel’s struggle. Sound economic policy obviously matters to my family. I appreciate the threat posed by China, and I’m distressed by Joe Biden’s incompetent leadership in the international arena.

My personal politics is nevertheless governed by Abraham Lincoln’s famous 1838 “Lyceum Address” delivered, appropriately, to the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois:

Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest, with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years. At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer: if it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us, it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.

If our American culture dies? And takes our kids down with it? Then nothing else matters.

I also wonder whether Thiel’s objections to culture war politics would survive a scenario where he’s a 30-something middle class parent with a child about to attend a public school in Loudoun County, Virginia? Or Bergen County, New Jersey? I’ve written extensively about the emerging class of U.S. voters (especially concentrated in major metro areas) who are wealthy enough to ignore issues like taxes in favore of cultural preferences. How does Thiel plan to reach those voters when, in places like New Jersey, economic messaging is clearly falling flat?

I’d love to hear his answer.

Matt Rooney
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MATT ROONEY is's founder and editor-in-chief, a practicing New Jersey attorney, and the host of 'The Matt Rooney Show' on 1210 WPHT every Sunday evening from 7-10PM EST.