Over at The American Prospect, Michelle Goldberg writes:
Conservatives have been obsessed with European population decline for years now. A whole raft of apocalyptic books warn that selfish, anti-child secularists aren’t having enough children, and the continent is poised to be overtaken by more fertile, faithful Muslims. In America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It, the deeply stupid but very popular Mark Steyn predicted “the demise of European races too self-absorbed to breed.” Demographically, he wrote, “the salient feature of much of the ‘progressive agenda’ – abortion, gay marriage, endlessly deferred adulthood – is that, whatever the charms of any individual item, cumulatively it’s a dead end.”
Given this sort of rhetoric, it’s tempting to dismiss concerns about demographic decline as an anti-feminist race panic.
Homophobic, too, surely? But wait, continues Michelle, maybe I can get me a piece of the demography action, too:
The thing is, though, rapidly declining birth rates really are a problem, especially for the sort of generous welfare states that liberals love. I have a whole chapter about this in my new book…
I don’t agree with her analysis. But I’m glad to see liberals belatedly getting around to a subject filled with what Ms. Goldberg calls “so many uncomfortable issues.” Deeply stupid conservatives rush in where uncomfortable liberals fear to tread.