Are Leftists Ruining our Children’s Lives?

 By Nick Gier

I’ve recently run across a conservative columnist who really annoys me. His name is Dennis Prager, and he constantly harangues against the “left,” irrationally defined as the press, universities, social media, Democrats, and science. For Prager biblical wisdom, not expertise, should always be our guide.

His column “Young Americans Voted to Ruin Their Lives” is a good example. He condemns misguided youth for voting in large numbers against four GOP senate candidates in Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Georgia.

Even GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell admitted that these people were lacking “quality,” and that Donald Trump’s endorsements made his party look as if it “were sort of nasty and tended toward chaos.”

Youth Vote Heavy Against Election Deniers

All four senate candidates were election deniers, and it is clear that our youth are more concerned about the Big Lie than many of their elders. A lie becomes “big” (and finally in full caps) when people continue to embrace it, even after overwhelming evidence proves that it is not the truth.

The AP VoteCast shows voters under 30 were, in part, thinking of candidate quality. Overall, they voted 53% Democrat in the midterms, but an average 68% rejected the four election denying senate candidates.

This means that 15% of our youth voted Republican in other races. That indicates that leftist parents have not succeeded in making their children buy into the party-line voting of their elders—left or right.

Youth Concerned about Their Rights

Prager blames a Harvard University professor (as if a pollster is responsible for others’ opinions!), for publishing a survey that showed that 59% of young people believe that “their rights are under attack” and “73% are troubled that the rights of others are threatened.”

Surveys showed that abortion was the principal issue for young voters. Among them 80% who want abortion rights to be restored voted for a Democrat. To imply that young people should not be concerned about their rights is an insult, especially young women in most red states whose reproductive rights have been undermined.

Highest Teen Pregnancy Rates

Most believe that teen mothers, without pre-and post-natal care and without access to abortion, will most likely ruin their lives. Or die, because of our record maternal death rates.

In the United Kingdom abortion is legal up to 24 weeks and the only requirement is that two doctors must sign off on the procedure. British teens are not insulted by parental permission requirements, ultrasound imaging, or adoption offers.

Our teen pregnancy rate is 35 per 100,000, while 9 “leftist” European nations have 22 per 100,000. Red states, except for 6 blues in the top 20, have the highest teen pregnancy rates. Why don’t conservative parents do a better job with their teens in this regard?

Highest Teen STI Rates

Conservative parents frown on their unmarried teens having sex, but the U.S. has some of the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections in the developed world. Half the cases are found among youth 15-24, and most of these occur, overwhelmingly, in red states.

Gunshots: First Cause of Child Deaths

Since 2013, according to NBC News, “100 students have been killed and 155 injured by gunfire in 54 school shootings.” I believe that most youth would blame conservatives, not leftists, for the lack of common-sense gun control. It is simply laughable for Prager to claim that the left has “suppressed common sense” in our youth.

More children die of gunshot than any other cause. Death is obviously the most definitive way of ruining a child’s life. The availability of guns and unsafe storage of them is the main cause of this carnage. Canada’s gun owners are far more responsible: 6 child deaths per 100,000 vs. 56 south of the border.

Public Health is Pro Child

Public health services are the most effective pro-life organizations in world history. The CDC estimates that each year over 4 million of the world’s children escape death because of standard vaccinations.

Contrary to Prager, these clinics are not run by “leftists,” but still he claims that children were required to wear masks because of them. A new study from the CDC showed that mask mandates “resulted in 23% lower covid cases in staff and students than in schools without the requirement.”

Religion: Parents and Their Children

Prager also charges the left for having destroyed the religious belief of young people. A Pew study of the relation between youth and their parents, however, reveals a significant phenomenon. 80% of evangelical youth between the ages of 13-17 hold the same beliefs as their parents; and 81% of Catholic youth do the same.

Interestingly enough, only 55% Protestant youth hold the same beliefs as their parents. The survey showed that Protestants have lost one-quarter of their youth to the Nones (no religious affiliation). As a scholar of religion and as a former agnostic, I applaud young people who are spiritual seekers.

The most significant result, however, is that 86% of the children of Nones hold the same beliefs as their parents. Contrary to common perception, a full third of these people describe themselves a “spiritual not religious.” Again, I personally find this to be an exciting development.

European Children Not Ruined

After four years living in post-Christian Denmark, I can attest to the fact that Danish youth have not been ruined. Prager perhaps would be pleased to know that European youth are now voting more conservative—especially on the far right where they identify as Christian, anti-Islam, and anti-immigrant. For example, in 2018, 17% of Italians aged 18-34 voted for the neo-fascist League up from 5 percent in 2013.

Finally, most of our youth would reject Prager’s absurd claim that climate scientists are “hysterical.” They rightly fear for their future and the lives of their children.

Nick Gier of Moscow taught religion and philosophy at the University of Idaho for 31 years. He was coordinator of religious studies from 1980 to 2003. Read most of his articles at Email him at

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