• Blame Liberals for All the Babies Named Emma

    President Obama with a babySince the Office of the Chief Actuary is one data-gathering agency the House of Representatives has not yet managed to eliminate, the Social Security Administration was able to report, earlier this week, on the most popular baby names in 2010. A closer analysis reveals a divide between red states and blue states: when it comes to baby names, liberals are more conservative

    More progressive communities… tend to favor more old-fashioned names. Parents in more conservative areas come up with names that are more creative or androgynous.

    "Sometimes people have a naive expectation that people who are politically conservative on social issues would name their kids in traditional ways, and it doesn’t always happen that way," says Andrew Gelman, a professor of statistics and political science at Columbia University and author of "Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State."

    The reason for more outlandish-sounding names cropping up in conservative quarters is simple, Wattenberg says. Women in red states tend to have their first children earlier than women in blue states. A 23-year-old mom is more likely to come up with something out of the ordinary than one who is 33.

    Damn you, social science, for providing a reasonable explanation for why Levi Johnston came up with a name like Breeze Beretta for his second-born. I always thought "Beretta" was meant to honor the premature discharges that produce so many unplanned pregnancies in communities where Rick Santorum's sweater vest is the only acceptable method of contraception. Turns out it's just youthful exuberance.

    For now, these correlations are all just fun and games, but as these children age, the progressive penchant for hyphenated surnames is going to combine with the conservative habit for outlandish first names to drive us all insane. Will we ever be ready for a 2052 presidential contest between Scottlynn Nevaeh Jones of Oklahoma versus Emma Abigail Huntington-Steinberg-Collins-Dorkhman of Vermont?

    Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images


    Tags: Babies, Children, Conservatives, Liberals

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