I've been thinking about this (for apparently two weeks). Here is what I've come with, roughly in descending order of importance.nicole wrote: ↑11 Feb 2020, 14:21I keep coming back to this passage, which fascinates me with its vagueness and euphemism. What is "the way that sex works in the American upper-middle class"? My superficial reading was of connotations of promiscuity, but, uh, I think you'll find plenty of that among poor people? (I generally find that when I read stuff about these guys, poor people don't really exist in their mental worlds, because they're always saying things like "no one has kids anymore.") What is horrifying about the dating market, specifically? What is horrifying about the dating market in this economic dimension? I mean, is it being confronted by a bunch of SJW slogans in girls' Tinder profiles, or them being sluts, or what? Why can't you move in with your girlfriend into an apartment, which, btw, would save lots of money?nicole wrote: ↑10 Feb 2020, 12:09The rising influence of Lasch and other communitarians tracks with a broader shift away from the “socially liberal, fiscally conservative” position popular with young right-wingers during the Obama years, and toward a newfound social conservatism tied to a form of class critique. Many of the people I spoke to said they had been libertarians in college—one called libertarianism “a way of announcing that you’re contrarian and a right-winger but that you’re totally cool with the way that sex works in the American upper-middle class”—but have since moved right on social issues. Charles Fain Lehman, a 25-year-old writer and editor for the Washington Free Beacon, described a disillusionment with “freedom as quote-unquote self-actualization.” There is, he said, a “a strong realization” that “it actually makes people quite miserable.”
“Look,” said one editor at a conservative publication, “it’s no secret that this shift on the young right is heavily male. A lot of us just want nice, simple, ordinary lives—lives like our parents lived—and the dating market is not conducive to that at all. I have a lot of friends who are just horrified by what they encounter in the dating market, and there’s an economic dimension to that, too, since houses cost way too much money and we’re all renters and nobody’s moving in with their girlfriends any time soon.” He added, “and you don’t have to be a traditionalist Catholic to think that, because I’m creeped out by those guys, too.”
1. What the AEI guy said. Most of the guys raising these complaints are around 25 and recently out of college. They don't have serious knowledge of all the arguments the right was making in the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. None of this is really new.
2. Again, most of the guys raising these complaints are around 25 and recently out of college. For many guys, that's a rough time to be dating. Women in their mid-20s are being chased by guys from 25-55, and enough of them are interested in older guys that the competition is fierce. This is exacerbated in big cities by the sex ratio of singles in the 18-40 group being strongly male (data that's a few years out of date). It also probably looks worse than it is because they are shifting from college and being surrounded by women their own age to the workplace in a city where they are most certainly not surrounded by single women their own age.
3. Along the lines of 2, I have doubts about how many of the guys are putting in the work to make themselves the best possible version of themselves. They probably have the expectation that a degree + well-paying tech job in a big city should make them a shoo-in, when the reality is that is only table stakes (given the demographics and competition).
4a. I think the dating market is getting slightly weird. As online/app dating becomes more and more common, those who can't compete on the superficial levels that apps select for have a tougher time. One's charm/charisma can be that of Bill Clinton, but it doesn't matter if your profile is never seen because search filters have been applied that screen out everyone under 6' (for the most obvious example).
4b. Also, there seems to be a mismatch between what women expect and the men who are actually out there. My brother does the dating app thing, and his stories about this are remarkable. He's mid-30s, 6', in shape, has interesting hobbies, has a PhD, a 6-figure job, and no debt, but he's still had multiple women be incredibly shitty to him (in person, not just digitally) for not making enough money, not having a luxury car, not traveling enough, not being enough into trendy-hobby-of-the-moment, etc. And he's not chasing 24-year-old supermodels, he's trying to find a woman around his age.
4c. App dating has probably made factors that have always existed in the dating market more visible. Tall, attractive, and high-status guys have always gotten more attention from women than the average guy, and the average woman has always gotten more attention from men than vice versa. Nothing new about either of those facts, but now it's easy to compare the different success levels different people have in dating.
I suspect 4abc combined with 2 is what they mean when they say the dating market is horrifying. I don't know what they mean by the economic dimension, but I assume they mean that a single-income household with a stay-at-home wife is no longer a realistic expectation, and well duh. I don't know what is being referenced with "the way sex works for the upper middle class." As you say, poor people have plenty of sex.
I also don't see what they think God-Emperor Trump would be able to do about most of this.