It seems that The New York Times‘s resident conservative columnist Ross Douthat learned a lot from The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., Adelle Waldman’s novel about a Brooklyn literary fellow.
In Sunday’s column, Mr. Douthat wrote about the recent Pew study that found that men who have daughters actually become more conservative, not less. Why?
Well….apparently because Brooklyn literary men like the fictional Nathaniel P. are going to date your daughters, talk some literary mumbo jumbo to them, sleep with them in their deliberately messy Brooklyn apartments and then casually stop texting them:
The next round of research may “prove” something completely different about daughters and voting behavior. But as a father of girls and a parent whose adult social set still overlaps with the unmarried, I do have a sense of where a daughter-inspired conservatism might come from, whatever political form it takes.
It comes from thinking about their future happiness, and about a young man named Nathaniel P.
This character, Nate to his friends, doesn’t technically exist: He’s the protagonist in Adelle Waldman’s recent novel of young-Brooklynite manners, “The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.”
Even though he is fictional, his type rang true to many readers, Mr. Douthat included. It’s not that Nathaniel P. and the real life guys who inspired his character are bad. It’s just that they will probably break your daughter’s heart:
But his type does exist, in multitudinous forms, wherever successful young people congregate, socialize, pair off. He’s not the worst sort of guy by any means — not a toxic bachelor or an obnoxious pick-up artist. He’s well intentioned, sensitive, mildly idealistic. Yet he’s also a source of immense misery — both short-term and potentially lifelong — for the young women in his circle.
So since the Nathaniel P.’s and Adam Drivers of the world (or at least of Brooklyn and other similar enclaves) are probably liberal, you may as well inch closer to the idealogical right if you want to protect your daughters.
At least, we think that’s Mr. Douthat’s argument.