Recently, I wrote about the burden of nostalgia, and that many of my fellow Gen Xers inexplicably miss the 1980s.
Well, I didn’t give enough credit to my generation in one respect, which is that we tend to be more socially and politically liberal than our elders. OK, maybe you don’t think that’s a good thing, but I certainly do. And many Gen Xers agree with me.
In fact, 36 percent of Gen Xers have mostly liberal attitudes, while just 23 percent have mostly conservative attitudes.
For the younger generation — the much-maligned Millennials — the gap is even more pronounced. Half of Millennials (50 percent) are “Democrats or lean to the Democratic Party, while just 34% affiliate with or lean to the GOP.” Furthermore, “Millennials who identify with the GOP are also less conservative than Republicans in other generations.”
The Pew Research Center breaks it down like this: “In short, not only are Millennials less likely than older generations to identify as Republicans, but even those who do express significantly less conservative values than do their elders. No such generational divide exists among Democrats.”
OK, we all know that younger people tend to be more liberal than older ones. That’s not a shocker. But the ideological gap between Millennials and Boomers is vast (in terms of percentages) and deep (in terms of actual issues).
So the idea that Millennials will suddenly go all Tea Party on us as they age is highly unlikely. Yet many conservative commentators insist exactly that, in the same way that they’ve been shouting for decades that Latinos are really Republicans but don’t know it.
Speaking of that absurd notion — which has only become more glaringly ridiculous during this election year — let’s not forget that 22 percent of Millennials are Hispanic. Put another way, about 60 percent of all Latinos are Millennials or younger, compared to about 40 percent of whites.
So we have the combination of young and Latino poised to take over America, much to the chagrin of older white right-wingers. And those Hispanic Millennials have two overlapping demographic reasons for being liberal.
What does this mean for the future of conservatism in general and the Republican Party in particular? Well, in my next post, I will expand on the second reason the GOP should fear Latino Millennials.
And that’s what the kids call a teaser.