The Future of the Electorate

I found this eye-popping data within a study about religion and youth. It paints an interesting picture about the future of the electorate 15-50 years from now. If suggests that the current Republican coalition is going to have to change a lot more than the current Democratic coalition.
Racial Self-Identification by Year of Birth
	 77-94	  65-76   46-64    30-45    Pre-30
White	  61	   63	    73	    80	     86
Black	  15	   13	    12	     9	      7
Latino	  17	   17	    10	     7	      4
Asian	   4	    5	     3	     3	      2 
Religious Self-Identification by Year of Birth
	     All   77-94   65-76   46-64   31-45   Pre-30
Catholic     23     20	    20	    23	    21	     21
Other Xtn    53     42	    43	    55	    61	     70
Non Xtn       9     11	    11	     8	     7	       4
None	     14     23	    23	    11	     7	       5
Ideological Self-Identification by Year of Birth
      All    77-94   65-76   46-64   30-45   Pre-30
Lib    19     31      25      17      13       19
Con    38     30      33      42      47       35
Mod    36     34      39      36      33       39
Partisan Self-Identification by Year of Birth
      All    77-94   65-76   46-64   30-45   Pre-30
Dem    37     39      40      31      40       47
Rep    34     28      31      40      34       35
Ind    28     31      28      28      26       16
Wow. Democrats have a large lead on partisan identification among the younger generations, and liberalism is actually slightly ahead of conservatism among so-called "Generation Y" (born 1977-1994). Here is a link to the census data on the size of each age group.

Some will argue that this will change as people grow older. After all, everyone knows older people are more conservative, right? However, there are many reasons to doubt this. First, it could be argued that the main reason Democrats and liberals do so well among the younger generation are tied to other demographics, specifically race and religion. The two youngest generations are far less white and far less Christian than the older generations, and as one would except considering the voting and partisan self-identification patterns of those who are not white (Kerry won this group 72-28) and those who are not Christian (Kerry won this group 71-27), it is in no way surprising that a less white, less Christian group would also be less Republican. Thus, the Republican problem among the younger generations is actually a Republican problem among minorities and non-Christians.

Further, Reagan's second best age group in 1984 was 18-24 year olds, the tail end of the Baby Boomer generation. If the data above is to be believed, those people are still clearly voting Republican. By contrast, Clinton's best age group, both in 1992 and 1996, was also 18-24 year olds, and these people are still voting Democratic. Thus, it is entirely possible that people's voting patterns are a lot more stable throughout their lives than is commonly assumed.

Long-term demographics are clearly in favor of the current Democratic coalition. However, this data is so long term that there is simply no assurance that the two coalitions will have similar demographic patterns than they do today. However, and most importantly, no matter what happens, it appears that in the next fifteen to twenty-five years liberalism will begin to dramatically close the national ideological gap on conservatism. In fact, by the 2016 elections, the margin by be less than half it is today.

Tags: Demographics (all tags)

Comments

96 Comments

Interesting
The Gen Y is more religious. But also more liberal. Could well be a product of it having more minorities.

Ben P

by Ben P 2005-04-11 03:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Interesting
Why do you assume a correlation between being self-identified regligious and being conservative?

Not all religious people are fundies!

by Alex Urevick 2005-04-12 06:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Interesting
religious that is...
by Alex Urevick 2005-04-12 06:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Interesting
Fair enough. Perhaps I drink the CW Kool Aid from people like Michael Barone too much.

Ben P

by Ben P 2005-04-12 10:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Interesting
Millennials are very religious, or more accurately, very spiritual, but they are also very tolerant. This comes from growing up in a very diverse society and having to be tolerant. Millennials also grew up in a time when religious expression was more socially acceptable, such as the WWJD bracelets. These are also the children of the continuing growth of the evangelical movement starting in the late 1980's and continuing to this day. They are quite comfortable with religion, but believe in a very personalized one, so if you don't believe it, that's your business.

This is contrasted with Gen-X, who to a large degree grew up in a time of social and religious instability (the religious and social uphevals of the 1970's and the reaction to that during the 1980's) and tend have absolutely no use for organized religion. Those who are religious tend to be minimalists when it comes to religion - come as you are, to wherever you can find space. Gen-Xers, especially college educated ones, may indeed find a coffeehouse to be more spiritual than a Church.

Either way, none of the younger generations have any use for Government promoting religious issues, with one exception. Millennials are more opposed to abortion than older generations. For this reason, as well as because of the success that the Republicans have had in using it to gain more of the Catholic vote, expect the GOP to use this wedge as much as possible.

by wayward 2005-04-12 11:35AM | 0 recs
Growing Older, More COnservative
The general myth is that people grow more conservative when they have to get a job, pay taxes,  care for a family. I've heard even liberal people perpetuate this myth.

We should always be pointing out that as people grow older they have to worry about affording health insurance, finding a job, good schools and clean air and water for their kids. The natural thing is to become more liberal as you grow older.

by swatdem 2005-04-11 03:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Growing Older, More COnservative
The real shift is not from liberal to conservative, but from idealistic to realistic.
by Alex Urevick 2005-04-12 06:15AM | 0 recs
As to
the proposition that people become more conservative as they age, I think it can happen, but I don't think people really change political philosophies after the age of 25 or so barring a major event like the Great Depression.

Interestingly, the two people I know (admittedly, a self-selecting group) who have dramatically switched political philosophies in their lives swung from conservative Republican views in their high school years to positions well to my left (i.e. one is a Kucinich fan, the other a socialist) when I met them.

by Ben P 2005-04-11 03:36PM | 0 recs
Re: As to
Actually, it's more like 27-30...

And it's not just partisan identification, it's your  identity.

by Alex Urevick 2005-04-12 06:16AM | 0 recs
Re: As to
I've gone from being a McCainiac to a considerably more liberal position as I got older. Going to college made me more conservative. Having a kid made me more liberal.

Remember, Hillary Clinton was once a "Goldwater Girl".

by wayward 2005-04-12 11:38AM | 0 recs
It's cohort, not age.
Speaking as a political scientist....

Generally speaking, the "you get more conservative as you get older" myth really is a myth. People's ideological/partisan identification don't change much after the age of 30. If someone votes for the same party three times in a row, they're hooked for life. It takes some earth-shattering to change after that.

People don't get more conservative as they get older, but they do get more rigid. What happens is that ideology acts as an informational screen - people shield out stuff that is inconsistent with their predispositions (which is why FOX News works). So as we get older, our attitudes get reinforced.

So liberals should NOT get happy if people who are under 30 are on the left, because the young are very volatile. But after thirty, it's smooth sailing.

Looking at Chris's data, the 65-76 cohort is the one to pay attention to, because they are settled in their attitudes. The 77-94 group could change very radically depending on circumstances.

by thirdestate 2005-04-11 05:00PM | 0 recs
Lucky Me
You're exactlly right. And as (my) luck would have it I just posted the first in a series of blogs that will make up my masters thesis on this very subject at Music for America.

The series/thesis is called, for the moment, Keys to a Future Majority, and in the next few weeks I will be reviewing some of the supporting science, but if you have some more Poli Sci sources that you'd like to share, I'd love to see them.

You've hit upon my reasons for focusing on joinging with Music for America in their youth in their youth outreach efforts- the youth are, by far, the most important demographic for poltiical campaigns to focus on. (this is espescially true when dealing with the war and other large collective events).

by Alex Urevick 2005-04-12 05:47AM | 0 recs
A Tease
Aw man, I wnet over there to read it, and its just the quick intro without any of the premise. That's really a tease. :-)
by Chris Bowers 2005-04-12 06:05AM | 0 recs
Re: A Tease
Hey, you'll have to come back next week!  ;-)

Next week I'll discuss media effects, persuasion, and heuristics.

The week after I'll discuss reminiscence bumps, collective memory, and generations.

Then I'll discuss how we did what we did with MfA, and why MfA holds some of the keys to successfully engaging our generation.

Sorry for the tease, but a thesis can't be written, or posted, in one day.

by Alex Urevick 2005-04-12 06:14AM | 0 recs
There is a difference
between conservative and right-wing. Most people are conservative, even leftish types. This is true the older you get. The older you get, the more you have. The more you have, the more you have to lose. The more you have to lose, the more time you spend defending what you have rather than trying to get more.
by Paul Goodman 2005-04-12 05:53AM | 0 recs
Re: There is a difference
You are correct Paul, and the data I've seen backs you up.

While people tend to hold more moderate-conservative views of the world as they get older, this does not translate into a partisan advantage, as partisan identification is fairly plastic after the age of 30.

You'll also see a moderation on the other side as well, which I guess would be a shift from right to moderate-conservative, so this should even the shift on the left out a bit...

by Alex Urevick 2005-04-12 06:05AM | 0 recs
Re: It's cohort, not age.
Oh- but I disagree with one thing you say:
iberals should NOT get happy if people who are under 30 are on the left, because the young are very volatile.

No. We should get happy, we just shouldn't get content. This is a good trend, and if we can capitalize on it then we will have a majority for years to come. But let's not take this for granted, as you point out we must work extremely hard to keep these young people engaged until they are past 30.

by Alex Urevick 2005-04-12 06:02AM | 0 recs
Re: It's cohort, not age.
What is the rationale bnhind the cohorts?  The 65-77 one is much shorter than the others.  Aren't  the Boomers are generally described as 45-63, and Gen X as 64-81 or 2?  Then the Millenial Generation or Gen Y is 1982-2001.  I don't understand breaking it at 1976-77, unless the idea was to get a break at over/under 18.  

Although I generally subscribe to Strauss & Howe's "Generations" theory, I think that we are seeing a lot of conflict between early and late Boomers, and those born from 1958 on (see "Born Too Late In '58" by Mott the Hoople) may have more in common with those born between '64 and '70 or so than with the older Boomers.  Certainly they are more conservative in almost every way, and pretty resentful towards the older Boomers in my experience.    

by Mimikatz 2005-04-12 08:49AM | 0 recs
Re: It's cohort, not age.
I've heard the generations broken down as follows:

Greatest 1901-25
Silent 1926-45
Boomers 1946-64
Gen-X 1965-80
Millennial 1981-95

The boomers can be further broken down as follows:

Early 1946-53
Late  1954-64

I draw the line at 1954 instead of 1958 for the following reasons. In 1972, the age of majority was lowered to 18.  The Class of 1972 (b. 1954) went to college as adults, could drink whatever they wanted to, and could vote in the Presidential election. IIRC, Title IX was passed that year as well. They also didn't have to worry about the draft, all of which are a big change from older boomers.

Late boomers are the "me" generation, defined more by Disco than by Woodstock. Most of them politically came of age during the Reagan era and have been voting Republican ever since.

by wayward 2005-04-12 10:30AM | 0 recs
Re: It's cohort, not age.
IMO, the best definition of a cohort, or a generation, comes from Martin Conway who said that a generation is ahaped by "shared cultural experiences, shared experiences of a type of event, common ways of responding to the world, common existential problems and shared conceptual knowledge" (Conway- The inventory of experience: Memory and identity. In Collective memory of political events: Social psychological perspectives).

So a generation would be defined mostly by external events. This idea is backed up by the work of Schuman et al. in his series of surveys which basically asked people "tell me what the most important political/world event was of the past 80 years". People almost always identify those events that happened when they were between the ages of 16-28 (a phenomenon know as 'the reminisence bump').

I've also seen studies that ask people about music and movies that show the same trend.

by Alex Urevick 2005-04-12 12:45PM | 0 recs
Re: It's cohort, not age.
I'm a late boomer ('60), and I've never felt any really cohortiness with either the earlier boomers or the Gen Xers.  Certainly having to follow in the wake of the boomers is not likely to make one feel strong affection for them as a group.

I too am struck by the fact the Republicans predominate only in the boomer generation.  Last fall I observed in a comment (I think on Daily Kos) that, while canvassing for Kerry in rural PA, the only group I came to dread approaching were those born in the mid to late1950s (the post-draft cohort).  They were pretty uniformly reactionary and often downright smug, in my experience.  At the time, a chorus of boomer commenters dismissed the idea as totally wrong-headed.  But I don't think I was imagining the pattern.  The boomers born in the late 1940s usually were pretty reasonable people, and those born in the early '60s were at least ok on the whole about being approached.  But the 1950s generation was unusually shrill.

The generation I really enjoyed approaching were those born in the teens and 1920s.  They were just plain down to earth and mostly open to discussion--and typically among the more liberal voters, at least in terms of working-class issues.  I would chalk that up to their experience of the Depression.

by smintheus 2005-04-12 06:45PM | 0 recs
Too far out
I totally agree. This data is just charted way
too far out to be of any use.

Look, the trend he's charting has a demo group
that tail ends to include my daughter. That
would make her 10 years old.

What we're studying here, seems to be the
voting patterns of 7 and 10 year olds.
The argument is that their voting patterns
will change.

Let me shed some light on this: the kids
thought John Kerry was nice. They identified
with him, he is a big, lovable kind of guy.

Nearly all of my child's 2nd grade class
voted for Kerry. They were voting
on the war. And younger children don't like
the draft, and they rebel against
authority figures

Obesity has risen 60% in this group, test
scores have drifted downward, and the
number of scientists and engineers in
this group have dropped over 40%.  Evolution
teaching is +debated+ in this group.
Since when do we debate newton's first
law? Well this group debates evolution.
(I am a christian but I would remind the
zealots like Caiphus out there that wish
to quash evolution teaching, there's this
thing called a 'superbug' you should really
look at .. )

I think what we need to account here
very carefully are the trends that would
help the party to re-shape itself quickly.

People are going through revival.
The need for spiritual direction is
evident. There is a huge demand for
reform. They are miffed at the
constant lobbyist maneuvering
on the hill.

We are a society on the brink of asking ourselves questions like, what should we do if we're
growing another body for spare parts? Does it
have rights?

The democratic party right now is largely
irrelevant to the majority of
Americans.

Make it the party of reform. Win.
This group you've studied here says
that childlike innocence reflects best
in the eyes of children. And that just
a scrap of that honour and truth exists
in the democratic party.

Not enough to save it. Nuclear option
radiation kills everything off. Just enough
to tilt a few 10 year olds

by turnerbroadcasting 2005-04-11 05:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Too far out
As much as I think turnerbroadcasting is a blathering blatherer, and this post being no exception...  there is a wheat-grain that can be separated from this chaff-of-a-post... and that's  "What we're studying here, seems to be the voting patterns of 7 and 10 year olds."  These kids are self-identifying as Democrats?  I don't take much stock in those (plural) data, either.
end of post...
---------------------
Notice I don't veer off into the netherworld of John Kerry being a lovable guy, obesity rates, test scores, evolution, newton's third law, superbugs, increased spirituality in America, lobbyists on capitol hill, test-tube kidneys, and a future nuclear holocaust.  
---------------------
How to structure a sentence:
Include, minimally, a subject and a verb.

How to Structure a paragraph:

  1. Start with an introductory sentence.  
  2. Include at least two supporting sentences relevant to your introductory sentence.
  3. Have a conclusory sentence that ties the previous sentences together nicely.

How to Structure a post:
If your post MUST be larger than a single paragraph.  Try to make those paragraphs relevant to one another.
by NCDem 2005-04-12 05:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Too far out
lol!!!
by Alex Urevick 2005-04-12 06:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Too far out
yeah... I amuse myself, too.  Puppies are nice.  I like chocolate.  

War sucks, but today's kids are wearing too much cologne.  Reform the reformers.  Huh?

by NCDem 2005-04-12 06:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Too far out
You just don't get the subtle poetry at work here.
by Alex Urevick 2005-04-12 07:03AM | 0 recs
Talk about burying data!
Wow!

If you don't read too critically, the chart allows us to ignore one fact: we're only losing the entire Baby Boom generation.

No big.

by jcjcjc 2005-04-11 05:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Talk about burying data!
It's already lost.
by Alex Urevick 2005-04-12 06:18AM | 0 recs
What is wrong with Boomers
What the hell is with the deal with the Baby Boomers?  Why do think so differently from the rest of America?

Is it just their set of interests at this age?

One of the arguments about what make the GOP appealing to people 40-60 is that they don't need the government.  They have their schooling paid for, and they're not quite yet being hit in the face with retirement.

On the other hand, the Boomers seem to be trending right through history toward the GOP.

Is it possible they killed the civil rights movement?  Many of them came of age during the end of the civil rights movement.

What else have they done?

The GOP owes these guys big time.

by jcjcjc 2005-04-12 06:33AM | 0 recs
Re: What is wrong with Boomers
You hit on what the hell is wrong with them- they grew up in a time of social upheaval, and the reaction against that upheaval is still evident today.
by Alex Urevick 2005-04-12 07:05AM | 0 recs
In a single shot
They're too young to be Dixiecrats.
by jcjcjc 2005-04-12 10:36AM | 0 recs
It missed its target...
I don't get what your point is, care to fire another shot?
by Alex Urevick 2005-04-12 12:54PM | 0 recs
Re: It missed its target...
My point is that for a lot of Baby Boomers, they missed the boat for being Democrats.  

Some older conservatives who remain Democrats are reformed Dixiecrats.

The younger batch of conservatives missed that particular boat, and instead bought into the GOP.

In retrospect, it was a really dumb statement.  Feel free to ignore it.

by jcjcjc 2005-04-12 07:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Talk about burying data!
I don;t think the dems are losing the Boomers.  I think the '46-'64 coherty is too big and obscures many differences.  I bet the Dems still have the older half and those were the ones that worked for and gave heavily to Dean, as we saw in the data that came out from the other recent study.  The 18 year olds who voted for Reagan in 1984 were born in 1966.  That is a far cry from those bron in 1947.
by Mimikatz 2005-04-12 09:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Talk about burying data!
Again- the most important group to look at, if you're going to look at lifelong trends, would be those who are over 26. Those who voted for Reagan in 1984, may have voted for Clinton in 1992 when they were 26, and that (or rather their party identification at the time) would be a better indication of how these folks will vote over the course of their lives...
by Alex Urevick 2005-04-12 12:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Talk about burying data!
Numbers don't tell the whole story.

Many older, conservative, Democrats voted for Bush, while many more younger, libertarian minded, Republicans voted for Kerry. The crossovers roughly cancelled each other out, so few people noticed.

The older Democrats came of age somewhere between the New Deal and John F. Kennedy, and are not necessarily happy with the current Democratic Party. Likewise, the younger Republicans came of age somewhere between the Wall St. boom of the 1980's and the Wall St. boom of the 1990's. They are far more likely to vote Republican on libertarian or fiscal grounds, which is why a fair number of them are not happy with their party.

by wayward 2005-04-12 11:44AM | 0 recs
What nearly EVERYBODY continues to miss
 and thus gives them a free ride is that the current Republicans are NOT conservatives. They are increasingly right-wing nutjobs out of touch with reality and drunk with power. I am a conservative although socially liberal. I believe in fiscal responsibility, conserving the environment for the future, the Constitution, and a strong but not overbearing military used as a last resort. I want the government out of my life except for the above, helping maintain the basic infrastructure of society and as a safety net for the less fortunate. I abhor bigotry, bible-thumbing hypocrites, corporate criminals and foreign policy based on lies and deception. Why the f**k would I vote Republican which I use to do and why does anyone with half a brain who doesn't watch faux news do so?

I believe that this is how we need to frame the debate and we can get our country back. I believe that more non-nut-job Republicans are starting to get it that chimp and his crazies are really hurting our country and thus them.  

Bottom line: Don't let the neo-fascists get away with calling themselves "conservatives"!

by Doc Allen 2005-04-11 06:14PM | 0 recs
We want them identified as conservatives
They should be allowed to bring as much discredit to the conservative label as they have to the liberal label. Why should we save them from themselves. If they want to make conservative a dirty word, why should we stop them?
by GaryBoatwright 2005-04-11 09:44PM | 0 recs
Re: What nearly EVERYBODY continues to miss
sorry, but the numbers bear it out.  the correlation between self-identifying as conservative and voting for Bush is nearly perfect.  in fact, i remember reading that Kerry did similarly among liberals (something like 80, 85% of self-identifying libeerals voting for Kerry) and won a 9-point victory among moderates.  in the end it was self-identifying conservatives that carried the day for Bush, because there were enough of them to neutralize the liberals and cancel out the decisive victory among moderates Kerry had.

so with no offense to you or to your conceptions of what "conservative" means, the vast majority of people who consider themselves conservative voted for Bush, and they gave him the popular victory.  self-deception and all that notwithstanding, this means that conservatives stand for:


  • fiscal irresponsibility
  • sending troops into battle with no clear strategy for victory or "end game"
  • gay-bashing
  • slashing veterans' benefits
  • polluting the environment

etc., etc.  in other words, while you may have some (undoubtedly) honorable notion that conservative means fiscal responsibility and non-interference in social issues, most conservatives do not.  it's not that everyone incorrectly identifies these poor qualities with conservatism, it's that you incorrectly identify good qualities with conservatism.

by myddaholic 2005-04-12 05:35AM | 0 recs
Fascism and socialism
Paying homage to Confucius, we ought to be for the "rectification of names". The Right is made up of conservatives, theocrats, fascists, and monied interests. The term "conservative" is a disguise used by the others to ruin things. Shall we concede that disguise? Or tear it off, Scooby style?

Likewise, the Left is made up of liberals, socialists, environmentalists, minorities, feminists, anarchists and so on. Is socialism consistant with liberalism consistant still with environmentalism etc.? Not completely, and statesmen -in-training need to understand that in order to find a solution the optimum satisfactory political solution. You need to know who you are pissing off in one area so that, perhaps with some wisdom, you can give them a consolation prize in another area.

by Paul Goodman 2005-04-12 11:54AM | 0 recs
Re: What nearly EVERYBODY continues to miss
We don't miss it. The meanings of conservative and liberal aren't what they used to be. You're not a conservative - your closer to a liberal leaning libertarian. Don't worry - you can catch up on the lingo when we change them again next week.
by fwiffo 2005-04-12 05:37AM | 0 recs
Not a conservative
I hate to pile on but .... :

I am a conservative although socially liberal. I believe in fiscal responsibility, conserving the environment for the future, the Constitution, and a strong but not overbearing military used as a last resort.

This sounds like someone from a red state who would take too much crap for coming out of the closet and admitting that you are ... a liberal!

I know, I know. Life is tougher when you admit your true self to the world and take on a despised label. But that's who you are man! Don't deny your inner self. You're liberal but that's not the end of the world. Liberals these days can have good lives. Yes, the conservatives will try to take your liberties away and treat you like a sinner but you aren't. You are just yourself.

Being liberal is ok.

by Curt Matlock 2005-04-12 05:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Not a conservative
Actually, he sounds like a classic libertarian. Basically the idea that people should be free to do as they wish, but far more fiscally conservative (in gov't) and very pro-free market. A libertarian would be against raising taxes for liberal-type causes.

From the libertarian website;

The Libertarian Party is committed to America's heritage of freedom:

  •   individual liberty and personal responsibility
  •   a free-market economy of abundance and prosperity
  •   a foreign policy of non-intervention, peace, and free trade.

For example, while conservatives would like to pour billions of dollars into a war against drugs, liberals would pour billions into prevention and drug treatment, libertarians would like to make drugs totally legal and reduce taxes.
by quoi 2005-04-12 11:10AM | 0 recs
Re: What nearly EVERYBODY continues to miss
You represent a huge section of the electorate. Remember that when hearing the the comments from the Dean/Clark portion of the political spectrum.
by Paul Goodman 2005-04-12 05:56AM | 0 recs
Let Me Just Say Chris
you posts have been very interesting of late.
by Andy Katz 2005-04-11 06:23PM | 0 recs
I disagree
Long-term demographics are clearly in favor of the current Democratic coalition.

First, your analysis assumes religion will remain a static influence. America has witnessed these phases before and I think the current trend to be at its zenith.

Secondly, as the "energy tax" continually increases, the fantasy of building, selling, heating and cooling 4000 square foot homes in rural areas will become more difficult to sustain, leaving those in the younger age groups with difficult choices which the current structure of the Democratic party will be unable to address without drastic internal change.

Thirdly, as retirement gradually becomes a fantasy without nationalized healthcare, I see a greater shift towards "socialization" in this regard gaining rather swift momentum, especially from those born after 1960.

I think these factors suggest a stronger surge towards the Green party, the only party which currently advocates universal healthcare as well as greater emphasis on long-term sustainable growth shared by local citizens within their respective communities, than the Democratic party.    

by Seldom Seen Smith 2005-04-11 06:31PM | 0 recs
Re: I disagree
If the Greens start getting any momentum, all it would do is pull the Democrats to the left in the same way that the "Constitution" party pulls Republicans to the right.
by fwiffo 2005-04-12 05:45AM | 0 recs
No
If the Green party gets any traction, all it will mean is more Republicans win.

See 2000, Ralph Nader, presidential campaign of.

It's a first-past-the-post system.  This means that any canidates on either extremes only make the major party canidate closest in thought to the extreme canidate lose.  The system isn't changing any time soon.  If you don't like the canidates the Democrats nominate-that's what primaries are for.

by Geotpf 2005-04-12 06:24AM | 0 recs
Constitution Party pulls the GOP center
I don't mean this as a joke.

Take a look, issue by issue.  Look at the war.  Schiavo.  Corruption.  The budget.  

Anymore, the Constitution Party is more mainstream than the GOP.

by jcjcjc 2005-04-12 06:36AM | 0 recs
this is misleading
I can't stand these analyses.

The people touting them almost always are pitching the idea that the Dems don't need to change that natural demographic shifts will fix everything.

These analyses also assume that "White" is a fixed category. The only constant for "White" is that Blacks will never be "White". Latinos, Arabs, Jews and Asians all have the potential to become "White". So it's meaningless to claim that we know who will be "White" in a decade or two.

by Carl Nyberg 2005-04-11 06:37PM | 0 recs
Re: this is misleading
How about looking at it this way Carl- we need to change, but we need to change with a focus on the youth. For example, the Dems would be EXTREMELY WISE (I know it's a far fetched idea) to focus their national security stance on the fears and hopes of us Gen-Y folks. After all (I'm giving away some of my thesis here) why do you think that there was so much news/talk about Vietnam in this election relative to news/talk about Iraq (or WWII for that matter)?

Now we're getting at why I started the Draft Zinni site...

by Alex Urevick 2005-04-12 06:23AM | 0 recs
Re: this is misleading
Democrats need to address the fact that government transfers wealth from poorer, younger citizens to richer, older citizens.

It's kinda hard to sell young voters on activist gov't when gov't is picking their collective pocket.

by Carl Nyberg 2005-04-12 09:11AM | 0 recs
Re: this is misleading
Given the ability of national security issues (IMO) to transcend many other issues, I'd say this would be the most important one to come out in front of.
by Alex Urevick 2005-04-12 12:59PM | 0 recs
They will turn white
Just watch.

The same demographic approach was used when there weren't enough northern Europeans to keep them the majority.

Suddenly, Italians and Slavs counted as human.

by jcjcjc 2005-04-12 06:37AM | 0 recs
does it make sense?
If you polled 18-30 year olds on liberal/conservative and party affiliation in 1970, you probably would have predicted the Dems would be in power forever.
by Carl Nyberg 2005-04-11 06:39PM | 0 recs
The math isn't there
One of Chris's points is that this cluster of voters has been moving through time.

I'd be damn willing to bet this cluster is the same group that kicked McGovern's teeth in.  It's probably why they have such a natural contempt for Howard Dean, nad get hackles when they think about Bill Clinton.

I think Chris is dead-on.

by jcjcjc 2005-04-12 06:39AM | 0 recs
Re: does it make sense?
The real key wouldn't be to look at 18-30 year olds in 1970, but rather you'd have to look at 28-40 year olds in 1980. Then you'd have a pretty accurate guage of how the boomers would vote for the next 30-40 years.

I wonder if it's a coincidence that the Right began to ascend at just that time. Actually, I lied, I don't wonder, I assume that the two are directly correlated.

by Alex Urevick 2005-04-12 07:07AM | 0 recs
Re: does it make sense?
Keep in mind that the first prominent, national, boomer politician wasn't Bill Clinton or Al Gore, but Dan Quayle.

There are a lot of "Dan Quayle boomers" out there, especially in the "red states". That being said, I wonder if the geographic distribution of "Dan Quayle boomers" vs. "Bill Clinton boomers" partially explains the "red state"/"blue state" divide?

by wayward 2005-04-12 11:49AM | 0 recs
Generation Y is very unique generation
Gen Y (which I proudly represent) has lowest rates of violence, crime, drug abuse, child births, etc. among all age groups.  The baby-boom generation is the group with the highest rates.  Further more, these rates are lowest they've ever been for the age group.

What I'm saying is that Gen Y might not be like other generations.  As you can see in the data, it's the only generation to label themselves more "liberal" than "conservative".

Another interesting point about this generation is that it is the most diverse.  And I would guess that Gen Y is the least racist and socially conscious.

With the low rates of violence (etc.), combined with the highest rates of diversity (presumably followed by higher rates of social awareness) among Gen Y'ers, it's no surprise to me that this group is moving to the left.

It remains to be seen if this trend among Gen Y will hold with age, but I believe that CW might not apply to this unique generation.

by Ian Campbell 2005-04-11 08:12PM | 0 recs
Lowest productivity, too
Did anyone see the article a few months back about how Gen Yer's (I barely make it in, whoo-hoo!!!) are less productive, because they see no value in climbing the corporate ladder?

I thought it was fascinating.

The fact is, we're becoming European, in the sense of the old French saying that "The French work to live, American live to work."

This is probably why there is so much piss and vineagar between us and the Boomers.

The Boomers are still playing "let's pretend we're the Greatest Generation", making a pathetic attempt to act as if they're their WWII parents.  Odds are it's why they're so horny for the War on Terror and converting the world to McJesusism.

We, on the other hand, are just getting on with business of life.

by jcjcjc 2005-04-12 06:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Lowest productivity, too
Hey, Gen-Xer's invented slacking =-)

That being said, neither Millennials (I hate "Gen-Y") nor Gen-Xers are anywhere near as competitive as the Boomers, especially younger boomers. These are the people who need the McMansion they can't afford, have the biggest SUV they can get, have kids they don't raise, spend all their time climbing the corporate ladder, and generally don't give a damn about anyone but themselves.

Every public issue is an epic struggle  between good and evil that must be won at all costs, which explains why politics are so polarized these days.

Younger generations have better things to do with their lives than that.

I was born in 1980, so I don't know where I fall, though I suspect Gen-X. I tend to have more in common with people a few years older than a few years younger.

by wayward 2005-04-12 12:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Lowest productivity, too
I was born 1978, and feel firmly entrenched with Gen Y.  To some extent this is probably my own effort to distance myself from my older siblings.

On the whole, Gen Y is really just Gen X version 1.1.  We're a minor revision at best.

All of it is part of a general trend of American values away from the go-go-go-go mentality and toward living just to live.

by jcjcjc 2005-04-12 07:50PM | 0 recs
Speaking for my friends...
they are mostly socially liberal and fiscally conservative.  They want to be left alone to do whatever they please, but are willing to pay taxes for essential services.  Most of them think that the current level of government is enough, and we don't need any more.  At the same time they realize that any tax cuts come at the cost of essential programs.
by KansasNate 2005-04-11 08:35PM | 0 recs
People CAN change their stripes as they age....
Particularly if circumstances in their lives change dramatically.  

I was raised in a Goldwater Republican household.  At age 17, I even joined the John Birch Society.  I voted Republican for 25 years, echoing my parents thoughts quite rigidly.  I didn't go to college, so wasn't exposed to "liberal teachings," and I spent 20 years in the corporate office of a muti-national petroleum company, 10 of those years (during the Reagan Administration years) administering their political action committee.  

However, as I observed the way corporate America worked (and saw first-hand how PACs provide money to both sides and how companies pay lots of money to lobbyists to change tax laws to their benefit) I became disenchanted with the ideas of my parents and my company.  It led me to join study circles where we discussed social and political issues and I met Democrats whose ideas I respected.  Eventually, after 25 years as a Republian, I changed my party affiliation to Democrat.  It wasn't difficult at all!

I was laid off from my job after 20 years.  In my next job, it took 10 years to regain the salary I had when I was laid off.  Then I lost that job.

I, like many other people today, found that even if you "play by the rules," you can be laid off unexpectedly and the safety net is just not there for us that existed for my parents.  Families are losing ground every day to layoffs, rising energy and medical costs.  I believe the Democrats have a better program to preserve the safety net and strengthen the social fabric against the uncertainties of life we all face.  I think even Republicans will be open to Democratic ideas if their individual circumstances lead to disenchantment with the ideas of their trusted party.

by shr90034 2005-04-11 08:55PM | 0 recs
Re: People CAN change their stripes as they age...
That's awesome! You were a "card-carrying" member of the John Birch society. Do they still exist?
by Ben P 2005-04-12 01:11AM | 0 recs
by catastrophile 2005-04-12 10:39AM | 0 recs
Life taught you something
The ability to learn from life is an inherently Democratic character.

Republicans merely refine their ignorance.

by jcjcjc 2005-04-12 06:47AM | 0 recs
Boomers
Not surprisingly, the generation that has drunk most deeply of the right-wing Kool-Aid is the narcissistic Baby Boomers (1946-64). And why not? Boomers are the most concerned with the two things that make the neocon machine hum:
  1. Self-absorbtion. Everything is about them, them, them, whether it be cutting taxes (f** you, schools!), driving a Hummer (f* you, Earth!) or running up a mountain of debt (f** you, future!).
  2. The Quest for Ultimate Meaning. It was, at first, politics and civil rights. Then it was sex and drugs. Then money in the 1980s. As the 1990s arrived, it became family, and then old-school religion and "values". Now it seems to be a global crusade to rid the world of all evil. Sigh. I wonder what's next...

The good news is that they can't live forever. The bad news is that they're going to try.
by Shashalnikya 2005-04-12 05:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Boomers
Think about it in another way. What events defined the young-adults of that generation?

Why would so many more of their generation hold a dislike for progressive causes?

Hint: Vietnam, Cold War, Civil Rights, Counter/Hippie Culture, Stagflation...

by Alex Urevick 2005-04-12 06:08AM | 0 recs
Screw You, Shashalnikya
I'll vote more money for schools when they explain why they're running a deficit when they get $350,000 a year for a class of 35 kids in a lousy portable building with decrepit books. They could buy a $200,000 house and THROW IT AWAY EVERY YEAR and pay the teacher $100,000 and still have $50,000 for expenses. So, WHERE IS THE MONEY GOING??

I wouldn't want a Hummer if it was free with free gas. Although until two weeks ago, I did drive a Roadmaster. Better than those damn monster trucks YOUR generation loves.

I've been supporting candidates that call for fiscal responsibility and personal freedom from Barry Goldwater to Howard Dean.
And I've NEVER supported those Bible thumping neocons.

So just shut up with your age discrimination. We're not all like your father, assuming you know who he is.

by antiHyde 2005-04-12 06:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Boomers
I think this comment validates what i said above about those born after 1958 perhaps having more in common with Gen X than the true Boomers, who were born 1944-1958 or so.  Those ar ethe ones who fit the typical picture of narcissists, having been (understandably) somewhat fawned over by their parents after the War.  I remember when half the population was 25 or under because of this bulge.  I think 1956 was the peak birth year. Those born later were often the younger siblings, who (if I may generalize) had less of a sense of entitlement than those born 1945-56.  

My perspective:  I was born in 1942, with a sibling, partner and most close friends in the 1947-1952 birth group, and taught high school to those born from 1949-1960.

by Mimikatz 2005-04-12 09:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Boomers
BTW, the leaders of the Civil Rights movement were initially from the Silent Generation (born before and during the War) and then, as the (earlier) Boomers came to the fore, things turned more radical.  GW Bush is the conservative counterpart of those early Boomers.  IMHO they are and always have been the most passionate (intemperate) on both sides; it just took longer for the conservative ones to find their voices.  But I remember those Young Americans for Freedom in the '60s--the flip side of the radical Boomers.  
by Mimikatz 2005-04-12 09:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Boomers
This is why the most important issue in the 2004 election was the war - in Vietnam.

Bush is the conservative boomer - a lonely conservative at liberal Yale who joined the Guard and supported his country.

Kerry is the liberal boomer (even if he isn't technically a boomer) - he did his duty, then protested when he didn't like what he saw over there.

Conservative boomers see Kerry as a traitor, like they did in 1972. Liberal boomers see Bush as a "fortunate son", also like they did in 1972. Each candidate exemplified what the other sided detested most in the Vietnam era. Which is why the election was still about the Vietnam war, 29 years after it ended.

by wayward 2005-04-12 10:37AM | 0 recs
Religious identification
The American Religious Identification Survey is probably the most comprehensive religious survey available, and is a good starting point for anyone who wants to understand religious groups in the US.

One significant finding is switching of individuals between religious groups. The most common sorts of switches are between various Christian groups (e.g. people who change from one protestant denomination to another, or most commonly, from a specific denomination to non-denominational and/or evangelical), or people dropping out of religion altogether. People switching into religion from being non-religious (e.g. atheist) is relatively rare. The survey might even over-count that group, since it probably includes quite a few "born-agains". I've met a fair share that claim that they used to be "godless" but "found Jesus" in their couch one day. In reality, most of them identified with one Christian group or another prior to becoming hyper-religious, but they just became much more vigorous about it.

So, we are becoming less religious as a whole, and the secular folks, as a demographic, is growing and doesn't easily lose members. A subset of people who remain religious are becoming somewhat more fanatical and outspoken. The Republicans have allied themselves with the larger, shrinking, and increasingly noisy ultra-religious group, and the secular have aligned themselves with the Democrats (not the other way around - Democrats haven't aligned themselves with anything or anyone in particular).

by fwiffo 2005-04-12 06:03AM | 0 recs
Orange County: Melting the Iceburg
I think a beeter way of loking at this is how places that were once very red became blue or vice versa- georgraphy matters.

The good news for Democrats- as in the case of Orange County, is the mmigration of Democratic constituencies out of high Democratic densities and into places such as suburban- previous all red- Orange County.

The bad news is that the Democrats are loosing it in the exuban belt around the cities. The GOP is seen as being able to dliver very low interest rates and the ability to buy a big box house. These people become disconnected. They live far from any city,are unconnected to shared services- and disbelieve that there's is in fact a very subsidized lifestyule.

I guesss what I am arguing is that age group numbers only go so far because you have to look at  class, income, creed, race, and so on.

Geography on the other hand is more a matter of choice and therefore identity. People live where they feel their perspective will be welcome.

This is why the GOP is gaming the map to create manufactured wins.

by clarkdemocrats 2005-04-12 06:23AM | 0 recs
Orange County is now more built up
There are a lot of minorities in the northern sections of the counties now, which can now be offically called "old suburbs", with patches of true urban areas, both of which tend to lean Democratic.

Here's a test on whether or not you live in a Republican or Democratic area.

  1. Go outside your home to the street.
  2. Can you see at least six buildings?
  3. If #2 is yes, are the buildings, on average, at least twenty years old or older?
  4. If both #2 and #3 are yes, you probably live in a Democratic area.  If either one is no, you probably live in a Republican area.

Large parts of Northern Orange County now qualifies as Democratic under this test, and people vote accordingly.
by Geotpf 2005-04-12 06:31AM | 0 recs
It's changing Virginia
VA used to be a GOP stronghold.

By 2008, it will be a genuine swing state.  Not bad for a state where a significant number of people depend on the McJesus Brand Bombing Company (aka, the Pentagon) for their livelihood.

The influx of tech jobs to northern VA has brought a load of Democrats from the NE and California.

by jcjcjc 2005-04-12 06:50AM | 0 recs
But WV is now God country
Which is really ashame given its progressive history. I guess the same is true throughout the old coal and steel states, i.e. WV, OH and PA.

Fundementalist churches have taken the social role formerly occupied by some of the strongest unions in the country...

by Alex Urevick 2005-04-12 07:11AM | 0 recs
PA trends centrist
Except for Rick Santorum, it's hard to say PA trends anywhere except toward the center.

This is a state that elects the likes of Rendell and Specter.  Even Ridge, save for his odd Maoist propensity to put his picture on everything the satate produced, was fairly progressive.

It's an odd state, but I wouldn't be too quick to lump it in with WV and OH.

WV never had a real tradition.  It's votes were bought, and a number of voters are still hungover from the fact no one will pay them for their votes these days.

OH is turning into the McJesus Zombie camp of the east.  I doubt that OH is fixable in this generation.  The whole state is going to hell in a handbasket, as factories and unions leave and as McJesus enterprises start bamboozling the public.

OH fits the pattern that took TX GOP during the oil bust.

And, like many western states that are trending Dem, it will take immigration and and a corrupt state GOP before it comes back to the Dems.

Unlike the western states, OH isn't quite so attractive for would-be new residents.

by jcjcjc 2005-04-12 08:53AM | 0 recs
Re: PA trends centrist
Sorry-- I meant the parts of PA that were the centers of the steel industry, i.e. the South-West and Middle parts of the state.
by Alex Urevick 2005-04-12 10:40AM | 0 recs
Re: PA trends centrist
I'm still gonna argue that one.

If you look at the county-by-county map, the GOP base is the south central area, centering around places that never had any real industry, like Fulton County.

Allegheny County is and will remain a Dem stronghold.  Dems could do some outreach in the burbs, but a lot of that is the terrible tax structure the Dems left in those areas when they were in power.

Central PA ranges from toss up to soft red.  The GOP has been softening in those areas for some time.  Centre County, thanks to the presense of Penn State, is soft blue.  Neighboring counties, such as Clearfield, which once had a steel industry, are going tossup.  Cambria County (Johnstown) has been trending away from Dems, but seems to be levelling off at tossup.

Right now, in much of western PA, Dems are losing votes becuase they remain unwilling to fight on taxes.

A lot of those votes would turn Democrat if the Dems would get their shit together on taxes and guns.  Watch how Ed Rendell gets re-elected.  

Rendell is the first Democrat I have ever known who actually has addressed the issue of property tax relief.

Dems who want to win in PA would do themselves a giant favor to jump on the tax issue.  Becuase the GOP is still quietly sneaking by on their anti-tax credentials while not actually fixing anything.

And, I know for a fact that Democrats are losing votes solely on the gun issue in PA.  A number of people I know were deeply upset by Kerry's hypocrisy on the gun issue, and saw it as validation that he is in fact anti-gun, or just an asshole (I tend toward the latter).

Western and Central PA isn't even remotely the sell people act like it is.  But, it does require that Dems get their act together on issues that matter to the voters there.

That means getting off the gun issue, and getting onto the tax issue.

by jcjcjc 2005-04-12 10:54AM | 0 recs
wait a minute:
when did we change the definition of Generation X? I thought it went up to 1981.
by johnny longtorso 2005-04-12 07:37AM | 0 recs
Boomers and Other Trends
As a Boomer (born in 1951), I found the data disturbing.  The very numbers of my generation have led to massive disappointment.  A college degree was no passport to advancement.  Too many other boomers had it.  And when we went back to school and got a master's degree, it too failed to deliver.

Most of my friends in the boomer category are Democrats.  This may be a bit of self-selection.  For me, the two big events of my early adult life were the Vietnam War (avoided due to high draft lottery number and college) and economic stagnation or worse.  The Carter years may have had high inflation but they were better than the early Reagan years of a vicious recession.  Carter never produced "morning in America", however, and hid PR machine was not up to Reagan's.

The one person I know who switched parties was my brother who went from a weak Democrat to a Republican due to the influence of his wife, a Limbaugh listener.

If somebody poisoned my age group against Democrats, it was Jimmy Carter (with the Ayatollah chipping in).  Carter came off to me as overly religious, overly detailed, and not only inept but born with incredibly bad luck.  His connections failed.  The oil crisis as the moral equivalent of war?  Should we protest in front of the Exxon station?

The one most interesting trend is the huge drop in the "other Christian" category and the rise in None and Other.  The former main stream Protestant churches have been pretty well savaged. decimated, and pushed to the side by the fundies.  The result is that people turned off by the extremes often wind up outside the religious tent instead of inside the old mainstream.  Fascinating.

by David Kowalski 2005-04-12 08:21AM | 0 recs
i've gotten more liberal

OK- I've always been on the left by anyone's definition.

But I've gotten MORE liberal as I've gotten older, had a kid, etc. NOT more conservative.

Don't know if this is just all that coinciding with the Bush tragedy.  

But I find myself more fervent- less willing to accept young koolaid drinking idiots spouting nonsense.

by jgkojak 2005-04-12 09:03AM | 0 recs
Boomers, Hippies and GOPers
With appologies to the liberal boomers out there, I think the boomers are almost completely responsible for the current shift to radical self centered conservatism.

Boomers came of age in the late 60's and indulged in the worst of the hippie movement, which shares much with the current corupt theocon/neocon greed fest:

- Self centered, I can do whatever I want and damn the consequences:

Hippies: Freelove, recreational drug use, freeloading.

NeoCon/TheoCon: Tax cuts for you and your friends while leaving the fall out for Gen X and Y. Goverment coruption, cronism. Wars of choice fought by Gen X and Y.

- Blinding following rigid idiology, despite available facts:

Hippies: Communues, drug culture, radical movements.

NeoCon/TheoCon: Supply side economics, middle east "liberation" policies, religious fundimentalism.

I belive it was easy for the hippies of the late 60's to become the greedy, religious conservatives of today. They never were that far apart.

Unfortunately for the democrats the baby boomers are indeed a boom in population and will live quite a while longer. When Gen X finally takes the reigns of power in 15-20 years I belive you will see a move to socially liberal/fiscally conservative government, farther removed from polical radicalism.

The problem is that we might not have much left of the US economy to work with by then, oil will be past peak, US debt will be stagering, US dollar in the toliet and health care in shambles. All because the boomers wanted to have there cake and eat it too.

by adventuregeek 2005-04-12 09:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Boomers, Hippies and GOPers
Your theory doesn't square with my experiences (dob 1962). The hippies didn't turn into today's compassionless conservatives. They turned into older liberals. Sure, some jumped to the other side but there was a culture war in the 60's and 70's and many of the same players are continuing that battle for the same teams in the present day.

Conservatives HATE hippies. They blame hippies for everything that has gone wrong in the past 40 years. That's bunk of course but they never got past the battle over sex, drugs, and Vietnam.

by Curt Matlock 2005-04-12 09:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Boomers, Hippies and GOPers
Some hippies did indeed become older liberals, my parents and their friends being examples. Although they are from the end of the pre WW-II generation.

However, as I said, it was the worst of the hippie movement that morphed into the Republicans of today. The ones that were only interested in the freeloading, free love and drugs.

I'm always amazed by the pictures of the Woodstock farm site, post concert. They left trash and filth everywhere. So much for the hippie enviornmental movement. To me Woodstock wasn't about changing anything for the better, it was just hey, let's have a huge consequence free party, because hey we deserve it!

by adventuregeek 2005-04-12 10:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Boomers, Hippies and GOPers
No. It was the worst of the anti-hippie movement that morphed into the Republicans of today. You may not like hippies (obviously you don't) but turning them into Republicans is unwarranted. I don't doubt some did but I've never seen any evidence that they did so in large numbers.

Hippies are hypocrites because they left trash at Woodstock? That proves they really didn't care about the environment after all? That is a pretty thin argument.

Keep in mind that hippies have been lied about by the right and mythologized by the left for decades. Truth is in there somewhere but they weren't demons and they weren't angels. Alot positive came out of the movement but there were negatives as well.

History is written by the victors. The hippies lost the political war and their legacy gets rewritten constantly. Personally, I respected their ideals, I respected their activism and I now never forget they were just people trying to figure life out at a crucial moment in history. Given a choice, I'd rather my child be a hippie than like the woman who screamed on camera after Kent State that they should have killed them all.

See if you can spot the conservatives of today in the reaction by Kent townspeople to the Kent State killings:

A woman sent in a letter signed "Ravenna Housewife. It went like this: "Hooray! I shout for God and Country, recourse to justice under law, fifes, drums, martial music, parades, ice cream cones - America, support it or leave it."

Another woman signing her letter "Mother of Guardsmen" wrote: "Congratulations to the Guardsmen for their performance of duty on the Kent State University Campus. I hope their actions serve as an example for the entire nation."

A "Ravenna Citizen" wrote something which was very horrible, but the person was far from being the only one to say it: "The National Guard made only one mistake - they should have fired sooner and longer." He/she went on to say: "As for the parents of the dead students, I can appreciate their suffering, they probably don`t know the truth...Parents are learning the hard way and others should take heed."

A Kent lawyer said to the Akron Beacon Journal: "if I´d been faced with the same situation and had a submachine gun, there would not have been fourteen shot, there probably would have been 140 of them dead, and that`s what they need."

The worst reactions though, came, I think, from mothers. A mother to three Kent State students said in an interview that the National Guard should have shot everyone - including her own sons. She was, by the way, not the only parent to say this. I believe this, in extreme ways, describes the generational gap that existed at the time.

Newsweek May 11: "more than a few American families are wondering whether, if push comes to shove, their children may not be staring at them from the opposite side of the barricades."

by Curt Matlock 2005-04-12 10:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Boomers, Hippies and GOPers
Don't get me wrong, I would way rather there be more hippies than GOPers, but I think the Kent State example doesn't make your point either. The women who said her son should have been shot would probably now be in her 80s, being of the "Greatest Generation".

That type of reaction was very typical of that the pre-depresion, WW-II generation. My fathers parents were very conservative, (John Birch Society etc.). They thought he should enlist and head off to Vietnam to fight the Red Menace. (Instead he joined the Peace Corp, traveled across Russia in 1969 and became a Marine Biology professor, LOL! They almost disowned him.)

What I'm saying is that often political affiliations can change from the left to right or right to left, but the underling attitudes and personalities stay the same. If you were attracted to the hippie movement because you were self centered, then it probably wasn't a far jump to the GOP when you got older. If you were a hippie because you wanted a more just world, then would porbably stayed a liberal.

With the large number of boomers it didn't take much of a swing to the GOP make a huge change in election outcomes. Furthermore I belive the boomers did grow up with the attitude that the world was there's for taking, hippie or not and that has lead to the current GOP majority.

It would be interesting to see some empirical data on change of party affiliation among boomers over time.

For an example of what I'm talking about look up the CEO of Urban Outfitters/Anthropologie. Former hippie, now huge GOP doner and exploiter of 3rd world sweat shops.

by adventuregeek 2005-04-12 11:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Boomers, Hippies and GOPers
If you were attracted to the hippie movement because you were self centered, then it probably wasn't a far jump to the GOP when you got older. If you were a hippie because you wanted a more just world, then would probably stayed a liberal.

That makes sense. But keep in mind, hippie bashing is one of the favorite past-times of right-wing pundits who find a way to blame all of our social ills on the legacy of those lawless hippies. I was a bit young in the 60's to have adult quality recollections, but I can clearly see they are rewriting history. Many have bought into their revisions and I'm always happy to step up and defend the 60's counter-culture against the attacks of the right. Thus my automatic defense when confronted with complaints about the trash problem at Woodstock.

Hippies were idealist to a fault perhaps, but peaceful idealism is not something I find hard to forgive. That's not true of too many on the right who still hate the memory of what the hippies stood for.

by Curt Matlock 2005-04-12 12:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Boomers, Hippies and GOPers
Right- I think we should look at the rightward tendancies of the boomers as a reaction against the hippies, anti-war protests, and the civil rights movement, not as an outgrowth of them...
by Alex Urevick 2005-04-12 10:43AM | 0 recs
Survey
Cohorts of random width are annoying to analyze.
The cohort running down to ten year olds is a mixture of useful data and younger people who are typically as well informed as Republicans who watch Fox News.  How many people are in each of these groups?  Over-75s is not a huge group, is it?

However, the gentlepeople above who are conservative on fiscal issues and liberal on social issues, are probably libertarians though not necessarily supporters of the Libertarian Party as presently constituted, and do not know it yet.

George Phillies
   Liberty for Massachusetts
   http://www.libertyformassachusetts.com
   http://www.cmlc.org

by phillies 2005-04-12 09:54AM | 0 recs
The experiences of youth shape individual politics
I linked to this story on my own blog, and it's something I'd been thinking about recently.  A couple of years ago, the press about "Generation Y" claimed that they were shaping up to be a very conservative bunch.  My suspicion was that the current state of the GOP would disenchant them for a long time to come.

After all, I hit puberty (and started thinking about politics) under Reagan, and we still lived in fear of nuclear war-- which granted the GOP lots of leeway in terms of jingoism and isolationism.  Nevertheless, we "Gen X'ers" have wound up being a pretty liberal bunch, for whatever reason.  Iran-Contra?  Voodoo economics?

Young people today are seeing a Republican party that is even more jingoistic, even more committed to corporate dominance, and even less concerned about the environment or bread-and-butter economic issues.  In spite of the facts that the globe is rapidly shrinking, and we don't live in fear of another world power.

My guess is that there will be a far-reaching backlash against the 21st century GOP.  We might not see it for another decade, but the Republican strategy of short-term gains at all costs could well have dire consequences for them in the future.  Let's keep our fingers crossed...

by Matt Sandwich 2005-04-12 01:25PM | 0 recs
Except it's not about short-term gains,
it's about social and economic restructuring. The measures they've taken to get and keep Bush in office were only to buy time while they push forward their transformative agenda.

The corporatists are hoping that by the time the general public (including many within the Reep party) twig to what they're doing, the elite will be so firmly entrenched that it'll be all but impossible for the rest of us to field any meaningful opposition to their agenda. Their agenda is long-term: the eradication of democratic rule and economic security.

by catastrophile 2005-04-12 04:06PM | 0 recs
Speaking as someone from Gen Y
or at least by your definition what it is. I think my peers are more socially liberal, especially on gay marriage. They really dont see the big deal there. That is something, I think, might not go away with time. People get married, and start raising a family, and supposedly turn Republican. now, as mentioned above, this is false, but even so, say it were true. Gay marriage is an issue that doesnt affect me or my other straight friends, while it benefits others and so we are all in favor of it. That wont change IMO.
by jj32 2005-04-12 04:44PM | 0 recs
by hpvv 2005-12-19 10:09PM | 0 recs

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