Yesterday, I posted about the newest crop of crazy running for what used to be a serious Congress. That post unleashed a lot of angst, doom and gloom in the comments. But now–as Paul Harvey might have said–for the rest of the story.
Because there are glimmers of hope.
But in addition to the generation’s Democratic tendency, Millennials who identify with the GOP are also less conservative than Republicans in other generations: Among the roughly one-third of Millennials who affiliate with or lean Republican, just 31% have a mix of political values that are right-of-center, while about half (51%) take a mix of liberal and conservative positions and 18% have consistently or mostly liberal views. Among all Republicans and Republican leaners, 53% have conservative views; in the two oldest generations, Silents and Boomers, about two-thirds are consistently or mostly conservative.
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.
The generational divisions among Republicans span different dimensions of political values. Some of the most striking generational differences within Republicans concern social issues like homosexuality and immigration, but younger Republicans are also less conservative when it comes to values related to the environment, role of government, the social safety net and the marketplace.
It isn’t simply changing attitudes. From The Guardian:
Two high schools in Colorado canceled classes Monday after dozens of teachers called in sick in protest of a conservative school board’s proposal to change the history curriculum.
This is the second such teacher sick-out in two weeks and comes on the heels of student walk-outs over the issue. At the two high schools where sick-outs were staged, Golden and Jefferson high school in Jefferson County, 73% and 81% of teachers called out, respectively.
Add in the spread of “Moral Mondays,” the efforts of moderate and liberal Christians to take back their religion from the kooks and theocrats, the successes of the “Flush Rush” campaign, the frustrations expressed by the Occupy participants, and hundreds of other indicators, small as they still are, and we do have evidence that the pendulum is about to swing.
The question, as several commenters noted yesterday, is whether that swing will be soon enough to save the nation from irrelevancy and decline, and strong enough to overcome the structural barriers that have been erected by the plutocrats.
Pete often ends his comments here by saying “I don’t know. I just don’t know.”