Younger Americans more liberal; I blame the internet

Study after study finds that younger Americans are overwhelmingly liberal, at least when it comes to social issues. They are overwhelmingly in favor of gay marriage and abortion rights. They have no problem with race. They reject organized religion in numbers far larger than any generation before.

Even on economic issues, they lean to the left, supporting Obamacare, controls on Wall Street, and campaign finance reform.

I blame the internet. videos-internet

It’s no secret that urban areas tend to be more liberal than rural areas. One reason has to do with access to new ideas. If you grow up in a rural area where everyone is the same race, goes to the same church, and rarely leaves, you tend to accept what you see. However, if you are raised in a city where there are many different races, cultures, religions and views, you start to learn that hey, there may be more than one way of thinking about things. Maybe those people who seem different aren’t that different after all.

But now we also have the internet. Kids who grow up in rural areas are getting information from all over the world. The “neighborhood” is no longer the area where you were raised. (Television also plays a large part in this.) And more information about our differences leads to more acceptance of them.

This is just a theory; I am no sociologist, and have done no studies on it. What do you think?

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4 thoughts on “Younger Americans more liberal; I blame the internet

  1. I think you’ll find that, historically, young people have _always_ skewed liberal. People tend to get more conservative as they age, and figure out which of the whiz-bang new ideas they glommed onto when they were young just flat don’t work. (The problem, of course, is that they don’t pick up any _newer_ ideas without concerted persuasion.)

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  2. I contest that dogma, as I was vastly more right-wing by modern standards when I was young, including arguing violently against welfare programs and such, than I am now, where I favor a single-payer plan for universal healthcare, as one example.

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  3. Usually that only applies to economics, though. People may get more conservative about money when they get older and actually have money. On social issues, I don’t think there are many who are in favor of gay rights, for instance, who later become completely intolerant.

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