Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Leftward Tilt

Given the fairly constant cheap shots taken at bloggers and the blogosphere by the mainstream media and the pundits it relies on, I thought it only right to link tonight to an excellent article in the online edition of The New Republic. Entitled "Generation Gap," it was written by Emory University political science professor Alan I. Abramowitz and explores the increasing political liberalism and identification with the Democratic Party since 2000 among individuals under 30 years of age. Abramowitz ponders

What explains support for the Democratic Party and liberalism among younger Americans today? One likely explanation is that Americans under the age of 30 have come of age politically during the George W. Bush presidency.

Certainly, the emergence of a Democratic presidential candidate who appeals so thoroughly to young people does explain part of the reason that young people, far more than older people (as Abramowitz demonstrates), will be voting in such large numbers this year for the more liberal party. But there are other reasons, and I believe the writer's explanation "that Americans under the age of 30 have come of age politically during the George W. Bush presidency" is a major factor. I have observed that persons who came of age politically during the popular presidency of Ronald Wilson Reagan showed a particular tendency to be conservative and, especially, to register as Republicans.

Perhaps the leftward tilt of American youth will have a positive effect on American politics. Nevertheless, this election (with apologies to Bob Barr and Ralph Nader) will be run between a candidate who has said of the 40th President "I think people, he just tapped into what people were already feeling, which was we want clarity we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing" and one who boasts (!) "I was a foot soldier in the Reagan revolution."

That is a little less auspicious.

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