The following is a section of a report written by Rohan Kapur on Generation Z.
In today’s polarized political climate, Generation Z looks oddly neutral. In the near future, their unique policy stances will have a major impact on American politics as we know it.
By today’s political standards, Generation Z is extremely unique, looking partisan on today’s most contentious issues, while disagreeing heavily on issues that have seemingly been tossed away in today’s era. A Business Insider poll found that the majority of Generation Z participants did not identify as either conservative nor liberal. Many of the partisan issues debated today in Washington DC such as climate change and the legalization of weed are not debated at all among members of Generation Z, with just 18% Generation Z Republicans saying climate change is caused by natural causes and 70 – 80% of the generation supporting legalized weed. Overwhelmingly, Generation Z is disappointed in the government in general, with 70% saying the government is not doing enough.
Generation Z Republicans are possibly the biggest outliers compared to Republicans in other generations with their beliefs being in line with many Democrat politicians on Capitol Hill today. The aforementioned 18% figure compares to 30% of millennials, 36% of Generation X, and 42% of Baby boomers who believe climate change is caused by natural causes. The Generation is also much more supportive of LGBTQ rights and acknowledging of racial equality. The driving factor pushing the conservative cause among members of Generation Z is political correctness, with over half the generation, Republicans and Democrats alike, in support of the notion that too many people are “easily offended these days over language that others use”.
Many have attributed this large shift in views to one of two major factors. One of them involves the demographics of Generation Z, which is set to be the most diverse generation with just 52% of the generation identifying as white. Others attribute this shift to the rise of social media, which has changed the way people get their news and helped polarize Generation Z members to one side of the aisle.
Regardless of the cause of the shift, Generation Z will force today’s major political players and parties to radically change their stances and policies in hopes of grabbing Generation Z’s votes. Republicans will have to make the most obvious change, shifting stances on marijuana, climate change, and LGBTQ rights. This shift has already occurred with many Republicans toning down their stances against LGBTQ rights and coming around in support of the legalization of marijuana. Democrats will have to change more subtly, toning down their stances on political correctness, which will affect many of their policies. While these changes may not necessarily be extremely noticeable in the upcoming elections, as the rest of the generation comes of age, Republicans and Democrats alike will have to make major changes to their positions to compete for Generation Z’s votes.
Featured Image via CapitolPresence