Can it be? Can young college students actually be turning away from social democratic liberalism? It seems so, when reading a study from UCLA [PDF]. In it, on page 7, it notes:
Figure 2 shows the change in political orientation for men and women from 2008 to 2012 in detail. Neither men nor women changed appreciably in identifying as “conservative” or “far right” in 2012, as roughly a quarter of incoming first-year men and one fifth of first-year women marked “conservative” or “far right” in both 2008 and 2012. By contrast, fewer men and women identified as “liberal” or “far left” in2012 compared with 2008. The proportion of left-leaning men dropped by nearly four percentage points from 2008 to 2012 (30.3% in 2008 vs. 26.4% in 2012) while the percentage of women identifying as liberal or far left dropped by approximately five percentage points (37.4% in 2008 vs. 32.3% in 2012).
Most of these students now consider themselves to be “moderate,” with moderate men increasing by 4% over 2008 numbers, and moderate women increasing by 4.5% in the same timeframe. Why not conservative? Easy—because 75% of incoming freshmen support same-sex marriage. Hard to be a conservative when you’re in support of that.
Interestingly, on four different areas, we see a strange mix. Support for Obamacare has dropped by about 7% since 2008. Support for legalized abortion has increased by 3% (roughly). Those who think racial discrimination is not a major problem in America have increased by 3%. Yet support for giving preferential treatment for students from disadvantaged social backgrounds has also increased by about 2.5%.
Hmm. Well, I can’t say this is quite libertarian…maybe left-libertarian? Yes, I’m sure the guys at Bleeding Heart Libertarians would have something to say on this. Maybe.
Meanwhile, in a Pew report, Obama lost 6% of the 18-29 vote between 2012 and 2008. Fool me once?
Regrettably, as the Pew article points out, more of that age demographic will say that government needs to do more to solve problems. I can’t for the life of me understand why. We’ve had government “doing more” to solve the economy the last four years. We’ve had it doing more to solve national security for the past twelve. None of government’s interventions, whether domestic or abroad, have helped. Surely young people understand this, as they light up a joint only to be carried away to the stocks by a government policeman.