Wednesday, April 21, 2021

America's Future: A Look Down the Road

Our last couple of articles looked the decline of organized religion in America. In case you missed them, let's say it looks pretty bleak. The decline began in the 1960's, during the heyday of the Babyboomers, and its continued ever sense with nearly 40% of both Millennials and Gen Z identifying as agnostic or atheist.  But, religion is only part of the downward trend. Politics, or more precisely, partisan politics, is another trend which is on the decline too.

As most of you should know by now, partisan politics, that is, registration with a political party, has been on a death spiral for several decades and shows no indication of pulling out. This is particularly true for the two largest corporate owned parties, the Democrats and Republicans.

It used to be that practically everyone was either a Democrat or Republican. Not anymore. Independents are closing in on the 45% mark while about 32% remain Democrat and 25% to the Republicans.

The majority of Independents are Millennials (1981-1997) and Gen Z (1998-2012), followed by Babyboomers (1946 -1964) and Gen X (1965 -1980). Babyboomers used to be the largest generational demographic in history (69.56 million) until the Millennials came along (72.12 million). Gen Z is the third largest demographic (67.17 million), which is just ahead of Gen X (65.17 million).

"Boomers" were collectively known as the "Hippie" or "Flower power" generation. They were also called the "Me Generation" since everything tended to be about them because of their numbers and disposable income's affect on the economy. When it came to politics, Boomers tended to lean to the Left; at least the first cohort (1946 -1954) did. These were your stereotypical "Beatniks" and Hippies. They were all about "free love", peace, and drugs.

Politically, they were optimistic about the future. They bragged about embracing Marx, socialism (or even Communism) and idealized individuals like Che Guevara. They were involved with the early anti-war protests, the Civil Rights movement, and Cesar Chavez's farm labor movement. The second Boomer cohort (1955-1964) turned out to be a bit more conservative.

They were also much more pessimistic. They were involved with the radicalization of the anti-war movement, which also came to include the Feminist movement, the LGBT movement, the Environmental movement, and the pro-Native American movement (such as AIM---American Indian Movement) to restore Native lands and honor treaties.

They were defined by the Kent State shootings, the Weathermen, SLA, Black Panthers, Watergate and Nixon's resignation, and forced bussing. More so than their older siblings, they were part of the "greed is good" mindset, the Go Go 1980's and Reaganism. It was disco, sex, and drugs for them.

Today, it's the Millennials and Generation Z. Overall, both groups are pretty Left leaning. A large segment (70%) of Millennials support some form of socialism, while a smaller number likes libertarianism. Neither group favor partisanship, and both dislike being labeled.

Millennials are more likely than not to be registered as Independent, followed by Democrat, and lastly, as Republican. The same can be said of Gen Z. Millennials are the highest educated demographic to date, however, Gen Z shows signs that they'll likely overtake Millennials in that regard. 

In addition, Gen Z is also more likely to pursue a career in trades or vocational school than the Millennials. 38% of Gen Z identify as liberal. 27% as moderate, and 18% as Conservative. Among other voter groups, 37% identified as liberal, 30% as moderate, and 35% as conservative.

Both groups show similar interest in the climate (which they believe is warming thanks mainly to deforestation and industrialization), and in racial and gender issues. Gen Z is by far the most racially diverse demographic in recent history with 40% being Hispanic. Additionally, 60% identify as LGBTQ (of that, 72% are bisexual). They also say that minorities routinely face discrimination, especially blacks.

What's important to note about these issues is that both groups, but especially Gen Z, have said these are key issues when it comes to either religion or politics. In short, whether it's a church or political party, they have to be open when it comes racial and ethnic diversity, sexual identity or climate warming.

While both groups believe there is an inherit "racist bias" built into society, Generation Z is the most active in that regard.  63% of Gen Z is very supportive of the protests we had last year. 61% support the protesters themselves, despite all the vandalism, looting, and arson they committed.  As an aside, 68% of Gen Z  support BLM while 48% oppose the actions of the police.

By contrast, 51% of older registered voters supported the protests while 42% oppose them, including 43% of Silents. 49% support the protesters while 44% oppose them. 54% back BLM. 39% of older voters don't. 66% support the police compared to 28% who don't.

It's worth noting that not just 70% of Gen Z believe in a larger and more pro-active government,  so does 64% of Millennials,  53% of Gen X, and 49% of Boomers. By contrast, 61% of Silents (1928-1945) disagree. Silents, by the way, are the children of the WWII "Great Generation", who grew up during the Great Depression, the War Years, and the subsequent post-war  "boom" years of Truman and Eisenhower.

Both groups favor some form of democratic socialism with a progressive free market similar to some of the Scandinavian countries. In addition to the above, 70% of Gen Z believe that a larger and more activist government could end income inequality, provide universal healthcare similar to Canada, provide universal subsidized housing and childcare, a base income, and tuition free college.

In discussing politics, it's worth mentioning that although Joe Biden won the recent presidential election, he did so only with the reluctant support of Gen Z. 45% admitted that they specifically voted against Trump rather than for Biden. By contrast, just 26% of the other demographics said they specifically voted against Trump not for Biden (thus, Biden became the "anybody but Trump" candidate).

Furthermore, 77% of Gen Z disapproved of Trump's job performance as did 68% of Millennials and 52% of Babyboomers. Gen X was about even, with a slight edge against Trump's performance. The only group which strongly supported Trump's job performance was the Silents.

Another important figure to keep in mind is the 2020 was the first time that the number of Millennials and Gen Z equaled that of Gen X, Babyboomers, Silents, and the Greatest Generation combined.  By 2028, Millennials and Gen Z will dwarf these four groups. To put it another way, by 2028, politics will be dominated (and perhaps dictated) by the Millennial and Gen Z generations. So what does that mean?

America has been on a leftward trajectory since the late 1960's with small deviations inserted periodically (Ford, Reagan, Bush I and II, and Trump). The combined efforts by the Babyboomers (mainly the first cohort), Millennials, and Gen Z has been toward a democratic socialist country akin to Sweden or Denmark.

Meanwhile, the second Babyboomer cohort and Gen X has given us some ideological balance to the Right. Nevertheless, the sheer numbers all but ensures that the conservatives are in serious trouble unless they can swing the Gen Z crowd.

But despite the leftward tilt of the country, the Democrats have nothing to cheer about. First off, both parties are owned by Corporate America. We are a Corporatocracy run by a handful of mega rich and powerful Oligarchs. This, by definition, indicates neo-fascism. The Republic is dead in all but name.

Any "socialism" will likely be superficial; just enough to appease the masses as they say. It will equalize what remains of the middle and lower classes while excluding the upper tier. We will transform from nationalistic citizens to global consumers. Our "loyalties" will be to products, not nations.

Despite the fact that voters are abandoning both parties in droves and becoming Independent, the political system is still very much in charge, thanks to its corporate overseers and levels of corruption.  Still, the Democratic Party would like to remove their chief competitor, the Republicans, like any other sensible crime family would.

To do that, they need more numbers, and that's only going to happen by allowing illegal immigrants into the country as fast as they can, and then either giving them "amnesty" or removing the means whereby they can be identified as illegals. That means eliminating voter identification, which also helps to increase fraud in Democratic controlled inner cities.

The end result will be a GOP with a small, mainly rural, base.  In a worse case scenario (or best case, depending on your perspective), the Democrats will dominate national elections and many of the larger cities, with the GOP getting what's left over. Both parties will remain under the thumb of their corporate overlords as they continue to deny majority Independents and third parties a voice.

America will remain a surveillance state under a corporate/government neo-fascist partnership. In time, it could (and will likely) morph into a full fledge police state, especially if its citizenry loses its right to bear arms, and corporate pressure to restrict free speech and assembly continues (particularly on social media, which is the number one preference of Millennials and Gen Z for news and current events). 

Meanwhile, technology will become more personally invasive. 70% of Gen Z already believe it's the solution to all our problems and 61% think it could solve income inequality. I think compliance will not be requested. It will be expected.  I wonder what happens when they find out it was all a lie? What do you think?


In Defense Of Liberty

6 things to know about Gen Z, politics, and 2020

On the Cusp of Adulthood...

Generation Z and Religion: What New Data Show

Election Statistics Show Growing Percentage of IndependentVoters






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