September 2, 2003
TOO CALLOW TO TRUST A SOCIETY TOIdeological Crossroads: Gen X Marks the Spot (Darren K. Carlson, September 2, 2003, Gallup)
A special analysis of Gallup data on the politics of Americans between the ages of 25 and 38 -- post-baby boomers who correspond roughly to "Generation X" -- points toward a more conservative ideology than one might expect, given their relatively young age. Two survey questions focusing on respondents' stances on social and economic issues shed light on where Gen Xers stand ideologically.
The famous 1960's admonition to "never trust anybody over 30" alluded to people's penchant to grow more conservative as they get older. Gallup's data suggest that this transition toward conservatism may occur closer to age 40 than age 30.
When asked about their views on social issues, the youngest American adults (18- to 24-year-olds) skew slightly liberal, with 36% saying they are liberal on social issues, compared to 27% who say they are conservative (another 36% say they are moderate on social issues). Gen Xers are more ideologically balanced: 31% identify themselves as liberal, 33% as conservative, and 34% as moderates.
That shift toward conservative thought on social issues plays out among Gen Xers' elders: among those aged 39 and older, just 19% say they are liberal on social issues, while 40% are conservative and 38% say they are moderates.
Which is why the franchise should be curtailed, with a hike in the voting age--to 25--heading the list of reforms. Posted by Orrin Judd at September 2, 2003 8:41 PM