Conservative Rebirth

They're calling it Generation Z.  Those born between roughly 1995 and 2010 are the most conservative generation in over 70 years, and the largest generation in terms of numbers.  They are about to become the next large voting demographic, replacing millennials, and they will have an obvious impact on the result of elections for a long time to come.

They care about societal issues, but they have little faith in government to get things done.  They believe, according to those who have studied them, in entrepreneurship, work, innovation, and fiscal conservatism.  They are fierce supporters of individualism and the personal freedoms enshrined by the Constitution.  According to Goldman Sachs, "A recent Harvard Business Review article suggested that nearly 70% of Gen-Z teens were 'self-employed' (e.g., teaching piano lessons, selling goods on eBay) vs. just 12% that held a 'traditional' teen job (e.g., waiting tables)"

They have never been without the Internet, and they've never needed to ask another human for directions or information.  They don't need to rely on politicians, professors, or the media for information or guidance - nor do they trust them.  They have become very good at sorting through massive amounts of data to discern the truth and the facts.  Their exposure to the real world through venues such as YouTube, Twitter, etc. provides them a more realistic view of the world than previous generations whose opinions were guided by Disney movies, Hollywood, and the media.

When 50,000 high school students aged 14-18 were polled prior to the election, they demonstrated support for Trump vs. Clinton by 46% to 31% with their primary concerns being education, gun rights, and health care.  Even the females of Generation Z broke for Trump over Clinton, by 3 points.  This trend cuts across geography (even internationally), race, and gender.  In fact, Generation Z in America is the most diverse generation to date, with a majority being non-white by 2020.

In my opinion, this shift makes a lot of sense, and is reminiscent of what happened during the Protestant Reformation.  When the Bible was translated into the languages of the people, rather than Latin, the common people were able to read the word of God directly.  They were no longer reliant upon Priests to tell them what to think and believe.  In the modern world, previous generations have been highly reliant upon authority figures such as politicians, professors, and the media to receive information, and told how to interpret that information, including how to think and believe.  Today, thanks to the Internet which has brought about the greatest democratization of knowledge and information since the Protestant Reformation and the Renaissance, people no longer need authorities to filter information, or provide guidance.  Today, people can simply go straight to the source via the Internet, analyze the data, and draw their conclusions directly.  

This level of freedom and independence, and an appreciation for the inefficiency and inaccuracy of government, academia, and the media can only lead to an increasingly conservative population that believes in self-reliance, and the principles of the Constitution more so than other recent generations.  This is a return to first principles moment for America, and as the most conservative generation in 70 years starts to vote, and becomes even more conservative as they grow older and wiser, we have reason to be optimistic about the future of the country.  Unquestionably, America has a mess to sort out, and a hole to dig out of, but this generation appears to be ready to roll up their sleeves and grab a shovel.


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