The Republican Party has a youth problem. The numbers don’t look good long-term for the GOP. David Brooks at the New York Times wrote about this issue in his opinion piece “The Coming GOP Apocalypse.” The premise of the article is that the GOP might become the permanent minority if they don’t convert more of the nation’s youth to the Republican side.
Syndicated columnist George Will has said that young voters view the Republican Party as the “dumb party.” Will told CNBC that “these are the same young people who say they have warm feelings about socialism, but all they mean by that is that socialism means everyone being sociable and nice to one another. They haven’t thought it through, because the same people who are suspicious, who like socialism, are suspicious of government, so I think that they’re uninformed at this point. But the Republican Party is doing its very best to drive them away permanently.”
Do the numbers back up Will and Brooks’ claim?
Answer: Unfortunately, yes.
If the 2018 Mid-Term election results are any indication, Conservatives should be worried—very worried. Voters between the ages of 18-29 voted Democrat by a 2-to-1 margin; 67% of voters between the ages of 18-39 voted for the Democrats. Winston Churchill is said to have proclaimed that “any man who is under 30 and is not a liberal has no heart, and any man who is over 30 and is not a conservative has no brains.”
This quote reflects the long-held belief that young people tend to vote liberal and get progressively more conservative as they get older. However, in the mid-term election, this trend did not hold: 60% of voters between the ages of 40-49 voted for the Democrats.
Even more disturbing is the recent study by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. The study finds that 52% of millennials would rather live in a socialist or communist society. Only 40% of millennials would like to live in a capitalist society. A large percentage of Americans have never been taught about Communism at any level of their education. Many of them can’t accurately define socialism. Half of Americans think modern-day European welfare states are socialist, which is completely inaccurate. Socialism is defined by the government owning the means of production and outlawing private property.
Young Americans today seem to lack basic knowledge of civics and American history. According to the recent FLAG/YouGov State of American Patriotism Report, 46% of younger Americans don’t believe that America is the greatest country on earth; 38% don’t believe America has a history to be proud of; 84% don’t know all the rights enshrined in the First Amendment; and 44% believe Barack Obama had a bigger impact on America than George Washington.
This represents a lack of education on the part of American millennials, but they shouldn’t be held completely at fault for this. Instead, our current education system deserves most of the blame. On college campuses, the Democrats outnumber Republican faculty members by a 10:1 ratio, and 40% of colleges surveyed have ZERO Republican professors. Democrats dominate Republicans at the public school level, as well. In the 2016 Election, the two largest teacher unions gave nearly all their campaign donations to liberal candidates and causes.
Our education system is run by members of the Democratic Party, who use their power to push a curriculum that is slanted towards their worldview. Not knowing any better, it is easy to see why the people they educate tend to vote for Democrats.
Will this demographic shift be the end of the GOP?
Time will tell. However, it should be noted that these predictions have been made before, and still haven’t materialized. As George Will mentioned, the younger generation is skeptical of government. That is something the Republican Party can use as a talking point to reach out to the younger generation.
They need to find a message that works, and they need to do it quickly before it’s too late.