While many people think of the youth of our country as being Republicans, which is not a bad thing, the truth is that the times have changed, and now, there is actually a visible gap between young and older generations of Republicans. Where does this real division come from? Social issues? There are a few things about this worth mentioning.
The Trends of the Younger Voters
A new Pew research study of generation Y shows that more than half of them identify as independents. With this classification many of them will vote for a Democrat rather than a Republican. This split is seen even in registered Republicans in this demographic. While they support free market, they tend to be more libertarian in their social beliefs. Despite the fact that there are some who would just assume that they are libertarians at heart, the truth is that this division in political stances is not uncommon.
What Social Issues are They Against?
While every person is different in where they stand politically, the biggest difference in social issues with younger generations is that they tend to be less conservative than older ones. For instance, at the Conservative Political Action Conference there was a guy with a colored Mohawk. This is something that is never seen at these conferences, so naturally he gained a lot of attention. Crazy hair and tattoos are not the only social issues that young Republicans support.
A growing number of young Republicans believe that the Republican war on gay marriage and marijuana legalization are misguided and unnecessary. Part of this is due to the fact that many are in support of these issues. In fact, a study showed that 56% of Republicans around 45 years of age and younger were in support of gay marriage, while only 29% of those over 45 supported this. Many of these younger voters see this as the civil rights movement of their time.
Many of the younger Republicans believe that these social issues are not really issues that the GOP should be addressing. Rather, many of them prefer to focus on the issue at hand, which is the economy. They believe that this is where the GOP should be focusing their time and energy, not on the social issues.
The Real Question – Can We All Get Along?
Unfortunately, many people are very stuck in their beliefs and cannot appreciate or respect the viewpoints of others. This is never going to change. What many older Republicans are concerned about is that the differences of the younger and older generations will create such a division between the groups that they form their own political party.
But does this mean that older voters have to abandon their beliefs to keep the party alive? Absolutely not! In fact, we can all still be part of the same party. Rather than focusing on the aspects that we disagree on, there is one thing that can bring all Republicans together and that is the aforementioned economy.
Remember that Parties Change with the Times
A final thought to take away is the fact that parties change with the times. While we are at a major turning point for our country, the parties are also changing. Even though there may be some growing pains, such as the division in the GOP, over time things will become easier.
In the 1860’s slavery was the social issue; in the 1920’s it was women’s suffrage; in the 1950’s there were segregation and civil rights for African Americans. Indisputably, many things change with the times, but you can still take the stance that is right for you without changing your party affiliation.