A new generation is starting to finally emerge from childhood and into young adulthood. Many are finally going to be able to drive, start working, or even vote in the next election. These young adults are all members of Generation Z.
Every generation has its characteristics and stereotypes. Starting off, the Traditionalists were practical rule followers. They grew up respecting authority and learned to be patient. Baby Boomers were similar, and shaped into ambitious workaholics. Then, Generation X starting to break away from the norm. They became skeptical and starting taking risks. Finally, along came Millennials, who are great with technology always strive to be diverse and create change.
Where Generation Z stands is yet to be determined. However, one thing is noted: They are much more conservative than their predecessors.
The Gild decided to test this theory, and found that Generation Z is one of the most conservative generations since the Baby Boomers. Their study surveyed over 2,000 people, asking questions about money, marriage, marijuana, tattoos, and more.
When it came to their “attitudes towards issues such as same sex marriage, transgender rights, and marijuana legalization,” Generation Z was the second most conservative. 59% were “moderate to conservative,” while 79% Traditionalists answered the same. On the contrary, only 16% of Millennials answered the same.
This trend continued onto topics like “saving money” and “tattoos,” where Generation Z far surpassed the last two generations in terms of how conservative they are. This shift comes down to one main idea: Conservatism is the new counterculture.
Throughout history, teenagers and children often rebel against their parents. Due to resentment and anger, they will do things outside of their parents’ approval. Smoking weed, joining gangs, sneaking out at night are all activities that teenagers have done.
Over the course of history, these activities turn into philosophies, which carry over to political movements. Some that are brought to mind are the hippy movement (60s), punk rock movement (80s), emo culture (90s), and the social justice warrior movement (00s). From the 60s onward, most of the counterculture movements have been liberal, since the parents of the children were more conservative. Thus, Generation X and Millenials grew up with a more liberal mindset after rebelling against their conservative parents.
Today however, conservatism is the new counterculture. With schools becoming more liberal, and with movements like BLM, ANTIFA, Planned Parenthood, NeverTrump, the default political identify has been that of the left. For the first time in years, children are rebelling as conservatives.
From the onslaught, children have been lectured about racism, white supremacy, privileged, sexism, misogyny, Islamophobia and rape-culture, as if it plagued the west, or even existed at all.
Simple actions of young adults are being described as “bigoted” and some people feel as though they can’t speak their mind due to being labeled. With children growing up in this type of culture, they are sure to want to break free. And today the effects are starting to be seem.
Teenagers are growing up watching celebrities like Pewdiepie, who constantly call out mainstream media and identity politics for being foolish. Generation Z is not clinging to identity politics the way Millennials have.
The new conservative movement benefits most from Generation Z, and it just so happens that their leader is the current president. Some republicans and conservatives feared that children would grow up in schools learning that people like Donald Trump were racist bigots. After being called similar names, Generation Z is much more likely to listen to Trump than believe these rumors.
Now, President Trump is “cool” for young adults. A successful billionaire who battled against the establishment is a power figure for young conservatives to look up to. 10 to 15 years into the future, this may become a major political movement for America.