New York Times Washington correspondent David Leonhardt wrote an interesting analysis of a key political chasm: Young voters Vs. Old voters:
Beyond political parties, the two have different views on many of the biggest questions before the country. The young not only favor gay marriage and school funding more strongly; they are also notably less religious, more positive toward immigrants, less hostile to Social Security cuts and military cuts and more optimistic about the country’s future. They are both more open to change and more confident that life in the United States will remain good.
If there is a theme unifying these economic and political trends, in fact, it is that the young are generally losing out to the old. On a different subject, Warren E. Buffett, 81, has joked that there really is a class war in this country — and that his class is winning it. He could say the same about a generational war…
And while today’s young are not down-the-line liberal — they favor private accounts for Social Security and have reservations about government actions to protect online privacy — they certainly lean left….Shortly after Mr. Bush won re-election in 2004, just when the age gap was emerging, his chief campaign strategist, Matthew Dowd, wrote a memo to other top Bush aides urging them not to assume that a new Republican majority was emerging. The exit polls, he wrote to Karl Rove and others, showed that younger voters had voted strongly Democratic, and those voters would be in the electorate for a long time to come.
“They don’t think the Republican Party thinks like them,” much as older voters feel alienated by what they see as today’s immigrant-embracing, gay-friendly, activist-government Democratic Party, Mr. Dowd said last week. “I don’t expect these younger voters to wake up all of a sudden when they’re 38 years old and say, ‘I was for gay marriage before, but now I’m against it.’ ”
So much for age automatically bringing wisdom. Can’t these confused older voters see the colossal mistakes they made by voting for Rush Limbaugh and David Koch economic policies? Can’t they see that Pat Robertson social policies do nothing but cause strife and division, which weakens America?
If these older voters care about the future of their children, they would do well to lean left with them. Because if they keep going right they will fall off a cliff, jeopardizing their own family’s future — in the perverse name of family values.