The political pendulum is an ever-swinging paradigm in the United States, wherein exists the perpetual exchange of socio-political empowerment between left-wing and right-wing ideologies. Arguably, the pendulum has been swinging for centuries, if not for a millennia; however, in the United States, it is best recognized as coming to the public’s attention in the 1960s. The 60s mark a clear departure from the conservative social stances held in the earlier 1900s, evident by the Sexual Revolution, Jacques Derrida’s interpretive deconstructionism (which would go on to ruin academia), and the settling of the Marxist Institute of Social Research in Frankfurt, Germany.
From this momentous decade forward, the American entertainment of failed leftist social and political policies would plague the Western world until the mythological advent of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
Postmodernists, deconstructionists, and Marxists have therefore enjoyed nearly unchallenged supremacy in institutions of higher education, religious formation, and social activism. This can be attributed to a multitude of factors, but the most obvious may, in fact, be the most overlooked.
Professors and priests, who inarguably lead the Western world in regards to one’s social and political formation, are old. TIAA-CREF researcher Dr. Paul J. Yakoboski estimated that 73% of tenured professors are between the ages of 60 and 66, and that the remaining amount were likely above the age of 66; moreover, according to a study conducted by the National Catholic Reporter, the average age of priests in the United is 59.
This places the birthdate of the majority of the world’s most influential individuals in the realm of social and political issues in the Sixties, a time notorious for the revolt of young people against conservative social norms. Unsurprisingly, those born into this generation of countercultural trends and the construction of leftism as a fashionable social ideology are influenced by such innovative worldviews.
This has led to the contemporary educated class of people in the United States to passively adopt a discernably leftist framework. This is evident in the constant parroting about the supposedly great evils of capitalism, gender roles, masculinity, tradition, and nationalism.
This paradigm, however, is quickly decaying. Those born into the leftist utopian philosophical era of the Sixties are beginning to retire or pass away, leaving other generations to run the world in their stead. As a result, conservativism is coming back into fashion, so to speak, notably in relation to religion, gender roles, and marriage.
Only 26% of Baby Boomers, or those born closely after the WWII era (approx. 1945-1965), identified as religious when polled. That number saw a slight decrease to 21% when the same question was offered to Generation X, and proceeded to drop to a mere 18% for Millennials. According to a U.S. study in 2016, Dr. Joan Hope discovered that 47% of GenZennials identified as religious churchgoers, and that an additional 31% claimed to be spiritual but not religious. That means that approximately 78% of the young adults being raised in the U.S. are vehemently against the anti-traditionalist sentiment expressed by their generational predecessors.
Additionally, the majority of Generation Z believes that the U.S. is heading in the wrong direction, and the approval rating among GenZenniels for the U.S.’s current economic direction is a pathetic 24%. This is likely due to Generation Z’s inadvertent exposure to the product of the Great Recession and the drastic increase in the cost of higher education.
There is also apparent displeasure or disaffectedness towards the modern American democratic system. This past election cycle, 32% of GenZenniels aged 14-18 expressed approval for Donald J. Trump while only 22% supported Hillary Clinton. However, a whopping 31% refused to support either candidate. Generation Z is, therefore, a more conservative than even the Republican Party in its current state, disappointed with the two-faced coin that is the U.S.’s contemporary electoral system.
To boil it down to a point, the age of progressivism is coming to an end. Those born into the most liberal American decade, second only perhaps to the 2010s, are beginning to die off, and their anti-conservative stances are being questioned by masses of young people. Being raised in a world of gender fluidity, anti-capitalist sentiment, and the belief that anything remotely resembling authoritarianism is of the Devil, Generation Z is beginning to view conservative values as a new type of counterculture, akin to the appeal leftism had for those born in the Sixties.
The election of Donald Trump to the presidency is evident of the rapidly-declining world of leftist progressivism. Indeed, Antifa is a violent, loud, over-covered movement resembling the ideological continuation of the older world-leaders who enforced their Marxist rhetoric into their worldview; however, a dying man screams louder than a nurturing child. Leftism is dying in the United States, and right-wing ideology is being nurtured by the advent of conservatism being the new counterculture, questioning the liberal bias prevalent in nearly every academic approach to social and political issues.
Brace yourselves, because the pendulum is swinging, and this time, it’s swinging harder than ever.