Posted by: thebylog | October 16, 2008

Why Aren’t 90% of Americans Liberal?

Here’s what I can’t figure out: If young people of every American generation tend to be liberal, why aren’t liberals overwhelmingly the majority in our society today?

I ask this question because a College Republican, in the school newspaper, noted something which amounted to a concession that the considerable majority of college students tend to be left-leaning.  Barack Obama’s campaign has certainly made this point an obvious one.

I don’t know enough American political history to know, but either standards of “liberal” and “conservative” shift over time (which I know is true to some extent), people “grow out” of their liberal views, or it hasn’t always been that young people are liberal.



  1. Honestly, I think the rise in Independents shows that you can no longer call Americans as simply liberal/conservative – Democrat/Republican. America is becoming more diverse and more diverse in it’s political views.

    Right now, it’s safe to say that the country is leaning to the left economically, but judging by the presidential candidates picked, it still remains strongly socially conservative.

    I’d also place a strong bet that the economic liberalism could swiftly change if things don’t dramatically change in our government and economy under Obama’s hand. He has a tall order on his plate, but he also has a lot of people behind him.

  2. I had a history prof once who noted that once people became property owners they tended to shift toward the conservative politically.

  3. Bad judgment and unrealistic idealism are both traits of youth. While certainly these traits are not the exclusive domain of liberals, their policies do seem to trend that direction. After 25 (the car insurance age), the average person will become quite a bit more level headed and realistic.

  4. I had a history prof once who noted that once people became property owners they tended to shift toward the conservative politically.

    Interesting. I’m sure it’s probably true for property owners in the traditional sense, but it seems that those subprime mortgages (and those with subsequent property “ownership”) for the “underserved and underprivileged” by Fannie and Freddie (pushed by the Dems) that helped crash the financial system are still strongly liberal. But then again, they aren’t really property owners as many have a small or negative equity on the house.

  5. I think having children conservatizes people.

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