The Jordan Peterson Generation: Studies Show Gen Z is the Most Conservative Generation Ever!!!
Posted by Steve Turley ● Aug 24, 2020 9:55:22 PM
Are you familiar with what’s called the cultural backlash thesis? The term is derived from a book recently published by two university professors, Pippa Norris and Ronald Inglehart, who argue that the current political success of the Brexit referendum and nationalist populist leaders like Donald Trump in the U.S., Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, and Viktor Orban in Hungary is because of a backlash made up primarily of old white men. Motivated by a xenophobic resistance towards change, these voters are negatively reacting towards the inevitable demographic and cultural transformations initiated by increasingly non-white migrant populations. But the key to this thesis is that this resistance is only temporary, and that’s because we all know that the youngest voters are the most progressive and liberal ever! As these older white voters die out and young idealistic leftists take over, a massive woke wave will inevitably cover the globe.
While it is certainly true that demographics is destiny, there’s just one problem for this cultural backlash thesis: as it turns out, the latest studies are showing that Generation Z is the most conservative generation ever!
Yes, you read that right! Gen Z’ers, those born between 1997 and 2012, are turning out to be the most conservative generation on record.
Research from Wright State University on 1,200 Generation Z students at 15 different colleges and universities across the country found that Generation Z is actually more religious than previous generations; they attend church at twice the rate of millennials, Generation Xers, and baby boomers. Their propensity towards religion seems to be having a rather noticeable political effect among young voters in general. Though they tend to identify as politically independent, there’s a clear leaning towards conservative politicians and parties. Jeff Brauer, a political science professor at Keystone College, found that from 2012 to 2016, Democratic candidates lost 5 percent of the youth vote nationally (down from 60 percent to 55 percent). In Florida, Democrats’ margin of victory among the young dropped 16 percentage points. In both Ohio and Pennsylvania, the drop was 19 points. And in Wisconsin, it was 20 points. Because the lives of Generation Zers have been shaped by both 9-11 and the 2008 financial crisis, they appear particularly prone towards the politics of border security and economic nationalism as defended by the nationalist populist right. In fact, Pew studies cited by Roger Eatwell and Matthew Goodwin in their recent study on nationalist populism suggests that the share of high-school seniors who identify as conservative has increased to nearly 30 percent, making Gen Z more conservative than the ‘Gen X’ of the Reagan era.
Across the pond, a study conducted by the University of Sheffield and the University Southampton in the UK found that Britain’s young people are, in their words, ‘now far more right-wing and authoritarian in their political outlook than the previous generation.’ In fact, this research found that political attitudes have shifted further to the right with each of the last three generations. Eatwell and Goodwin document recent studies showing 41 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds and 58 percent of 25 to 49-year-olds believed that immigration was ‘too high’ in Britain.
And the most recent study from YouGov on British political sentiments is underscoring just how significant this turn to the right among Gen Z’ers really is. Eric Kaufmann of the University of London observes that Gen Zers under the age of 22 are considerably more conservative than those between the ages of 22 and 39! The last time there was a generational survey of political views, which was right after the Brexit vote, they found that the youngest voters were 40 points more liberal than the oldest voters; today it’s only 20 points more liberal. It’s been cut in half. Today, 18-year-old Brits are more rightwing than 22-year-olds, so much as so, that 18-year-olds in Britain are as rightwing as 40-year-olds!
We’re seeing similar political patterns among young people turning to the right throughout Europe. In the run-up to the French Presidential election, Marine Le Pen enjoyed support from almost 40% of French voters between the ages of 18 and 24, and at the time of the second round of voting in the election, she won 34% of the vote among those same 18 to 24-year-olds. Now, the significance of this percentage can be seen by comparing Le Pen’s support in 2012, when she first ran for president; back then, just a few years back, her support among voters under the age 25 was around 15%. So we’ve seen more than a doubling of support among the youngest segment of voters in a matter of just a few years.
We saw similar results in the Austrian presidential election back in December of 2016. The so-called far-right Austrian candidate Norbert Hofer won 42% of voters aged 29 or under. In Germany, the AfD, or the Alternative for Germany, has one of the youngest membership bases in German politics, with an average age of 47 years old. In the Netherlands, nearly 25 percent of Dutch people under the age of 35 supported Geert Wilders and the Dutch Freedom Party. The Golden Dawn in Greece gets its strongest support from those between the ages of 18-24. And in Poland, an astonishing two-thirds of voters between the ages 18 and 26 cast their ballots for the three right-wing parties, helping the largest of the three, the Law and Justice Party, sweep into power just a couple of years back.
One explanation for this massive shift towards the right is that Gen Z’ers have become what one commentator calls the Jordan Peterson Generation, that is, they have overwhelmingly rejected political correctness as utterly detestable. According to a study of over 8,000 people, 75 percent of those between the ages of 24 and 29 and 70 percent of those under 24 thought that political correctness was dangerous and damaging to our society.
Regardless, not only does the cultural backlash thesis fail in its progressive profile of the youngest voters in the West, it also assumes that young people who are politically progressive will remain so over the course of their lives. However, studies show that voters generally turn more to the political right as they age. An Oxford study published in the 2014 Electoral Studies Journal tracked the same people over a long period of time, and found that as each year passed there was a half percent increase in support for the rightwing Conservative Party among the people they surveyed. The study argued that over a lifetime, this marked shift to the right accounts for any difference in voting patterns between young and old, in that the old conservatives were the young liberals.
But what does this general pattern of turning more to the right over one’s lifetime mean when 18-year-olds are already as conservative as 40-year-olds? Proponents of the cultural backlash thesis will not only be disappointed by the political data destroying their progressive profile of young voters, but far from a future wave of wokeness, the anti-politically correct sentiments of our youngest voters promise nothing short of coming right-wing tsunami.
As it turns out, the cultural backlash has just begun.