Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

College freshmen more politically minded?

This annual survey of freshmen, also described here says so. Another interesting factoid: the proportion of freshmen calling themselves liberal (28.4%) is the highest since 1975, while the proportion calling themselves conservative (23.9%) is the highest ever.

Discussions - 8 Comments

I could have told you. Politics is big with the incoming crowd, and they are sharply divided, but do NOT fight about it. They argue, disagree and then say, "Oh well. That’s your opinion." Whereas my political generation were at one another’s throats in the classroom.

I think it’s interesting that half the kids refuse to identify with EITHER side, and I find that very refreshing indeed. This is the generation that will get something accomplished.

Not to be a killjoy, Daniel, but your math does not make sense. If the percentage of students identifying themselves as liberal is at a 30-year high and the percentage of students identifying themselvs as conservative is at an all-time-high, then it would seem that there have been more students in (at least the) last thirty years that do not claim an affiliation than there are today. Which means your assertion that "this is the generation that will get something accomplished" is pretty counterintuitive, especially if you take the general political equivalent of moral relativism mentioned by "Kate" to be true.

What is so conservative about these kids? They are pro-life, but that’s just about it. They are also in favor of increasing environmental regulation, regressive taxation, etc. Not that conservative.

Sonya is right to point out that Dan is somewhat counterintuitive... Of course she is also wrong. Because if Kate is right then Dan’s point becomes less other words if there is what Sonya calls "the general political equivalent of moral relativism" Then this means that although more politically self-identified by and large...those who do identify with a side are not millitant about it. Which presumably means that they are open to argumentation. In other words the general political equivalent of moral relativism would count as a good thing by bringing the partisans of each group as a whole closer to those who refuse to identify with either side. In a static sense Daniel’s logic makes no sense, but by discounting increased partisanship via a willingness to agree to disagree, or what you call moral relativism it makes perfect sense. Of course this just goes to show that you can read anything you really want to into these sorts of results. You can rejoice that 23.9% identify themselves as conservatives...or as Conservative? does you can ask: by which measure?

By which measure is always the question...In what context? What does this static number tell the measure continuous? What seems counterintuitive on one level is intuitive on another...what one person wants to trumpet another wants to deflate and debunk.

Okay, I’ll simplify - I was wrong. We ARE all still doomed.

I think it’s just an effect of the information-saturated age we live in; between Cobert and John Stewart, a dozen 24/7 news channels, and the world-wide web it’s small wonder more young people have staked their claim. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if the larger conservative numbers are reflective of the fact that conservatives are simply out-breeding the liberals.

It doesn’t much matter what people call themselves. What matters is where they line up on issues. And how they vote.

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