Why Millennials Don’t Follow the Liberal Narrative

presenter-1206345_960_720-e1493237593906-300x200 Why Millennials Don't Follow the Liberal Narrative

“millennials are much more likely to identify themselves as conservative than members of Generation X”

The standard narrative about today’s millennials is that they are unpredictable. They are very fluid and undefined. Despite this changeability, most people automatically assume
that millennials are predictably liberal.

The facts, however, tell a different story. Researchers who study the habits and attitudes of millennials do not support this forgone conclusion. Indeed, liberal-minded people are finding these unpredicted results to be unsettling.

To liberals, millennials are free to be unpredictable as long as they are not conservative. That is why they are irate when the find millennials holding positions they are not supposed to be holding. On some issues, they are actually more traditional than their parents.

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What Do Millennials Think?

Millennials (born between 1982 and the early 2000s), hold a surprising set of views as they now finish high school, enter college and form families. According to sociologists Joanna Pepin of the University of Maryland and David Cotter of Union College, graduating seniors today are astonishingly more conservative than former classes.

Take for example the fact that only 42% of American high school seniors in 1994 agreed that the best kind of family was one in which the man was the outside bread earner and the woman took care of the home. In 2014, 58% held this opinion. The two sides have flipped in twenty short years.

Other surveys have confirmed these findings. A 2016 study was published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. It collected data from three surveys that monitored the last three generations following about 10 million American adults from 1970 to 2015. The paper found that millennials are much more likely to identify themselves as conservative than members of Generation X or even the baby boomers when they were the same age. They are also more polarized.

Why Liberals Are Worried

Of course, many millennials still hold very liberal views. However, the fact that significant numbers, and even majorities, hold contrary views threatens the forward motion of social and sexual revolutionary movements. When movements lose their dynamism, they easily stagnate.

Many older liberals, who fought hard to push through their permissive reforms, are fearful that the millennials will ruin by their new views all the progress in the field of social equality gained since the sixties. The “gender” revolution, for example, is now stalled and looking for a jumpstart.

“If they persist with these attitudes,” says researcher Dan Cotter, “they are not likely to be pushing for organizational or societal changes in those family arrangements.”

Why Are Millennials Taking These Stands?

Researchers can only conjecture as to why millennials are not following the liberal narrative, especially regarding the family. According to the leftist progressive view of history, youth over time should be getting more liberal, not less.

One intriguing theory is that millennials are actually being consistent with what liberals preach but actually don’t practice. Researchers Pepin and Cotter attribute these attitudes to what is called “egalitarian essentialism,” a view that all views are equal including the traditional ones.

If liberalism is all about freedom, they reason, then as long as women are not prevented from choosing careers, there is nothing wrong with freely choosing traditional family roles. Liberals worry that such reasoning will revert back to limiting career choices for women. It again seems that millennials should be free to choose anything they want… as long as it is not traditional.

Not Enough Government Support

Predictably, other scholars claim the reason for a return to more traditional values can be blamed squarely on a lack of government support. Millennials would be more open to other career and family options if they were provided with affordable childcare and paid parental leave.

They claim that the lack of government programs forces millennials to resort to default solutions such as the traditional family. Massive government programs would provide the logistics for millennials to freely choose more liberal career options and promote gender equality. Such European-like welfare programs will also make Americans happy.

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Such simplistic analysis tends to reduce the family to an economic entity in which parental care and other family matters can be delegated to government. It tends to make happiness depend upon material success. It fails to realize that the family is more than just an economic unit. It is also a rich cultural, social and religious unit upon which all society is based.

Stressed-out Families

One convincing explanation is that many millennials have watched their parents try to juggle two careers and saw how stressful it was. Others saw their families fall apart with divorce or single parenthood. When the family falls apart, a whole world unravels.

These millennials desire for their children the childhood they never had. Despite all the pressure to pursue options outside the family, it is no surprise that the traditional family is a real option that still draws the newer generations. It is the natural default position. Nature itself supports this ingenious union that provides for the education of children and the mutual affection of spouses.

It is also no surprise that it is the only option that radical liberals insist upon excluding. They know that healthy loving families will naturally give rise to more conservative and traditional values.

If these values take hold, the outcome, like millennials, will be unpredictable.

as seen on americanthinker.com

  • independent_forever

    Liberalism is nothing but EMPTY PROMISES and now everyone knows it. The disintegration of the family & lack of moral foundation (Religious faith) are the single largest factors at why our culture has deteriorated this way and everything else has followed suit. You simply cannot have a moral culture when you have only relativistic ideologies where there are no absolute truths and no faith-based beliefs to ground you. As a species, we’ve become arrogant and lost belief in anything we cannot see, hear, taste or touch and insult and disrespect those who do have faith in something greater than themselves—it is unfortunate. The most important things in most people’s lives seem to be their phones and facebook…nothing but empty promises as usual..follow the shiny objects….

  • Niko

    Great article: common sense, a kick in the ass brought on by being “scared straight” by the parents… and above all the willingness to be part of history under Natural Law and (Genesis 1:28). Since they believe in the nuclear family unit, religion should be right there fur them as God said , go forth,be fruitful and multiply…


    I would like to add something that seems to have been overlooked, namely that each generation, unless mentally deficient, is born with the ability to reason things out for themselves. Before I was a teenager (in 1950), I had figured out that, in view of the obvious, deterioration in behavior of the teenage and young adult generation, when that generation grew up and had children, then without any moral guidance, that new generation would have really bad behavioral problems, and what would their children be like? Well, the answers are in, and do I need to spell them out? My parents were divorced and I was not a Catholic then, but I independently decided from my own observations that I would avoid divorce myself and among other things, that led me to the faith. We had some communist teachers at the time, but that did not convince me to become one of them. What I am getting at is that every new generation is able to look around and figure things out, to see where trends are leading. This is why the younger generation is observing the obvious failure of liberalism and reacting in a sensible manner.

    • Ted Mcmahon

      One other thing that may have been overlooked is the exponential growth of large, joyful Christian / Catholic families that have added to the numbers of millenials, some of whom are now starting solidly traditional families of their own.

  • chris

    i thought all hope was lost. i still do, on the natural level. but let’s hope john is right about this.

    • KareemAbdul

      Hope must never be lost.
      Pray the Most Holy Rosary daily.
      The second Hail Mary is for Hope.

      Keep it alive.

  • geo

    I hope you’re correct in your assessment of millenials John. And I wholeheartedly hope and pray that you are right, but the vast majority of my nephews are pretty progressive and don’t care much about conservative Christian values, and much less about going to Holy Mass.

  • Frances O’Dair

    I believe God intends the older generations, whose lives have been happy and successful, will give the final Testament of His great love in and through His Holy Trinity. Our lives testify to the value and necessity of the truths and teachings of the Old and New Testaments. We know the mind and heart of the Father, through the witness of Jesus. We have His Holy Spirit within us and it’s time to be open to Him and truly understand how He has been with us throughout our lives. Each person needs to delve into their own heart and mind to find that He has been with us all the time. We need only to look at the people around us to know whether He is alive or has been abandoned. Jesus breathed His Holy Spirit into His apostles. Faithful Christians continue to breathe our Holy Spirit into the hearts and minds of others through our thoughts, words and deeds. Perhaps this is a time when the oldest and youngest can begin a dialogue of witness and true Christian Faith, Hope and Charity.

  • Carmen Sepulveda

    Maybe Millenials are realizing the Liberal narrative is made up of lies. In the late 60s Feminists started telling women they could have it all. They could be totally independent. Women didn’t need a husband to get ahead and their children didn’t need a father. Women, in effect, could be t