The Republican Party as it is today is still very much the legacy of Ronald Reagan. It is a conservative movement and one in which mainly older generations feel at home. However, young people also feel part of the Republican movement and often have less of an affiliation with Ronald Reagan. This is something that Dayanna Volitich is particularly interested in. She is young, she is a pagan, she is educated, she is everything that most young people are, but she is also a Republican.
What Does it Mean to Be a Young Republican According to Dayanna Volitich
Since the 1950s, the gap between the Democrats and the Republicans and become increasingly large and most people believe that this will simply continue. The American political system is set to chronically polarized and it is unlikely that this will ever get better. However, some young people believe that the gap is actually narrowing and that there will even be a complete reverse of this course.
Indeed, studies have shown that the ideological principles of young people on both sides of the argument are not, in fact, that far apart anymore. The reason for this is that young people simply aren’t that conservative anymore. Indeed, they are a lot more liberal, even if that doesn’t mean they are completely left-winged yet. Rather, young Republicans are significantly further to the left than what their older counterparts are, while at the same time remaining to the right of the young Democrats. Young people, for instance, are more likely to support gay marriage, abortion, and other elements of choice.
A piece of research has shown that there are significant differences between the opinions of young Republicans and their older counterparts on virtually every topic. For instance, and other Republican is more likely to believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim and they are also more likely to listen to conservative radio shows. Indeed, many of the young people who identify as Republican will not identify as conservative. Indoors over the age of 65, at least 70% will say that they are conservative. Only 20% will call themselves moderate. Looking at Republicans under the age of 30, around 40% identifies as conservative and around 40% identifies as moderate.
According to Dayanna Volitich, this is down to what is known as “generational imprinting”. This is not a new concept, but rather something that was first developed in the 1950s. What it means is that young people face their personal political identity on where they are in their life when they first start paying attention to the world of politics. While many believe that young people develop their political identity based on that of their parents, either following it completely or rebelling against it completely, this is often not true. Instead, they based at political identity on what is going on in the world when they come close to voting age. The recent school shootings, for instance, make it far more likely that nearly voting young people will support a party that is pro gun control, even if they are from families that fully support gun ownership. That does not mean they will suddenly vote Democrat, but it doesn’t mean they no longer fully identify with what the Republican party traditionally stands for. According to some experts, this means that there will soon be a greater emphasis on the independent parties.