As liberals continue to push extreme measures throughout Washington State, many young people are starting to revolt. They understand that the more powerful government advocated by Democrats will erode the freedoms our country was founded on. The result is more young people are looking to conservatives for answers.
To reflect the growing audience for conservative values among young people, Shift will be running more articles from younger authors. Below is the first article from high school senior Laura Wright.
I’m a Zoomer.
That’s what we “kids” – members of Generation Z – are calling ourselves these days. I am also a conservative, which is not something that you hear out loud from us Zoomers born between 1995 and 2012.
Considering that the stereotype of the younger generations seems to be that we’re all aspiring socialist snowflakes, it generally surprises people when I say that I am an outspoken conservative. However, as a Washington State resident, I have usually felt like the minority when faced with the masses of progressive youngbloods filling out their ballots in liberal lockstep.
A reminder of this feeling came from reading a recent Seattle Times article about the city’s shifting demographics over the last decade. Gene Balk reflects on the city’s rapidly-changing population and the last point in his piece caught my eye: Millennials and Gen-Zers are quickly becoming a significant plurality of Seattle’s population – “As of 2018, there were more than 240,000 people age 25-to-39 living in Seattle — that’s one in three city residents.” This fact is more than reflected in recent elections, as Seattle and its nearby suburbs are trending more and more liberal with each election.
What startles me is just how far left Millennials (born between 1977 to 1994) and Zoomers are skewing. No longer is this President Barack Obama’s party of professed moderation; rather, the emerging Democrats are on the cusp of Socialist tendencies – with the loudest voices seemingly already beyond this point. Just consider that the strongest supporters of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders – a self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist, who will not even call himself a Democrat – are those under the age of 40.
In searching for answers to this leftward lurch, one possible reason for this may relate to the Great Recession. The two youngest generations weren’t around to see the brutal realities of some of the more famous socialist and communist regimes around the world. This isn’t something they’ve had to experience.
However, they were just in time to witness the Great Recession, which devastated our economy and more than likely affected their own family when they were children or young adults. They have seemingly grown too comfortable simply blaming the problems they see in the economy on corporate greed and capitalist globalization. This undoubtedly pushed Millennials and Zoomers away from supporting free enterprise and at the same time left them desiring elected officials promising bigger government with more control over their lives.
These formed beliefs are now influencing Seattle’s elections and culture. The 2019 elections saw a new generation of far-left candidates elected to the city council, with proud Socialist Kshama Sawant coming from behind to win a third term on the backs of her younger, late-voting constituents. This new council is already promising to continue and expand the stream of extreme legislation to come out of Seattle, from head taxes to rent control.
This young and overwhelmingly leftist influx also spells trouble for the rest of the state, as Washington’s statewide election results have been depressingly blue for close to 40 years, around the same time the first Millennials entered school. The last Republican president to receive Washington’s electoral votes was Ronald Reagan in 1984, which was the same election that sent our last Republican governor packing from Olympia.
I am troubled that my generation may well be the one that most likely cements Washington’s status as blue state for the foreseeable future, moving beyond the statewide level to our state legislature, with only Eastern Washington remaining largely conservative. As an Eastern Washington resident, I certainly don’t feel well represented when my Puget Sound-area generational counterparts make poor decisions in the name of “justice.”
I can only hope that my friends and peers will begin to wake up and understand that having the government running our entire lives and giving everyone everything for “free” are not only incredibly irrational ideas, but also ones that will cost them much more than they think in the long run.
Laura Wright is a high school senior with a passion for conservative politics. She has had a lifelong dream to write professionally and plans to pursue a major in Communications next year.