“Gen Z actually like and trust their parents, who have been transparent with them, much more than any generation before.” – Professor Jeff Brauer
What comes to mind when you think of the term, “Millennial?” Perhaps the same thing that comes to my mind: a cringe. Millennials have been branded with an unfortunate orb of whiny entitlement. The generation who looks for safe spaces to hide from free speech while they discuss being genderless is an embarrassment their great grandfathers who were storming the beaches of Normandy at their age. I am a Millennial and I am embarrassed of most of my fellow peers.
Many people are weary of the future after seeing how this generation has turned out. However, there seems to be light on the horizon. The generation after Millennials, also known as Generation Z, will likely vote Republican. This means they will for free speech, 2nd amendment rights, capitalism, smaller government, God, life, and liberty.
Max Bloomstine has a positive view of the nation’s growing diversity, believes the American dream is attainable (but doesn’t believe he’s entitled to it) and is more into the “we” instead of the “me.”
He is politically independent but leans conservative, attends church on a regular basis, and views his parents — not sports figures or celebrities — as role models.
Right now, though, two things weigh heavily on his mind: where to attend college next year (it’s either going to be the University of Pittsburgh or Rochester) and working on a summer job.
“I am a good entrepreneur when it comes to online gaming administration,” he said.
Say hello to Generation Z, the most recent to come of age. It is the youth of America, with its oldest members in their early 20s.
Sometimes referred to as the iGeneration, as they literally grew up with technology and social media in their hands, they are poised to dramatically change the cultural, economic and political landscape for some time to come.
Born between 1996 and 2010, they are very similar to their Gen X parents, that small, pragmatic generation that fell between the larger baby boomer and millennial generations.
Political Science Professor Jeff Brauer stated, “Gen Z actually like and trust their parents, who have been transparent with them, much more than any generation before.” Brauer teaches at Keystone College in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and has produced a comprehensive study on the next generation.
Analyzing research from Wright State University in Ohio on 1,200 Generation Z students at 15 colleges and universities across the country, Brauer also used exit polling from CNN and census data to draw his conclusions.
Brauer continued, “They are not as impressed with fame — celebrities, athletes, politicians — as are their predecessors, since fame in their lifetime has become rather easy to obtain with social media and reality TV.”
Generation Z is diverse. They are only 55 percent white and will be the last majority-white generation in America. And they have the most positive outlook toward the nation’s growing diversity of any previous generation.
Generation Z is a product of 9/11, global terrorism, school shootings, perpetual wars, the Great Recession, high unemployment and constant budget cuts. Because of all that, they are cautious, even fearful, of an uncertain world and economy. Security and safety are very important to them, as they have grown up in such an unstable society.
They are distrustful of “big” employers because they’ve seen good people, who did all the right things, get laid off from longstanding jobs and careers. They are cautious with finances, always looking for the best deals and the best value.
“When I shop, which I do almost exclusively online, I compare everything until I get the best quality for the least cost,” said Bloomstine.
Generation Z is also more religious than preceding generations — attending organized weekly church services at about twice the rate of millennials, Generation Xers and baby boomers.
They are interested in issues that involve themselves but that also impact the broader community — education, employment, security and the environment all concern them.
“Politically, Generation Z is liberal-moderate with social issues, like support for marriage equality and civil rights, and moderate-conservative with fiscal and security issues,” said Brauer.
“While many are not connected to the two major parties and lean independent, Gen Z’s inclinations generally fit moderate Republicans.”
The Republican Party, if it plays its cards right, could make lasting inroads with this generation, even at an early age — something the GOP has struggled with for decades.
Bloomestine would have definitely voted for Donald Trump in the recent election if he had been old enough to vote. He said, “I was not old enough to vote for him, but I was very engaged and informed all throughout the election,” he continued, “I liked most his independence from the political parties and his willingness to challenge them when he felt they were not serving the American people.”
When asked if he would vote for Trump in a reelection , Bloomstine answered, “As long as he continues to be himself, absolutely.”
What do you think? Will the next generation vote more on track with morality than the current one?