Although these predictions may not end up being correct, here are some trends that could validate the idea that the country will become more left-leaning in the coming years.
The roots of Millennials’ more pro-government outlook appears to lie in their more positive assessments of government performance. Young adults are more likely than their elders to believe government spends money efficiently. Millennials are also more likely to see their own values aligned with government policies. Three demographic patterns also contribute to Millennials’ support for government:
• They are more ethnically diverse, boasting an especially large number of generally pro-government young Hispanics.
• They are less susceptible to class divisions; notably, young whites without a college degree are less hostile to government than are older working-class whites
• Young Republicans and conservatives are less anti-government than their older ideological counterparts.
Of course, none of this is any guarantee that Beinart’s turn to the left will actually occur, nor does it tell us exactly what that left turn will look like. But I believe he is on to something that all politicians should pay attention to, perhaps especially those on the progressive side who aspire to represent this rising generation. Bold government action to address declining economic opportunities in America and a decisive rejection of Wall Street’s priorities are likely to be the winning formula.