Young Americans are Leaning Left? Talkin’ Bout My Generation

June 29, 2007

Is this supposed to be surprising news?   Although this NY Times piece isn’t exactly groundbreaking journalism, it is nice to get acknowledgement from a major news source that my generation isn’t headed to hell in a handbasket, and it’s no surprise to me that younger Americans are more liberal than their older counterparts, that’s we’re more tolerant of differences in sexuality and race, and that we tend to be fairly optimistic about the future of our country.  Go us!

If you want to read some really thought-provoking comments on Gen Y (I sort of hate that term, but it’s so easily recognizable that I’ll use it anyways), check out this post by Kathleen Fasanella from the Fashion-Incubator (and if you’re involved in the apparel industry in any way, or if you want to see an example of an amazing business blog, you should check out her site).  Be sure to read all the (really excellent) comments, and I’ve reposted mine here too, because, well, I can.

“For better or worse, I’m a Gen Y-er, and although I’ve noticed many of the trends you speak of, I think that it’s really not as bad as previous generations think.

Reading – we still read, just in different ways. The internet is a huge factor here (cool book alert: check out Bookmark Now: Writing in Unreaderly Times for a collection of essays on how the net has changed publishing). There’s definitely still a market for useful/interesting books though – both as a source of knowledge and as a tangible piece of literature.

Entitlement/Obnoxiousness – yes, it’s there, but I know tons of people around my age who’ve started nonprofits, are active in the political and volunteer communities, and really care about the world and how they can make a positive impact. We’re not all instant grafitication junkies, but everything does move at a much faster pace nowadays (mostly thanks to the net, I believe) and everyone needs to keep up.

Granted, I can’t speak for everyone, but parents could be to blame for the some of the sense of entitlement of my generation. Personally, I’ve had at least a part-time job since I was old enough to work and have managed to support myself since I’ve graduated from college (and as a writer, no less – clearly somebody’s reading something*). My parents taught me to work hard for what I want and I thank them for it.

I second all the people who commented about my generation’s lack of caring about ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. Yay for us.

Thanks for making such a thought provoking post, Kathleen!”

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3 Responses to “Young Americans are Leaning Left? Talkin’ Bout My Generation”

  1. Another positive:
    The younger generation is much more likely to be vegetarian, or if not vegetarian, vegetarian friendly. Unless you’re a vegetarian, you will never know the disappointment of eating over at a friend’s house, a party or something, and all you can eat is the relish tray and potato chips. Anyway, with the prevalence of vegetarianism amongst young people, it makes finding a place to eat easier. Slowly, menu options are expanding.

    My biggest complaint is people who put meat/fat in the beans. It’s not necessary. Beans are often the #1 food source (eating out). At barbeques, I can happily eat a bean burger if they haven’t put meat in the beans. Anyway, they younger kids are all hip to that.

  2. Jacqueline Zenn said

    True!

    Even though I’m not a vegetarian myself, I always make sure they have something to eat (besides just potato chips) or we go to a restaurant that is vegetarian friendly.

  3. […] is the original “talkin’ bout my generation” post.  Perhaps I should make this into a regular feature, because I seem to have plenty to […]

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