By Derek Dixon
Pulse Staff Reporter
The past presidential election and the last primary election showed that young people are not willing to be silent on political issues. But the issue is if younger people see the future in a more liberal or conservative way.
It is important to lay some groundwork for these terms before investigating where Millennials, those born from 1981 to 1996, and Generation Z, those born from 1997 onward, fall.
The idea of liberalism, otherwise known as left-leaning or progressive, revolves around the idea of being open to new ideas and being willing to change the status quo to reach a political or social goal. Conservatism, or right-leaning, focuses on traditional values and an unwillingness to change when trying to reach political goals.
More political stances than these two exist, as well as varying degrees of devoutness embodying each side, but most people fall closer to one side or the other with some nuance in between.
A Pew Research Center study shows that Generation Z is becoming more liberal as they grow older.
Roman Perez, a Psychology major at Palo Alto College, believes that he is more liberal because his political views are based on freedom, and he believes that liberal ideas provide a freer nation for its citizens.
Lauren Lopez, a Math major at PAC, said that she leans more to the left because she isn’t a fan of tradition and disagrees with Conservatives on many issues, such as abortion and access to free college.
Contrary to the Pew Research Study, a 2016 study done by the Achieve and the Case Foundation, shows that 50 percent of Millennials are now identifying as Conservatives, which is shocking to some who think Millennials are mostly left-leaning.
Cameron Meitler, a Vet Technician major at Palo Alto College, is more right leaning partly because he was raised that way.
“More freedoms make sense to me, but Liberals tend to go too far for comfort,” said Meitler.
Dominic Lara, a Finance major at Palo Alto College, leans more Conservative because he does not want to rely on the government and give the government too much control.
A divide exists between Conservatives and Liberals because of ideological differences. For example, Liberals believe Conservatives are too traditional and are halting social progress, and Conservatives think that Liberals are trying to give the government too much power to enact social change.
Liberals are very concerned about stopping global warming, while a lot of Conservatives believe it doesn’t exist. When it comes to abortion, Liberals are pro-abortion rights and Conservatives want to halt access to abortions. Conservatives want to crack down on illegal immigration, and Liberals care more about creating a pathway to citizenship. Liberals want universal health care, and Conservatives want free market health care.
One thing to take away from these differences is that young people have diverse political opinions and that no matter what side someone chooses, it is important to be open to debate. Also, it is important to research topics to stay informed.
The next election is in 2020 to elect the president, representatives, senators and more. Visit www.democrats.org, www.gop.com and votesmart.org to research party platforms as well as candidates and issues to keep up to date with politics.