This piece in the Washington Post is getting a lot of traffic, but it’s just picking up on a Pew mislabeling.
Conservatives broadly believe that the government has pretty much done all it needs to to ensure equal rights for blacks. Liberals, with one striking exception, overwhelmingly disagree:
The views of young, affluent liberals stand out. In fact, they align more closely with conservatives than other liberal groups. So what’s going on here? Are younger liberals so far removed from the Civil Rights era that they’ve become disconnected from the memory of overt discrimination it sought to end? Perhaps this cohort, which strongly supports gay marriage, believes that the front in the fight for equality has moved on to new beneficiaries?
We know that the “next generation left” does support affirmative action (as do, notably, majorities of every typology other than the two most conservative):
The numbers are interesting, but the interpretation is wrong. Pew chose to label several non-traditional political groups that would normally be described as independents.
It labels a few groups of fiscally conservative socially liberal voters in different ways. Some it labels as Young Outsiders, who appear to be the Ron Paul vote, young “Republicans” who believe in small government, and liberal everything else.
Then there’s the Next Generation Left which is the topic here, which like the Young Outsiders, is fiscally conservative and socially liberal.
In practice they’re yuppies who affiliate with the Democratic Party, just as the Young Outsiders are culturally leftist radicals who affiliate with the Republican Party, they are culturally somewhat Republican but affiliate with the Democratic Party.
Think of them as really liberal Republicans who think of themselves as Democrats and vote the Democratic ticket. Or think of them as what liberals were before they were overrun by the radical left.
They are not by any stretch of the imagination “left”, let alone next gen left, just because they support the usual social liberal stuff and most of the other liberal programs.
It’s somewhat interesting to note their existence, but the Pew label radically misstates what they are creating confusion.
So no, the left hasn’t outgrown the race card. But some of the young, but more younger, but politically old-fashioned Democrats, who would probably go Republican if the party were more Rockefeller and less Republican, have.