There was a time not that long ago when “liberal” was widely considered a dirty word.
Liberals themselves often avoided the term, and thus “progressive” was born.
But people aren’t so shy these days about self-identifying as liberals, as you can see from this chart:
It’s not a super-dramatic turnaround — in fact, those numbers remain unchanged from the prior year — but we are gradually making progress in winning the hearts and minds of the nation.
But those are just the headline numbers. More importantly, a population cohort that has been majority conservative in the past is now predominantly liberal:
Well, that may be because there’s nothing remotely “mature” about today’s conservatism. If you’re a devotee of Commodore Baby-Hands, your skull most likely hasn’t hardened yet, and probably never will.
Aside from Democrats, only two groups show strong liberal tendencies: adults with postgraduate education (15 points more liberal than conservative) and blacks (nine points more liberal). However, given the relatively low rate of liberalism nationally, it is notable that adults aged 18 to 29, 30 to 49 lean more liberal than conservative by four points, and adults aged 30 to 49, women, and residents of the East lean marginally more liberal.
So if you were already encouraged by the demographic changes happening in the electorate, here’s more reason for optimism.
Of course, Donald Trump has soiled the Republican brand like the adult diapers he probably wears*, so this ongoing shift is likely to get ever more pronounced.
Let’s hope so anyway.
*Many are saying. I heard. That’s my “impression,” anyway.
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