George Will has long been seen as an icon of the conservative movement and a major voice for Republicans, but now the columnist thinks the young generation will abandon the GOP as “the dumb party.”
The conservative commentator and columnist shared his views this week during an appearance on CNBC. As HuffPost noted, Will was asked about a New York Times column from David Brooks warning that young people would be leaving the Republican Party in the era of Donald Trump. Brooks called it a “coming GOP apocalypse,” and Will agreed.
“I think David Brooks is late to the apocalypse,” Will said. “I think it’s already happened. In fact, young people have made up their mind about the Republican Party, that it’s kind of the dumb party.”
As the report noted, Will added that the stigma once attached to the idea of socialism has faded with the youngest generation.
George Will is not the only one sounding the alarm about young voters abandoning the Republican Party. Washington Monthly also wrote that there is a coming generational shift that could hurt the GOP for many years to come. The report noted that the younger generations are increasingly diverse, as minorities make up 16 percent of the Silent Generation, but make up 44 percent of millennials.
Young people are moving increasingly leftward on social issues, the report added, to the point that even young Republicans now favor same-sex marriage and acceptance of transgender people.
And as the New York Times noted, the old adage that voters get more conservative as they get older does not seem to be true. The report cited Kim Parker, a research expert with Pew Research Center, who said that the differences in voting preferences are explained by other factors instead.
“The differences we see across age groups have more to do with the unique historical circumstances in which they come of age,” she said.
Experts have said this shift could have a major effect on the political landscape in the coming years, especially in traditionally red states like Texas. The Lone Star State was home to an unusually close Senate race in last year’s midterm elections, with Republican Ted Cruz narrowly defeating Beto O’Rourke.
Some early 2020 presidential election polls have also shown Donald Trump losing in a hypothetical matchup with Joe Biden in Texas. While experts say it is too early to glean much from these polls, it could be seen as a sign of the generational shift away from the Republican Party.