From their strong belief that humanity played a central role in causing the climate crisis to their overwhelming dislike of President Donald Trump, the young Americans who have been classified as Generation Z—comprised of those between the ages of 13 and 21—could be even more progressive than the slightly older millennial generation, according to a Pew Research Center survey published Thursday.
"Gen Z looks a lot like millennials politically, which is terrible news for Republicans," Acadia University lecturer Jeffrey Sachs wrote in response to Pew's survey, which found that 70 percent of Gen Zers disapprove of Trump, 54 percent believe the planet is warming because of human activity, and 70 percent believe the government should be doing more to solve the nation's problems.
"This data suggests there is a reason why Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gets so much heat from conservatives—she and this new congressional class not only represent the demographic changes that scare some, but she embodies the ideological trends, too," argued Anthony Michael Kreis, visiting assistant professor of law at Chicago-Kent College.
At 29 years old, the New York Democrat is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.
"There's real enthusiasm for diversity and government reform" among Generation Z, Kreis noted.
On top of their progressive climate views, support for racial equality and inclusion, and disdain for Trump, Gen Zers also strongly reject American exceptionalism, with just 14 percent expressing the belief that the United States is "better than all other countries in the world."
American Gen Zers and Millennials are the generations least likely to say U.S. is better than all other countries. Roughly three-in-ten Gen Zers and Millennials say there are other countries that are better than the U.S. https://t.co/5JQqan4MHA pic.twitter.com/9xtz8ExcWA
— Jacob Poushter (@japoushter) January 17, 2019
More than any other generation, according to Pew, Gen Zers also believe that society is "not accepting enough" of those who don't identify as a man or a woman.
Gen Zers and Millennials are more likely than older generations to say society is not accepting enough of people who don’t identify as either a man or a woman https://t.co/NaFfSAz8dg pic.twitter.com/lIG1Q4yGRE
— Pew Research Center (@pewresearch) January 17, 2019
While Pew was quick to note that it is "too early to say with certainty how the views of this new generation will evolve" over the next several years, Kreis argued that the progressive bent of Generation Z could pose a serious threat to Republicans nationwide in the near future.
"Generational replacement is going to a major hurdle for the GOP and [the Supreme Court]," he concluded. "There will have to be a leftward shift all around in the not so distant future or there will be no GOP to speak of and the courts will have a real countermajoritarian problem."