Why America is Moving Left

Author’s Note: I used two sources to find the information present in this article. The first is a report published in 2015 titled, “Modern Immigration Wave brings 59 Million to U.S., Driving Population Growth and Change Through 2065”; the second is an article published in The Atlantic earlier this year by Peter Beinart titled, “Why America Is Moving Left.” The purpose of this article is to identify factors that have led to a major change in the demographics of the United States population, and how this change will affect American politics for decades to come. This article does not reflect my political views or beliefs.

With both the Republican and Democratic Conventions fresh in our minds, what better time to discuss the future of American politics and the impact certain factors will have on the evolution of the major Parties. Bush’s presidency set the stage for Obama’s election; Obama’s presidency set the stage for much, much more. We’ve seen the end of a war, social movements like Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter, and a major change in the demographics of the United States population.

The projections when accounting for immigration show that the United States population is estimated to be around 440 million by 2065. Caucasians are projected to account for less than 50% of the total population at 46%, while African Americans are expected to remain the same at 13%. Hispanics and Asians see the most growth in proportion of total U.S. population, projected to account for 24% and 14%, respectively. If these projections hold somewhat true, this means that a popular majority of the American population would be constituted of a minority race, certainly entertaining the idea of liberal dominance.

Millennials are not liberal just because they are young. They are liberal because they make up the most secular and racially diverse generation in American history, and because they experienced the Iraq War and the Great Recession growing up. Millennials lean left not only on social issues but also on economic ones. When Bush won the 2000 general election, very few millennials could vote. In contrast, by 2016 they will constitute roughly one-third of those who turn out. African Americans, Hispanics and Asians will constitute over 10% more of the vote in 2016 than in 2000. Therefore it is crucial that presidential candidates appeal to the millennials and their leftward-shifting base of voters.

This reason, among many, is why both party coalitions will shift to the left. Just as Clinton would govern to Obama’s left, it’s likely that any Republican nominated would govern to the left of George W. Bush. Obama pushed the political agenda dramatically left, “as dramatically to the left as Reagan pushed it to the right” according to Beinart. It’s time to see where it will take us.

-Michael Jouris