Poll: Younger Americans much less likely to say that patriotism, religion, and having children are "very important"

What a horrifying result.

Of course patriotism is important!

I’m wondering, though, how angry we should be at a generation whose lives were wrecked by the Great Recession (and will be even more wrecked by the next recession) and whose future was mortgaged so that the country could pretend for a little while longer that it can afford entitlement programs for senior citizens.

Like, there’s probably *some* blame to be placed for the civic alienation of young adults on the garbage generation we call Baby Boomers, no?

The WSJ didn’t provide partisan splits on each question, but if you suspect that young Democrats are driving this collapse in basic American values, you’re correct: “In fact, the views of Democrats over age 50 were more in line with those of younger Republicans than with younger members of their own party.” Call it the AOC-ization of the Democratic Party. Thanks to the drift among progressives, the overall share of the public that says each of the values listed above is “very important” has declined significantly since 1998. As a society, we’re now nine points less likely to say patriotism is very important, 12 points less likely to say that religion is, and 16 points(!) less likely to say that having children is. The last of those is actually under 50 percent, in fact, with just 43 percent finding it “very important” to have children.

If forced to choose between children and time on one’s smartphone, the choice is clear.

Just one wrinkle. How much can we trust the age groupings in this poll? Putting the Silent Generation and the Boomers together doesn’t fully compute. Older members of the Silent Generation lived through World War II; Boomers were born after the war and have Vietnam as their most vivid military memory. You’re probably going to see some differences on patriotism between those groups. Likewise for the pairing of millennials and Generation Z. The former remember 9/11 and the Iraq war; the latter remember … I don’t know what. The financial crisis, maybe? Certainly the dawning of the Trump era. I’d be curious to know if there are any differences within these broad demographic pairings on basic values questions given their life experiences.

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