Wednesday, December 1, 2021

The Kids Are Alright (But They're Worried)

The latest Harvard youth poll of 18-29 year-olds finds that many Zoomers and young Millennials are not in a real great headspace in 2021.
A majority (52%) of young Americans believe that our democracy is either “in trouble,” or “failing.”

Only 7% of young Americans view the United States as a “healthy democracy”; 27% described the nation as a “somewhat functioning democracy,” 39% a “democracy in trouble,” and 13% went so far as to declare the nation a “failed democracy.”  
While Democrats are divided (44% healthy/somewhat functioning and 45% in trouble/failed) about the health of our democracy, 70% of Republicans believe that we are either a democracy in trouble (47%) or failed (23%). A majority (51%) of independent and unaffiliated young Americans also say we are in trouble or failed.  
Overall, 57% of all 18- to 29- year-olds say that it is “very important” that America is a democracy while another 21% say it’s “somewhat important.” Seven percent (7%) say either “not very” or “not at all important,” while 13% don’t know. Seventy-one percent (71%) of college graduates agree that it is “very important” that America is a democracy, but only 51% of those not currently in college, or without a college degree say the same

It's young Republicans, fed the nonsense of a stolen election, who overwhelmingly believe democracy is either broken or dead in America. 

It gets worse.

Young Americans place the chances that they will see a second civil war in their lifetime at 35%; chances that at least one state secedes at 25%.  
Nearly half (46%) of young Republicans place the chances of a second civil war at 50% or higher, compared to 32% of Democrats, and 38% of independent and unaffiliated voters. Level of education (27% among college students and those with degrees compared to 47% for others) and whether young people live in urban (33%), suburban (33%), rural (48%) or small town (51%) environments are all significant predictors.  
Similar patterns hold for those who think secession is likely. Overall, 25% rate the chances at 50% or greater.
Again, it's young Republicans driving this, nearly half of whom expect a civil war.  

Some 60% Women 18-29 say COVID has made them a different or very different person from what they were in 2019, it's 40% for men, and Joe Biden's approval rating among this age group is 46% (still above any point in Trump's reign).

Here's the killer though. These kids are a mess mentally, and I don't blame them one bit.

More than half (51%) of young Americans report having felt down, depressed, and hopeless -- and 25% have had thoughts of self-harm -- at least several times in the last two weeks. 
In addition to the majority of youth who express depressive symptoms, and the 25% who express thoughts of self-harm, we also found that a significant number of young Americans are bothered by traits associated with generalized anxiety disorder.
  • 38% of young Americans report feeling nervous, anxious, or on edge in the last two weeks
  • 36% have been worrying too much about different things
  • 32% have been easily annoyed or irritable
  • 30% have had trouble relaxing
  • 22% report feeling afraid as if something awful might happen
  • 20% have not been able to stop or control worrying
  • 16% have been so restless that it is hard to sit still
School or work (34%), personal relationships (29%), self-image (27%), economic concerns (25%), and the coronavirus (24%) are the five most popular responses given when asked about the impact on mental health. Politics and social media each were cited by 17% of survey respondents. Young females (22% compared to 13% for males) were significantly more likely to cite social media as a problem; young people living in the suburbs (22%) were more likely than others to say the same.  
Additionally, young Americans believe that they are more worried about the country’s future than their parents. We found that 34% believe that they are more concerned than their parents, and only 19% note they feel less concerned. Slightly more than a third (35%) indicate they think about the country in the same way, while 11% don’t know.
And I thought my generation were a bunch of cynics.

I've said all along that the young folk must really hate what's been done to them, and what the Boomers and greedsters have taken from them with climate change and austerity. We see here that's spot on, to the point where they expect a fighting war with their own generation of Americans.

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