The GOP may control Congress, and the president may be a pseudo-Republican tyrant, but the future of America is a liberal one.
A recent report by the Pew Research Center shows that, over a 15-month period stretching from December 2015 through the 2016 presidential campaign and into March 2017, about 10 percent of Republicans and Democrats switched to the other major political party. Of this group, people under the age of 30 were most likely to "defect."
According the poll, 9 percent of voters between the ages of 18 and 29 switched from the Democratic Party to the GOP. However, 23 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning people within that same age bracket became Democrats. By and large, party loyalties remained firm, but this wavering in younger age brackets is important to note.
Among the total amount of former Republicans, 84 percent did not think highly of President Donald Trump. In stark contrast, 84 percent of those who consistently identify as Republican or Right-leaning are happy with the current president.
While the poll found that people who are less politically engaged are more likely to change party alliances, there is no data showing that young Republicans-turned-Democrats won't be an asset to a more inclusive and equal American future. A vote goes a long way toward change, and with the Democratic Party beefed up by nearly a quarter, there is ample opportunity to take back Congress in 2018 and the White House in 2020.
However, some serious work needs to be done.
The Republican Party is in disarray, but the Democratic Party has it's own demons. Corruption is a human tendency more than it is a political one, and so if the Democratic Party is to evolve and truly become "for the people" then it must allow itself to be designed by the people. That includes its diverse base and any new, formerly Republican members.
What this poll shows, above all else, is that America's future depends on elevating its diverse voice rather than shutting it out. The Democratic Party can't just rely on the numbers, it has to put forth the effort to reform and engage. Otherwise, 2016 won't be all the Democratic establishment will lose. They'll lose America, too.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters