A shocking new study by the Pew Research Center proves that Americans overwhelmingly identify themselves as Democrats today — 50% compared to 35% who say they’re Republicans. And they’re increasingly weary of religion, religious conservatives, stagnant and shrinking wages, income inequality and the sad toil of their miserable lives.
Just as beaten Depression-era voters would vote for anybody who wasn’t a Republican and specifically not Herbert Hoover, today’s ruined citizens have a vague notion that things might not be as bad with a Democrat in the White House. Still, voters don’t like Dems a whole lot more than they like the GOP: 54% approve of the do-nothing Democrats, while a deluded 41% still stand by Republicans.
What is striking is how far Americans have retreated from religion, “culture wars” and military worship, with big declines in support for all those social-conservative positions. Only 61% have faith that their God exists today, down 11% compared to the mid-1990s, while only 45% bother saying prayers today — down 6% just since 2003. Less than half trust the U.S. military to keep them safe. Once popular controversies about gay teachers and “family values” have also plummeted in importance.
Why? Because most people are now either poor or terrified of the poor rising up and killing anyone who appears to be wealthy — 44% of Americans now say they “don’t have enough money to make ends meet,” up from just 35% in 2002. And 73% agree that “today it’s really true that the rich just get richer while the poor get poorer.” Poor people have always believed this, but in the past few years the number of affluent Americans who believe this has rapidly risen, according to the Pew study.
Meanwhile, support for government relief for the rapidly growing mass of poor people has risen 12% since the mid ’90s, to 69%.
Just over a third of Americans, 34%, agree that “most elected officials care what people like me think” — which is 10% less than in 2002 and, also, untrue.
But there is good news, too: Young people, who are apparently the future of this country, are quickly abandoning religion altogether, with 19% of those born after 1977 identifying themselves as agnostic, atheist or otherwise non-religious. They also have a little more confidence in the government, because they’re even stupider than their parents. Also, they are the least likely to vote, so it doesn’t really matter what they believe.
Trends in Political Values and Core Attitudes: 1987-2007 [Pew Research]