A question on Quora asked why millenials were “so left wing?” My observation, after a 20 year career teaching them, is that the older millenials , who are now in their early 30s, are not “left wing” by traditional measures – theyʻre libertarians. This is because they grew up at the tail end, or in the aftermath of the culture wars. Basically, the left won the culture war (no censorship) and the right won the economic war (neoliberalism is now unrivaled) – this is a recipe for libertarians, liberal on social issues and neoliberal on economic issues.
Itʻs only the younger millenials, now mainly in their 20s, who are traditionally left wing, and thereʻs a very clear reason for it: the 2008 market crash and ensuing “Great recession.” Michael Moore documented this shift in one of his films when he showed that the support for “Socialism” was around 40%, led by millenials. Prior to the floor falling out from under the economy, the idea of socialism was a non-starter. Now, an actual socialist, Bernie Sanders, won 20 states and nearly clinched the Democratic nomination.