Over at the New York Times, Nikil Saval asks, ‘Who Wants to Be ‘Liberal’ Anymore?” According to Pew Research, here’s the answer:
Nearly half of millennial Democrats are willing to identify themselves as liberal, and the overall share of Democrats who call themselves liberal has been rising steadily since 2000.
The question Saval is asking is at least as old as the 60s, maybe older (though I’m too lazy to check): is the label “liberal” so associated with mainstream Democrats that it’s anathema to young lefties? Back then, the Vietnam War turned young activists against big labor and establishment Democrats, represented by people like Hubert Humphrey, Robert McNamara, George Meany, and so forth. Today, we have a new generation of Bernie admirers who feel the same way about contemorary Democrats like Hillary Clinton, Rahm Emanuel, and John Kerry—and sometimes even Barack Obama, who doesn’t always earn a pass for being the first black president.
So in 50 years we’ve gone from the SDS to Chapo Trap House, which may or may not be an improvement. But it’s nothing new. In the meantime, whether you want to call it liberalism or progressivism or anything else, Democrats have gotten a lot more friendly toward it over the past decade.