From the New York Times:
Liberal Parents, Radical Children
The generation gap returns.
By David Brooks
Opinion Columnist, Nov. 26, 2018
When I meet someone who runs an organization in a blue state, I often ask: Do you have a generation gap where you work? The answer — whether the person leads a college, a nonprofit, a tech company, an entertainment company or a publication — is generally the same: Yes, and it’s massive.
The managers at these places, who are generally 35 and above, are liberals. They vote Democratic and cheer on all the proper causes of the left. But some of the people under 35 are not liberals, but rather are militant progressives. The older people in the organization often have nicknames for the younger set: the Resistance, Al Jazeera, the revolutionaries. The young militants are the ones who stage the protests if someone does something deemed wrong.
If a company fires an employee for writing an inappropriate memo or uttering an inappropriate phrase, it’s usually because there’s been a youth revolt. If a speaker is disinvited from a festival or from campus, it’s often because of a youth revolt. If a writer is fired for a tweet, or an editor has to resign from a literary review because of an unacceptable article, it’s often because of a youth revolt.
A simple explanation for this pattern is that older people in America tend to be quite white, and white people tend to believe in the Bill of Rights and other old-fashioned notions. Younger people tend to be much more diverse, and the diverse don’t have all that much time for liberties, universal principles, reason, objectivity, and other problematic concepts.
Another reason is because David Brooks’ peers tend to be quite smart, while the low level young people working for them aren’t. Audacious Epigone has documented from General Social Survey data that IQ/vocabulary correlates closely with support for freedom of speech: