The Center for American Progress released a report by Ruy Teixeira this week, “The Coming End of the Culture Wars,” in which Teixeira examines the increasing impotence of social and cultural issues in today’s political debate.

The report makes a few conclusions that should be familiar to FM readers.

Teixeira views the ongoing millennial boom as one reason for the decline in the social issue’s prominence. Given the millennials’ socially liberal views on many traditionally contentious social issues, they don’t seem particularly “alarmed” when conservative concern trolls warn Americans of the country’s leftward shift.

CAP’s Progressive Studies Program’s ideology survey similarly found that 18- to 29-year old Millennials were the most progressive generation by far on a comprehensive 10-item progressive cultural index covering topics ranging from religion, abortion, and homosexuality to race, immigration, and the family. Each item on this index had a 0-10 point range, with the most progressive response on each item receiving 10 points and the most conservative response receiving zero points. Millennials scored 56.6 out of 100 on the index, compared to a range of 46.4 to 52.9 for older generations.

And as more millennials ascend into positions of power and, thus, control the debate, more substantive, quality of life issues will be prevalent, drowning out discussions on issues such as abortion.

Another strong cause for the decreased power of the culture wars is found in demographics.

…The culturally conservative white working class has been declining rapidly as a proportion of the electorate for years. Exit polls show that the proportion of white working-class voters—scoring just 46.3 out of a 100 on the Progressive Studies Program comprehensive 10-item progressive cultural index covering topics ranging from religion, abortion, and homosexuality to race, immigration, and the family—is down 15 points since 1988, while the proportion of far more culturally progressive white college graduate voters (53.3 on the index) is up 4 points, and the proportion of minority voters (54.7 on the index) is up 11 points. State after state since 1988 has replicated this general pattern—a sharp decline in the share of white working-class voters accompanied by increases in the shares of minority voters and, in most cases, of increasingly progressive white college graduate voters.

Along with the decline in white working class voters, the numbers of traditionally progressive portions of the population are on the rise. Single women and professionals headline this group.

It’s very important to point out that millennials aren’t more progressive due to their increased diversity. Teixeira’s report finds that white millennials are more progressive than many of their older siblings and parents.

But it is worth stressing that white Millennials, while not as culturally progressive as their minority counterparts, are still much more progressive than the overall population. Both white college graduate (56.1 on the PSP index) and white working-class Millennials (54.2) are more culturally progressive than older white college-graduate (53.5) and especially white working-class (45.6) adults. The difference between white working-class Millennials and older generations of the white working class is particularly important since it suggests that the white working class as a whole will become significantly less culturally conservative as culturally progressive white working-class Millennials replace conservative older white working-class voters in the electorate. This will severely undercut the popular appeal of culture wars politics, since this segment of the population has provided the bulk of support for such politics.

Teixera concludes by noting that conservatives will most likely continue to inject what they think are divisive issues into the political debate for political gain, though they’ll find these efforts to be less successful with time. With the millennials coming into power, the American political dialogue should change for the better thanks to a far more focused discussion of the issues that can drastically improve Americans’ quality of life.

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