From the editors

Congratulations, Gen Z! You did a thing.

Last week, younger voters showed up to the polls in record numbers that haven’t been seen since they were born. Not only that, but these left-leaners are one of the key reasons that Republicans and the dreaded far-right extremists did not get the massive red wave that they had hoped for. At the time of writing, the AP has called the battle for the senate in favor of the Democrats and there is still a great chance for them to pick up yet another seat when the Georgia runoff between Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker takes place on Dec. 6.

Exit polls in Pennsylvania suggest that Gen Z favored Democratic candidate John Fetterman over his Republican counterpart Mehmet Oz in the hotly contested Senate race by a margin of around 42 points. That is nothing short of massive, huge, and incredible.

Instead of focusing on income inequality, healthcare, climate change, social justice, and the dozens upon dozens of other critical issues facing the American public, rational citizens have been tasked with voting against election deniers and right-wing extremists.

Gen Z and the Boomers can now say that they have one thing in common; they show up to vote. And while the Republican Party continues to do everything in their power to change voting laws in order to give themselves an advantage and to subvert election results with baseless claims of tampering and fraud, Democrats need all the help they can get.

Polls conducted by the PEW Research Center clearly indicate that Gen Z is the most progressive generation of the 5 living generations in the US today. They even slightly edge out Millennials like myself in the race to the left end of the political spectrum.

27% of eligible Gen Z voters cast a ballot in the 2022 midterm. In recent history that number has only been topped by a 28% turnout in the 2018 midterm. This group of voters born after 1996, the oldest of which are now around 25 years old, is growing. In 2020, roughly one in ten voters were of this age group. 8 million more have come of age since then and in the 2022 midterm they accounted for 1 out of every 8 eligible voters. Republicans beware.

Less than 22% of these young guns approve of the job that Donald Trump did with his time in the Oval Office. Compare that to 32% of Millennials and a rather steep drop-off in the generations older than that.

The American youth have made the crystal clear indication that the extremists on the far-right do not have a place in their America. Certainly a silver lining to the many horrors at home and abroad. Along with a slew of other factors, one can’t help but wonder if this generation being the most highly educated in American history (record lows of high school dropouts and record highs of those enrolled or intending to enroll in college) has some correlation to these kids being more difficult to trick than Republicans would like to admit. Not only that, but Gen Z is also the most ethnically diverse generation our nation has ever seen; another knock against the right-wing Christian nationalists who prey on the racist and suggestable.

Fox News and the dying medium of cable television don’t reach these kids as well as their traditional target market. Good.

We are proud of you Gen Z. Whether you are seasoned enough to know what good you did, I’m sure I’ll never know. But the fact remains, you showed up and stopped the cancer that is hateful, nationalist, extremism that is trying ever so hard to spread throughout a democracy that may be closer to the edge than we know. Keep voting for normal, for acceptance, and for understanding. Hopefully the rest can sort itself out.