According to 538, a recent survey shows that Generation Z is socially liberal but votes Republican at roughly the same percentage as older generations. The article at the link interviews guys who are variously pro-choice, pro-gay marriage and believe in climate change but they all voted for Trump in 2020.
Why? They disagree with Democrats on immigration and race and they strongly disagree with them on the economy. Z Republican voters oppose a minimum wage hike, oppose higher taxes on the rich and oppose cutting taxes on people making $100,000 or less (I presume it’s the myth that they’re lucky duckies who already freeload with their low tax burden). They object to cancel culture and think “we should end the practice of shaming people who say things that aren’t politically correct.”
I think 538’s use of “socially liberal” is doing a lot of work here. The only social issues shown on which a majority skew liberal are “invest in technology to protect the environment” (a majority opposes caps on carbon emissions, however), legalizing pot and gay rights. Other than abortion there’s no discussion of women’s issues — how do they feel about sexual harassment? Or is that covered by not shaming people for political incorrectness? How about birth control? Rape culture? What about police shooting of black Americans? And do their objections to shaming people go both ways — do they object to the endless shit dumped on Hilary Clinton over the decades? To lies about gays spread by professional liar Tony Perkins? To the attacks on Kamala Harris’s sex life?
And beyond those details, if these Z-ers are voting Republican, they are not socially liberal (in fairness, they don’t claim to be — it’s the article that paints them as such). The 70 percent or so who say they support gay rights do not support gay rights. They’re voting for candidates who actively undercut gay rights, appoint anti-gay judges and would reverse the Obergefell gay marriage decision if they found a way (hell, they’d overrule Lawrence, the case that said gay sex is legal, if they could). To paraphrase John Scalzi anyone who votes Republican is willing to accept anti-gay policies, even if they don’t support them.
As Thomas Jefferson once put it, “it is in our lives, and not from our words, that our religion must be read.” The religion I read is not socially liberal at all.