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Millennials Desire Government That Provides All and Costs Nothing

The Unicorn/Dragon ticket should snag the youth vote.

by
Walter Hudson

Bio

July 15, 2014 - 11:20 pm

Over five years of activism in and around the Republican Party, I have frequently heard (and occasionally made) calls to appeal to young voters. Such exhortations typically include a claim to know what young voters want. They want government out of their personal lives. They want a more tolerant and inclusive society. And they want government to balance its checkbook. But the full picture proves a bit more convoluted, as The Atlantic reports:

Millennial politics is simple, really. Young people support big government, unless it costs any more money. They’re for smaller government, unless budget cuts scratch a program they’ve heard of. They’d like Washington to fix everything, just so long as it doesn’t run anything.

That’s all from a new Reason Foundation poll surveying 2,000 young adults between the ages of 18 and 29. Millennials’ political views are, at best, in a stage of constant metamorphosis and, at worst, “totally incoherent,” as Dylan Matthews puts it.

Author Derek Thompson ably demonstrates how the results could be construed by partisans to signal millennial support for either political party’s agenda. That in spite of a similar Pew poll indicating that millennials don’t care much for either party. In short, the Reason Foundation poll offers little to nothing of any practical substance regarding a millennial platform for public policy.

This really shouldn’t surprise us. Kids want everything, right now and for free, until they learn the value of a dollar through practical experience. The Reason Foundation poll found that millennials who meet with financial success tend to rethink that whole wealth redistribution thing.

Maybe the takeaway for politicos chomping at the bit to win the youth vote is to stop trying to figure them out. Instead, lead with principle and demonstrate how it serves their interests.

(Today’s Fightin Words podcast is on this topic available here. 10:52 minutes long; 10.49 MB file size. Right click here to download this show to your hard drive. Subscribe through iTunes or RSS feed.)

Walter Hudson advocates for individual rights, serving on the boards of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Minnesota, Minnesota Majority and the Minority Liberty Alliance. He maintains a blog and daily podcast entitled Fightin Words. He also contributes to True North, a hub of conservative Minnesotan commentary, and regularly appears on the Twin Cities News Talk Weekend Roundtable on KTCN AM 1130. Follow his work via Twitter and Facebook.

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Top Rated Comments   
"Millennials’ political views are, at best, in a stage of constant metamorphosis and, at worst, “totally incoherent,” as Dylan Matthews puts it."

How could it be otherwise, given the leftist indoctrination they've received in the 'schools'?
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's de-evolution in action. Idiocracy looms.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
They’d like Washington to fix everything, just so long as it doesn’t run anything.

In other words, they want it to be like mom and dad who give them money and provide necessities but stay out of their personal lives.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (11)
All Comments   (11)
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People between the ages of 18-26 are not children!
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Given their expressed values and behaviors, you'll forgive the confusion.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Let's turn this around;

"Millennials offer little to nothing of any practical substance regarding a reaonable platform for public policy."

Thank you government run education. It's taken 50+ years, but America has finally been sufficiently dumbed down.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Regular folks who "aren't political" have always supported those who sponsor lavish festivals, with free public entertainments and silver coin scattered in the streets...
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Two words: Santa Claus.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
The faux Libertarians over at Reason continue to confuse sex and drug rights with a desire for smaller government. That is why they misread their own poll results. They see what they want to see. Services like Uber and AirBnB are good market innovations but Millennials see them as enhancers of their personal autonomy. They also see big government that relieves them of many responsibilities while delivering free stuff as an enhancer of personal autonomy. Market economies, the responsibilities of self-government and participation in civil society all place many restrictions on personal autonomy. Real conservatives must understand that following the marketing advice offered by Reason will go nowhere. You can’t beat personal autonomy and free stuff by offering personal autonomy alone, which Progressive government allows them to have anyway. Faux Libertarians will never get this because they see political liberty as a nice to have but sex and drugs rights are must haves. Given a choice between the two and they will let political liberty go by the wayside.

(Cross posted from the Federalist Blog)
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
this is the best analysis i have read on topic. Millennials do not have the reasoning ability to follow any discussion to a logical conclusion as they have not been taught to think critically at any level of their schooling and are able to hold contradictory opinions in their minds untroubled. They seem to conceptualize reality in slogans. If you inquire about who is going to "pay" for what they are demanding it is always some vague entity "they" who is "ripping off the system". They can never identify what or who this is. I have an answer people like buffett who supports all radical left political agendas but then hires firms of accountants to shield him as he explains publicly he does not feel he has any obligation for support of anything he advocates. You are entirely right about reason and Atlas as well. I am shocked at the superficiality of argument and inability to cogently explain conservative politics. 99% of public is liberal regardless of how they choose to describe themselves. they want all the benefits they are entitled to and if there is a problem with solvency their prescription is to deny them to the "less deserving" Alfred P. doollittle so correctly described.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 problem, cant. Nobody - not you, not me, not anyone - is "entitled" to the benefits that we all want. If you ain't willing to earn it... do without.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Millennials’ political views are, at best, in a stage of constant metamorphosis and, at worst, “totally incoherent,” as Dylan Matthews puts it."

How could it be otherwise, given the leftist indoctrination they've received in the 'schools'?
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's de-evolution in action. Idiocracy looms.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
They’d like Washington to fix everything, just so long as it doesn’t run anything.

In other words, they want it to be like mom and dad who give them money and provide necessities but stay out of their personal lives.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
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