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In U.K. But Not U.S., Young Voters Turn Against Big Government
Townhall.com ^ | July 2, 2013 | Michael Barone

Posted on 07/02/2013 4:05:06 AM PDT by Kaslin

A trip to London provides an occasion to compare and contrast British politics and attitudes with those in America.

Both have, in different ways, divided government. The Democratic president has been frustrated by the Republican House of Representatives and is likely but not certain to be until January 2017.

Britain's ruling coalition has been occasionally strained by disagreements between the dominant Conservatives and the junior Liberal Democrats but seems likely to survive until the general election scheduled for May 2015.

In America the big-spending policies of the Obama administration have been followed by sluggish economic growth, persistently high unemployment and low workforce participation.

The British coalition's cuts in what Americans call discretionary spending have been followed by roughly zero economic growth but relatively low unemployment and relatively high workforce participation.

In neither country is any party confident of winning the next presidential or general election. In both countries, young voters may be critical in determining who wins.

Young voters in both countries hold libertarian views on cultural issues. They tend to favor same-sex marriage and legalized marijuana, while the elderly tend to be strongly opposed. But there is an apparent difference on economic issues.

Americans under 30 tend to support big government policies more than their elders. They're likely to tell pollsters that government should do more to solve problems -- a position rejected by most American voters over the last 30 years.

This Millennial Generation was also far more likely to support Barack Obama, who won 66 percent of their votes in 2008 and 60 percent in 2012. Obama carried older voters by only 1 percent in 2008 and lost them to Mitt Romney in 2012.

Young Brits seem to take a different view. In British Social Attitudes surveys, they reject the policy of government-paid residential care for the elderly and express approval for big companies.

They were born into a Britain where Margaret Thatcher's Conservatives privatized state industries and sold public housing units to tenants. They evidently dislike paying high taxes to support the currently scandal-plagued National Health Services ("ring-fenced" or spared from spending cuts, by the coalition government).

And they seem to heartily support the coalition's cuts in welfare spending. They may have a hard time finding jobs, and they resent those who are sponging off the government for life.

Conservatives have hopes of winning more Millennial votes in 2015. The most popular political figure among the young is London's Conservative and libertarian Mayor Boris Johnson.

And the coalition government has pushed legalization of same-sex marriage through both houses of Parliament. Prime Minister David Cameron speaks passionately on the subject.

This has caused some backlash among older Conservative Party members and voters. It may explain why the United Kingdom Independence Party, known mainly for its opposition to British membership in the European Union, has been showing increased strength in recent polls and local elections.

Are there lessons here for America's Republicans, who some say are doomed because of high support for Barack Obama among Hispanics and (the twice as numerous) Millennials?

Perhaps. The proprietors of Obamacare are sounding panicked about the possibility that many Millennials will not sign up for insurance on the health exchanges.

The reason for panic is that health insurance won't be a good deal for the young. Obamacare requires that the relatively poor young pay for the greater medical needs of the relatively rich old.

The penalty for remaining uninsured is tiny compared to the cost of insurance premiums. And Obamacare guarantees that you can buy health insurance when you get sick or pregnant.

Obama's percentage among young voters slipped more than among their elders between 2008 and 2012. Some recent polling shows him with lower than average approval -- well under 50 percent -- among Millennials.

Republicans face problems with the young on cultural issues. Most Republican officeholders and voters oppose same-sex marriage.

But at least for a time, that issue was removed from national politics and sent to the states by two Supreme Court decisions.

Legalizing same-sex marriage in many states will require referendums. That tends to make the issue far less partisan. If Republicans want to appeal to Millennials, they should frame this as a matter of conscience, not politics, and show respect for the strong feelings on both sides.

Young Americans, like young Brits, want to choose their future. Republicans should argue their policies enable them to do so.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: biggovernment; greatbritain; millenials; youngvoters

1 posted on 07/02/2013 4:05:06 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

The last line sounds logical but it is the antithesis to the career minded Republican Establishment. With the GOPe becoming more kindred to the Democrats with each passing day, I say bring on the Freedom party and let the games begin.


2 posted on 07/02/2013 4:14:12 AM PDT by mazda77
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To: Kaslin
Americans under 30 tend to support big government policies more than their elders. They're likely to tell pollsters that government should do more to solve problems -- a position rejected by most American voters over the last 30 years.

Young Americans, like young Brits, want to choose their future. Republicans should argue their policies enable them to do so.

A government can only be powerful enough to "solve problems" when it is powerful enough to control every aspect of your life. And when it has the power to dictate how you will live, its priority isn't solving problems. This is a message the GOP needs to hammer.

Of course, my above statement assumes that government is actually able to solve problems. In reality, most problems are outside of the scope of government, and those that government can do something about--e.g. regulations limiting air pollution--it's already done.

3 posted on 07/02/2013 4:18:04 AM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: Kaslin

Gosh. Logic. Won’t go over well here.
At the risk of being flamed until i resemble some 4th of July feast i agree that (with the exception of abortion)we need to separate religion and politics.
Gay marriage? Who cares. Its personal. So long as churches are not being told to perform ceremonies who cares? This is a religious issue and not political. We pick up every last ticking bomb like the Roadrunner in Bugs Bunny cartoons and stare at it dumbfounded until it blows up in our faces.


4 posted on 07/02/2013 4:18:46 AM PDT by wiggen (The teacher card. When the racism card just won't work.)
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To: wiggen
"gay marriage. who cares?"

Are you sure you're on the right forum?

5 posted on 07/02/2013 4:47:35 AM PDT by driftless2
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To: Kaslin

Boris Johnson... conservative... libertarian...

The man is a statist, just like most of the dusty political class. Farage is the only viable alternative at this point.


6 posted on 07/02/2013 5:32:57 AM PDT by Viennacon
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To: Viennacon

Looks like the future in the UK and USA will be more like Nazi Germany than anything else—the state will rule over everything—we saw how well that worked out.


7 posted on 07/02/2013 5:50:10 AM PDT by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
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To: driftless2

> “gay marriage. who cares?”

Who cares?

Anybody whose gets arrested for “hate speech” for saying homosexuality is wrong, thereby being identified as one of the, in Justice Kennedy’s words, “enemies of humanity”.

Anybody who doesn’t want his elementary, middle and high school children to sit through hours of indoctrination every week, leaning about the joys and techniques of homosexual sex.

Anybody who has a business catering to weddings that doesn’t want to participate in “celebrating” LBGTX*&^%$@!# diversity.

Anybody who wants his children to be able to use a public restroom without seeing some “transgendered” person with the wrong plumbing with them in the bathroom.

Anybody who wants to be able to walk down the street without encountering yet another of the innumerable, insufferable, “gay pride” events, complete with nudity and homosexual acts performed in the open.

Anybody who wants to defend his children from exposure to things that are inappropriate for their respective ages.


8 posted on 07/02/2013 5:53:25 AM PDT by Westbrook (Children do not divide your love, they multiply it.)
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To: wiggen
Gay marriage? Who cares. Its personal.

It's much more than that as long as government issues licenses.

If the government quit controlling marriage through licensing, I'd agree that it is a personal matter. Now it is much more.

Example: Bob dumps his wife and two kids to marry Chad. Bob and Chad as a married couple now fight for custody of the kids. Who wins that dispute in today's PC world?

And now that gay marriage it legal, the Supreme Court will have to twist itself into a pretzel to deny legal status to polygamy...a tradition that has been around for thousands of years.

Example: Bob, Chad, Brenda, and Sue marry each other. Between them, they have five kids. Brenda gets a divorce and marries Linda. Who gets custody of the kids? How is property divided?

After polygamy, comes marriage to 12-year-olds. This was extremely common just a century ago in the United States and still occurs in many places around the world. If gay marriage and polygamy are okay, surely the tradition of marrying young "women" who have hit puberty will be recognized by the Supreme Court as being legal too.

Absurd?

Not based on the legal reasoning behind legalization of gay marriage.

In other words, it is far from just a personal issue. Whether you support gay marriage or not, the government's role licensing all marriages has gone a long way to destroying the institution.

9 posted on 07/02/2013 5:54:49 AM PDT by peyton randolph (Tagline copyright in violation of Directive 10-289)
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To: driftless2

Yep. I was just on a Zimmerman thread and people were debating biblical phrases in conjunction with a statement Zimmerman made to the police. Why? We seriously need to take politics and religion and put them in different corners.


10 posted on 07/02/2013 6:23:55 AM PDT by wiggen (The teacher card. When the racism card just won't work.)
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To: peyton randolph

You know i can 100% agree that the government need not issue licenses. But thats simply what we all know to be true and that is the government is too big and over reaches into whatever aspect of our lives it possibly can. What is the NSA snooping but another facet of that?


11 posted on 07/02/2013 6:28:04 AM PDT by wiggen (The teacher card. When the racism card just won't work.)
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To: mazda77

The only future RINO elites are concerned about are their own miserale careers for the next year or two. They’ll worry about the collapse later.


12 posted on 07/02/2013 6:52:54 AM PDT by Jabba the Nutt (The Stupid Party, they've earned it.)
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To: Kaslin

Monty Python started sarcastically ripping British Big Gov to shreds in 1969.

The half-life of Big Gov with voters then sadly appears to be FORTY FRIGGIN YEARS!!


13 posted on 07/02/2013 6:57:59 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: mazda77
With the GOPe becoming more kindred to the Democrats with each passing day, I say bring on the Freedom party and let the games begin.

I pulled the lever for McCaine in 2008 and felt like I needed a shower afterwards. In 2012 I had to take a barf bag into the booth with me while I pulled the lever for Romney. I'm sick of this GOP BS of sticking a knife in all the conservatives then demanding they turn around and support their hand picked RINOs. Given an alternative of voting for a no good rotten RINO or voting for a 3rd party with a genuine conservative I know how I'd go next time.

The argument is that a 3rd party can't win. Well the GOP isn't winning either. And without conservatives they won't win locally either. If the conservatives who they are so embarrassed by bolted the GOP would cease as a party within a decade. Then we could begin to fix this nation finally.

14 posted on 07/02/2013 6:59:58 AM PDT by pepsi_junkie (Who is John Galt?)
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To: Kaslin
And they seem to heartily support the coalition's cuts in welfare spending. They may have a hard time finding jobs, and they resent those who are sponging off the government for life.

Probably because the UK media still enjoys making public spectacles of those who are sponging off the government for life = while the US media treats them as saintly victims of the evils of capitalism.

15 posted on 07/02/2013 7:05:10 AM PDT by Mr. Jeeves (CTRL-GALT-DELETE)
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To: pepsi_junkie

You shouldn’t, no one should, be blaming the GOP/GOPe for candidates like McCain and Romney.

The problem is with Conservatives. We don’t consolidate quickly enough behind an acceptable Conservative candidate, allowing RINOs to win the nomination with a plurality. Prior to passing the delegate threshold for the nomination did Romney ever break 50%? And how often did he even break 40%?


16 posted on 07/02/2013 7:08:38 AM PDT by tanknetter
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To: wiggen

as long as these homos stay away from me and my family, i don’t give two what they (or anyone else) do in their own home


17 posted on 07/02/2013 7:39:03 AM PDT by von tirpitz
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To: Kaslin

Big Difference, British youth are still mostly white, not so here in America


18 posted on 07/02/2013 9:25:25 AM PDT by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: Kaslin
"In U.K. But Not U.S., Young Voters Turn Against Big Government"

...of those who are heard.


19 posted on 07/02/2013 3:20:07 PM PDT by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of rotten politics smelled around the planet.)
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To: wiggen

Do you consider yourself a Republican or a Libertarian? Strict Libertarians do not like to mix politics with morality/religion. However, many people who call themselves Libertarians are not necessarily amoral.


20 posted on 07/02/2013 4:54:45 PM PDT by driftless2
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To: Kaslin

ACtually, in the UK and US WHITE youth are turning away.


21 posted on 07/03/2013 12:42:30 AM PDT by rmlew ("Mosques are our barracks, minarets our bayonets, domes our helmets, the believers our soldiers.")
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To: driftless2

I am independent. Let muzzies mix religion and politics.


22 posted on 07/03/2013 3:25:25 AM PDT by wiggen (The teacher card. When the racism card just won't work.)
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To: wiggen

Religion is a form of morality. But so are political choices. If you have an opinion on anything, it is most likely informed by some sort of moral argument. I’m not religious (although I grew up in a religious family), but I definitely have opinions based on moral choices most of which are present in many religions. You cannot separate your political choice from a moral choice.


23 posted on 07/03/2013 4:34:27 AM PDT by driftless2
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