Skip to comments.Self-described “Liberal” Millennials are Actually Libertarian
Posted on 07/14/2014 6:21:19 AM PDT by Kaslin
This week another Reason/Rupe poll came out, this one on the political leanings of my generation, the Millennials. One interesting thing to note for people concerned with how we vote is that a plurality of Millennials surveyed who described themselves as liberal express support for downright libertarian positions.
Liberal, to many Millennials (33 percent), just means belief in social tolerance, openness, and personal freedom. And far from preferring a leviathan state, many Millennials said they were liberal because people should have freedom to do what they want in their personal lives without government interference.
So how does that impact our voting? More liberal millennials than conservative ones indicated support for a classically libertarian-leaning candidate, by a margin of 60 to 27 percent. But nearly half of conservative millennials oppose a fiscally conservative, socially liberal candidate.
Heres the deal. Conservative Millennials wont vote for a Democrat. They especially wont vote for any of the Democrats being floated. But what this poll is showing is that liberal Millennials are fed up with a Democratic party which has been anything but liberal. Consider that 60 percent of Hillary Clinton voters and 56 percent of those who approve of President Obama say they would support a fiscally conservative, socially liberal candidate. Theyre open to free markets, as long as they get their personal freedoms.
In total, a majority53 percentof millennials say they would support a candidate who described him or herself as socially liberal and economically conservative.
So what does that mean?
Young people were key to Obamas election and re-election. Ignoring their wishes not only harms the GOP now, but also going forward.
Traditionally, the GOP has had an all-too-testy relationship with its libertarian wing. Mediaites Andrew Kirell:
To wit: Theres the GOPs historically poor convention treatment of Paul supporters; the incessant scapegoating of Libertarian candidates for GOP losses, even despite mathematical impossibility; the perpetual misunderstanding of what libertarians believe in; the conservative belittling of libertarian causes; the penchant for selecting terrible candidates and then getting pissy when libertarians hesitate to get behind the false choice; and plenty of embarrassing moves that make libertarians want to crawl under a rock.
The personal freedoms we Millennials want in no way violate small-government principles. In fact, they are full expressions of that idea that that government which governs least, governs best. Ending the War on Drugs, fixing our broken immigration system, no longer allowing the state to discriminate against gays in marriage, reining in domestic spying, and protecting whistleblowers are all, fundamentally, small-government positions which would all result in a net decrease in the state.
Nominating truly small-government politicians, who want the government out of the bedroom and the boardroom, isnt just the only principled path forward for the GOP. Its also the best way to attract my generation to the party. Its the GOP, not the Democrats, who Millennials should associate with social tolerance, openness, and personal freedom.
The Millennials still want their entitlement candy.
As long as they’re in favor of government giveaways, they’ll continue to vote for progressives.
Gotta keep the pig trough open.
Joining with the right libertarians is necessary if conservatives ever hope to rein in government. Smaller government is the one thing we all agree on and smaller government is the key to social issues.
Its that simple.
Language matters. Remember that “Liberal” was coopted by Progressives in the early 20th Century after “Progressive” became associated with Communism and Socialism.
I really think that it’s time to reclaim “Liberal” in the Classic sense of the word, and the fact that Millenials are already using it in the Classic sense is a big benefit. Progressives have readopted “Progressive” so let’s shove it down their throats.
Unfortunately we have both democrats and republicans desperately trying to drive a wedge between conservatives and libertarians.
every Libertarian i know is absolutely for smaller government... they side with Conservatives on many, many issues--except they are for open borders... BIG divide here... and they are very anti-war--any war...
the border thing is "the thing..."
They are only “Libertarian” as far as they want the government out of their lives, but they want it in everyone else’s.
Smaller government is the one thing we all agree on and smaller government is the key to social issues.
Oh really? Libertarians are dead wrong on social issues. Conservatives are better off with RINO’s in charge of the GOP than a bunch of hippy libs.
“Self-described Libertarian Millennials are Actually Liberals.”
Well good luck with all that. LOL
That’s because the very terms Libertarian and Conservative have become polarized. I’m a two-time loser in that I’m a Conservative with strong libertarian (small “L”) leanings.
I really like the term “Classical Liberal.”. The Founding Fathers were “Classical Liberals.”. When Reagan said that he didn’t leave the Democrat Party, the Democrat Party left him he was referring to it abandoning Classical Liberalism.
There are such knee jerk reactions to both “Conservative” and “Libertarian” today that return to use of the term could be a gateway to the uniting around common beliefs and purposes that BOTH sides need in order to effectively counter Progressivism.
Quite the stretch. Everybody, when they are young, jumps on the “economically conservative” bandwagon because they are just starting out in life and need the money. But when asked about specific Libtard programs, they support them and would fund them.
Self identifying polls are always a bit off in reality.
One cannot be socially liberal on the policy side whilst being fiscally conservative. These are diametrically opposed philosophies.
In order to be socially liberal the policy maker has to extract largesse from the public coffer to promote said socially liberal programs.
How about socially neutral and fiscally conservative?
It seems to me that millenials are just confused immature individuals (heads full of mush).
He just can't agree with the liberals, although he claims to be one.
Sit him down and tell him, bluntly, that Liberals believe in big, intrusive and costly government that thrives on dependency and requires taxation at a level that will eventually destroy his quality of life/standard of living.
Then ask him to tell you why you’re wrong.
I have two daughters who will both be able to vote for the first time in 2016 and this fits them to a t. They know that Obama is a miserable failure and they understand why “progressive” economic policies are no good, but they have no problem at all with gay rights issues or marijuana legalization or any of the stuff that tends to get the social conservatives’ panties in a knot.
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