Millennials and freedom was the topic of a panel discussion at Americans For Properties Defending The American Dream summit in Columbus, Ohio featuring Ryan Houck of Free Market America, Casey Given of Students For Liberty, and Caleb Bonham of Campus Reform.
Caleb Bonham said that Millennials have a bunch of knuckleheads in their midst and some great entrepreneurs, and that this rising generation is fairly libertarian in many respects, they just don’t know it yet.
To talk about freedom to the younger generation the panel agreed that government interference in the operation of a company like Uber is something that can galvanize people. Casey mentioned how even liberal college students are upset at the taxi cab cartel trying to keep Uber out of various cities.
Caleb and Ryan discussed how after 7 years of Obama and his expansion of the federal government many younger people are gravitating towards the likes of [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ] because they want some more freedom and liberty and not more of the big government that has been coming from the Democrats.
Caleb talked about how the diversity of technology and opinion sources is making millennials afraid of debate, one such example is the attempts by Muslim student groups to ban showings of American Sniper, because they felt the film was too negative towards Muslims. This has of course brought about the creation of safe spaces, and showing screenings of Paddington Bear. This is in turn dumbing down political discussion across all age groups.
Casey mentioned millennials view politicians and political parties differently and have a disfavor-able view of various bedrock institutions and are instead putting their faith in individuals.
Ryan Houck added that Millennials are more and more self identifying as Independents out of protest.Houck went on to say that George W. Bush created liberals that voted in Barack Obama and that he in turn will make young people more conservative in time. Ryan explained that in 1972 George McGovern won 18-24 year old whites and by the 2012 election that same group was a major and solidly reliable voting block for Mitt Romney; what caused that change within a generation? Answer, Jimmy Carter.
The panel agreed that Millennials are sick and tired of being lied to by politicians from both parties. Caleb said that young people don’t trust Republicans, Democrats, or third party candidates because they keep lying to them. Tell young people the truth and they will come to your side the panel said.
Ryan wanted people to remember that Millennials don’t remember, or weren’t alive when Ronald Reagan said that government is our problem not the solution or when Bill Clinton said that the era of big government is over. Their experiences and knowledge is limited to President George W. Bush and President Obama.
Casey mentioned that social media is not the end all be all for Millennials and that a simple one on one conversation is the most powerful way to deliver the message of limited government and free markets. Caleb added that social media can have a huge impact on people and mentioned Hillary Clinton’s dead broke comment and the flak she caught online for it. A video of Caleb panhandling at Georgetown University has gotten more views on Youtube than Hillary’s original remarks.