Shift is Already Happening
Sunday, July 21, 2019
Fort Lauderdale, FL
According to a January 2019 featured article by Matt Welch in Reason, “Libertarians are accustomed to being outnumbered and excel at playing long-game strategies, often far outside the cyclical sugar highs of electoral politics. As bad as 2018 was, 2008 was in many ways worse. But that election also sparked a backlash that brought the Pauls, Massies, and Amashes of the world to Washington. As disappointing as November 2018 felt for the L.P., the party did emerge in a stronger position for 2020, when it will be the only minor party with a spot on all 50 state ballots.” https://reason.com/2018/12/08/the-libertarian-party-future-p/
However, not all is lost. While the future of politics in general might be seen as increasingly grim, Libertarian philosophy will continue to persevere and grow, especially as millennials become more and more active in the political process. The article below, by Kristin Tate, published in Kosmos Journal, provides Libertarians with hope that this next generation will build upon the success generated recently by the election of candidates across the country on regional and local levels. It is incumbent upon all of us to encourage participation in our party from younger constituents and work with them to assume leadership roles in the Libertarian Party of Broward County. We are currently working on several initiatives that will increase the participation of millennials in our party however we have much work to do in that regard. More information will be published with regard to upcoming events focused and targeted at increasing the awareness of our party, our principles and platform in the months ahead.
Millennials and the Shifting Political Climate: A Chance for Libertarianism to Emerge https://www.kosmosjournal.org/article/millennials-and-the-shifting-political-climate-a-chance-for-libertarianism-to-emerge/
“Libertarian views will likely shape the ideologies of tomorrow, and as this shift occurs, millennials will become increasingly eager to engage in the political landscape. The political views of young people overwhelmingly fall somewhere between those of mainstream Democrats and Republicans. Millennials have consistently ranked as socially liberal, with many leaning fiscally conservative. In other words, these young adults are overwhelmingly libertarian in their views—even if they don’t know it.
The GOP’s socially conservative platform simply does not align with modern sensibilities and wears thin on a generation less likely to attend church or even believe in a religion. Among millennials, 68% support gay marriage, 56% think abortion should be legal in all or most cases, and 69% support legalizing marijuana. Young people aren’t engendered to respect old men lecturing piety from the pulpit of social morality.
The Democrats don’t cut it for millennials either. At a time when the average college graduate has nearly $30,000 in student loan debt, these young Americans want jobs. And many understand that increased regulation and taxes proposed by the left isn’t going to yield a healthy business climate and job market.
As millennials come of age, create businesses, and become politicians themselves, a fresh set of ideas will rise to prominence. This new way of thinking will increasingly become associated with the ‘live and let live’ ideology of libertarianism.
This shift is already happening. Recent candidates on the local, state, and federal level are building a new libertarian brand. The rise in popularity of Senator Rand Paul and former
New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is just the tip of the iceberg. As young people become less likely to identify with a party, maximum freedom—in both their personal lives and their wallets—becomes a number one priority. But as diverse lifestyles become more acceptable, social issues will take a back seat to fiscal issues.
A conservative approach to economics is squarely in the interest of young people. Government subsidies on college education have had disastrous effects, including the exploding student debt crisis. Intrusive government regulations regarding licensing of professionals, increased tax rates, and interference in the housing market all disproportionately affect the youngest generation. The home ownership rate of millennials lags far behind other age groups and has helped push overall home ownership rates to the lowest in over 50 years. States with heavy Democratic majorities tend to have a demographic imbalance; California, Illinois, and New York have seen many more people leave for opportunities than come in.
Changing demographics will also play a role in the evolution of an increasingly libertarian mindset. The Tory Party in Britain has been able to tap into the British psyche to win the last two general elections. The Conservative Party of Canada, while currently out of power, won three straight elections, in part because it attracted many young, immigrant families. Young Black people in America’s cities have suffered due to the policies of Democrats that have run those localities for decades. Only a radical political shift can help break the cycle of poverty sparked by well-meaning but disastrous policies. Certain issues seem to create single-issue voters including gay marriage and abortion. Taking some or all of these policies off the table will prevent fiscal conservatives from inadvertently alienating a large and growing voting bloc.
Millennials were attracted to Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign because of lofty ideals that would have hurt their bottom line in the long run. If presented effectively, policies that can reduce the cost of health care, reduce student loan debt, and allow for more personal freedoms will be attractive to young Americans. What matters to all generations are results—young people are no different. As youthful idealism recedes, the hard reality of self and community interest will take over.
Demographic and political trends show that millennials—the largest generation alive today—will drift even further into libertarianism. Fiscal conservatives will ignore these opportunities at their own peril. With the emergence of articulate, camera-ready candidates that toe that fine line already, the door is open. The modern sensibilities of today’s youth and a core small government ideology line up in such a manner that young people will begin to equate the two and the benefits that it brings to them.
Let’s hope that happens before the door closes.”