Rand Paul

Nick Gillespie in Daily Beast: GOP Must Go Young—and Libertarian—or Go Home!



I've got a new column up at The Daily Beast, which is about the new report released by the College Republican National Committee. Based on national surveys and focus groups of 18 to 29 year old voters, it's a clarion call for the GOP to go libertarian if it wants to have a future.


What do young voters want? More than anything, a shot at working and thriving in a growing economy. Yet even though only 22 percent of Millenials thought "Obama's policies had made it easier for young people to get a job" and "only 29 percent thought they were better off as a result of the stimulus package…Democrats held a 16-point advantage over the Republican Party among young voters on handling of the economy and jobs (chosen as the top issue by 37 percent of respondents)."

That's because young voters are turned off by the GOP's emphasis on tax cuts uber alles and habit of embracing big businesses rather than scrappy entrepreneurs. They are equally turned off by the GOP's constant thumping on gay marriage, which more than any other social issue has emerged as a "deal breaker," or an issue that will cause a voter who agrees on everything else with a candidate to vote for his or her opponent. Abortion, immigration, even health care are less important in this regard, according to the CRNC….

Millenials, says the report, don't care much about abstractions such as that favorite Republican bogeyman, "big government." But they are into cutting government spending and reducing national debt, as they realize both things are strangling their future before it begins. Fully 90 percent agree that Social Security and Medicare need to be reformed now, 82 percent are ready to "make tough choices about cutting government spending, even on some programs some people really like," and 72 percent want to cut the size of government "because it is simply too big." Only 17 percent want to increase spending on defense and just 30 percent said that "marriage should be legally defined as only between a man and a women," with 44 percent saying same-sex marriage should be legal everywhere and 26 percent saying it should be up to individual states.

You don't need a decoder ring to read the libertarian strain in such responses. Often described as socially liberal and fiscally conservative, libertarians argue for keeping the government out of the boardroom and the bedroom. They tend to favor more-open borders for people as well as goods and services, agitate for legalization (or at least decriminalization) of drugs, and push for choice in whom you can marry as well as where you send your kids to school.

More here.

NEXT: Bitcoin Roundup: Losing Its Edge? Or Selling Its Soul?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. “You don’t need a decoder ring to read the libertarian strain in such responses.”

    Two responses are always available (and understandable) for the libertarian…

    Fuck off slavers

    No, fuck you, cut spending

    Modify to a polite form as needed. Or not.

    1. i for one like using my decoder ring.

      1. I suspect yours is a bit more decorative than the one I got – it looks like a cereal box reject.

        1. Micah. I just agree… Jesse`s bl0g is amazing… last wednesday I bought a brand new Volkswagen Golf GTI since I been making $7305 this-past/5 weeks and-over, 10 grand last munth. this is certainly the most rewarding I’ve ever done. I started this nine months/ago and immediately started earning minimum $75 per hour. I went to this web-site….. grand4.com
          (Go to site and open “Home” for details)

          1. micah be playin a fool
            jesse dont kno shit mane

      2. Well your decoder ring is fun in that it wasn’t made to be worn on your finger…

        1. Mine vibrates.

  2. WRONG. Christian fundamentalism is where it’s at. Drive hard to the religious right. It’s worked in the past. Carefully select all candidates from the central power in DC and make sure they hit the family values talking points at the expense of anything else. Stay the course, GOP. You’re due for a rebound.

    1. That’s just stupid – focusing on the religious right and ‘family values’ is what has hurt the GOP and you think they need more of that???

      Obviously if getting thumped by the Dems teaches you anything it’s that in order to win you gotta be like the Dems.

      Forget driving hard to the religious right, just do the same thing as the Dems. Maybe just advocate not quite so much quite so fast – that’s the winning formula.

      1. I’m with Fisty, the next GOP candidate should make prayer in schools and the rollback of the teaching of evolution his or her primary focus, it’s a guaranteed winner.

        1. The big issue is people having sex. The GOP should be proud of it’s core values and declare that it’s against sex, except twice a month, and only for reasons of procreation. They also need to clarify their stance on acceptable sexual positions. Some of them are a little too liberal when it comes to non missionary positions.

          Other than that, it’s also important they declare that their economic positions are the same as the Democrats.

      2. I with Jerry – as Jeff Goldstein dubs it “Team Losing-More-Slowly”! How could you not flock to that banner!

      3. Did anyone else just hear a loud “whoosh”?

        1. Suggest you reread the last paragraph. I thought someone’s Sarcasmometer was out of calibration too until I looked at it again.

      4. Don’t worry, Jerryskids & Fist of Etiquette, the GOP will find a way to do BOTH!

      5. Sarcasm impaired…..tragic.

        1. Oooh soory Jerryskids….fish is subtle impaired!

    2. oh Fisty you are a satirical dog

    3. Fist channeling his inner Buttplug? Needz moar christfag. And Bushpig.

      1. Fist channeling his inner Buttplug? Needz moar christfag. And Bushpig.

        I wonder what a first timer to reason.com would make of this sentence.

        1. What first timers? Aren’t we the same 15 guys, with multiple accounts?

          1. This, and make it 16 guys with multiple accounts.

            1. He’d become a last-timer.

    4. Yeah, when was the last time a candidate won national office thanks to their religious right legislative agenda? Probably never. Failing to lose because they didn’t write off the religious right a la Reagan and GWB is another thing.

      The religious right exists almost entirely as pushback against what religious people consider to be secularization enforced by the government. On the defensive, it’s extremely powerful, but on the offensive, extremely weak. Virtually no one actually wants mandated prayer in schools, and although it’s been on the religious right’s agenda since 1962, it hasn’t been reinstated anywhere.

      I know this sounds crazy, but I think libertarians could win significant portions of religious conservatives by proving that we can effectively prevent creeping secularization. Champion the rights of religious institutions against anti-religious cultural Marxism, especially in education and healthcare, win reliably, and be proud of winning those battles, and they won’t complain about libertarianism. Not with any enthusiasm, anyhow.

      1. Report for sarcasm-o-meter recalibration.

        1. …and take Jerryskids with you for the 2-for-1 special.

          1. Jerryskids deserves a reread. I think you’ll find it in the same vein as FOE’s.

            1. Jerryskids was very subtle sarcasm.

        2. My original comment was flip because of my dislike of values voters but unfortunately he is right about the significant contingent of them. It’s a valid consideration.

          Let’s face it, the youth vote is unreliable. I wish reason was right about the solution being moving to libertarianism, that won’t get the GOP many votes. At this point, I don’t know what will. They have their reliable base of voters, just like the Dems, but in the middle are people who either want to vote against the other party or vote for the party that promises them their entitlements are untouchable.

          1. Yes, the youth vote as a whole is unreliable. But this is a position being pushed by the Young Republicans. The politically-active young are reliable voters, and will remain so. This is a message from these kids about what candidates and issues they are going to support, and which ones they’re going to walk away from. The numbers of young voters may be small relative to other cohorts, but these are the kids who go out and knock on doors and do the other grunt work of their party.

            1. The most effective strategy would be to kill the enthusiasm in that cohort. Convince them voting is for suckers and caring about stuff is stupid.

              Bring back the 1990s. It was a Golden Age of Apathy.

              1. Well it’s good that Obama’s pretty much doing that with the lefty kids.

              2. Our most subtle and dangerous mind.

              3. Didn’t they just do that, with Obama vs. McCain?

          2. They’re unreliable because their opinions are still changeable. The “unreliable” voters are exactly the ones you should focus on wooing.

            1. I say unreliable because they don’t seem to consistently show up at the polls when it comes time to vote.

              1. Old people vote. Old people live in Florida. Florida is a swing state.

                Hence Medicare Part D.

              2. That plus the fact that when they do show up, they’re often distracted by some shiny object.

          3. Wait until the young who voted for Obama find out they will be forced to accept an Insurance mandate with relatively high premiums, or be fined if they refuse. The whole concept of Obamacare relies on forcing this entire demographic to subsidize old and sick people at nominal cost. Add in the fact that they cannot obtain a decent wage, and that tax increases are also a part of the left’s strategy, and I think it will be pretty easy to win them over!

            1. By “relatively” you must mean “motherfuckin”.

      2. AB-SO-LUTE-LY. What you say does not sound crazy at all!

        The GOP blows it again and again by thinking that the only way they can appeal to the religious right is by loudly professing to share even their dumbest beliefs while everyone else shakes their heads at ludicrous stuff like “selective conception” during rape and a 10,000-year-old Earth. So instead of small government candidates winning, we get winning candidates who believe equally insane and asinine stuff, except their false beliefs are about government and economics. (“We need to spend our way out of debt,” and “We need to pass a bill to find out what’s in it.” — beliefs that are just as IDIOTIC and much more harmful to more people than anything Oral Roberts could dream of). We need Libertarian leaders who will get the fucking government out of EVERYONE’S hair — from fundamentalists to atheists and everyone in between.

    5. The GOP should just run this man and then we will all be saved:


  3. Sounds like a very solid plan dude.


  4. Millenials…are into cutting government spending and reducing national debt, as they realize both things are strangling their future before it begins.

    And yet, they mostly voted for Obama.

    1. young voters are turned off by the GOP’s emphasis on tax cuts uber alles

      Also, teh gays.

    2. Very true, but I’d bet it wasn’t because they liked that Obama wanted to increase spending and amass even more debt.

      For them, it was strictly a personality thing. Obama is like the cool, hip, mixed race friend who will come by your house, shoot some hoops with you and then spark one up (which he will gladly share with you). McCain and Romney are the kind of guys your grandfather takes golfing and then goes to the Olive Garden with for dinner and takes advantage of the early bird special there.

      For the vast majority of youths, that choice is a no-brainer.

      1. So, in other words, the yutes are mostly idiots who have severed the tie between the act of voting and the outcome of voting. I agree.

      2. Plus, McCain and Romney were going to spend and borrow just as much as Obama, more or less.

    3. Actually most of us didn’t vote. A plurality may have voted for Obama.

    4. Because Rmoney, the out-of-touch millionaire is just as leftist as Obama, but belongs to a wacky religious cult. Not much of a choice. If I couldn’t have voted Libertarian (and they tried in court to get the Libertarians off the ballot in PA)I would have voted for Obama just to say “Fuck you!” for all the shit they pulled on Ron Paul during the primaries. I mailed back the Republican fundraising letters with exactly that message with no cash and let them pay the postage.

  5. what’s with the Daily Beast thing? That site is half a moonbat from being Dem Underground; most of the crowd hears ‘libertarian’ and, predictably, thinks ‘Somalia.’ Maybe Tina Brown has figured out that the current version of liberalism is a loser in both a political sense and as a media business model.

    1. nice comment you posted in The Other Place

      1. Daily Beast is an even worse memory hog than H&R. I don’t know how many times I started furiously pressing the Escape key to get the page to stop loading, only for some antisocial networking shit to try to start loading itself again. It looked like the Livefyre commenting platform, which is even worse than Disqus, which I hate with a passion for prolonged browser freezes on every single site that uses it

        And why the fuck is Nick not linking to the single-page version?

    2. Well, the moonbats aren’t coming here for information or other points of view, so we have to take it to them.

      1. Or ignore them. You can lead a horse to water…

  6. OK, the term “big government” is worn out and ineffective with some.
    Can we come up with a better term to use for this age group? “Cradle to Grave Government?” “Nanny Government?” “Intrusive Government?”
    “Busybody Government?” What do you in that age group think would work better than “big government?”

    1. I’m not a millennial, but what about “arbitrary government”?

    2. Why not ask the kids?

      1. Yes, ask them.

        FWIW, I like “Big Brother” and the “Government of Narcs and Nannies”.

    3. “Bloody Government.”

      1. Buzzkill Government

        1. Insatiable Government

  7. The Republicans simply have to change their nickname and logo.

    The “Grand Old Party” is bullshit. No young person wants to belong to the “Old” party! And who says “Grand” anymore?

    The elephant reminds young voters of a dinosaur, just compounding the problems with the nickname.

    1. Quick – get zombie Thomas Nast on the job!

      1. He says to replace “The Stupid Party” with The “Brains”.

    2. “The Republican Party…to the extreme!”

      “We’re with it! We’re total hep cats!”

      1. “The Republican Party — Can you dig it?”

        1. “We’re where it’s at!”

          1. “The Republicans: RIGHT On!”

          2. The GOP is the Cat’s Pajamas

      2. Extreme liberty. You’re welcome.

      3. And whatever commercials they do MUST include music by Ted Nugent and Kid Rock!

  8. Seems unlikely that the Anti-libertarian Party would “go libertarian.” I ain’t saying they won’t TALK libertarian from time to time.

    1. Uh, both the major parties are anti-libertarian, just depends on which parts.

  9. For every idea point the GOP might gain with the young in a shift to libertarianism will be wiped out by the 1,000 cool points they lose every time Santorum or Huckabee or Palin open their mouths. And you can kick and scream all you want, but “cool” matters.

    The GOP is a damaged brand with the young, identified with the voices of stupidity, racism, homohate, and misogyny that the mainline party either cannot shut up or don’t want to shut up. It needs to break apart and the libertarian-leaning elements need leave the goober faction with the poisoned “GOP” moniker.

    1. Huckabee is cool! He plays bass! That’s cool, isn’t it?

    2. If millennials think Republicans are racist and sexist, it’s because of things like affirmative action, abortion and compulsory birth control. Not really libertarian issues (except abortion where libertarians are seriously divided).

      1. State sanctioned marriage.

    3. You might get them to vote GOP ironically.

    4. Yes, unfortunately, ^this^.

      I also wonder if we’re seeing youth being concerned with “cool” far deeper into adulthood than before. I certainly notice it in my own life. But the point being that you can’t just hope these youth will turn into practical, completely unselfconscious adults that can look past the “cool” factor.

      1. Cool matters until you start making your own money, which happens later and later in life at this point.

        1. I imagine having kids also hastens the process. I hope it does.

      2. That trend has been accelerating since the sixties. Basically, you try to act young until you get dropped off at a nursing home.

    5. How many election cycles of Democratic dominance would then ensue until equilibrium is reached again?

      A decade or perhaps two decades?

      Or are you perhaps also suggesting that after only a few cycles where the Democrats win 75%-80% of the House and Senate, that _they too_ would begin to break apart?

      Having only one party at the national level is perhaps unstable.

      1. That is the hope. At a certain point Democrats will longer be able to claim that the shithole they’ve built out of America is someone else’s fault and a portion would cleave away. There are plenty of “libertarian” Democrats that will never join anything with the GOP brand.

    6. That’s an impossible fight to win. There’s always one asshole in every movement, and the statist media is dedicated to making that asshole disappear from their side, and making him the face of the party on the other side.

    7. Just have the first primary in Nevada instead of Iowa.

    1. is a prospective male Republican a pre-op transexual?

  10. Millenials, says the report, don’t care much about abstractions such as that favorite Republican bogeyman, “big government.”

    72 percent want to cut the size of government “because it is simply too big.”

    Which is it? Do they care, or not?

    1. I think the point is that GOP politicians tend to use the phrase “big government” like it’s some magical incantation that must just be repeated in that exact fashion as many time as possible, instead of just discussing what they intend to do.

    2. Whatever man. Government’s, like, too big and stuff, but I’m sick and tired of always listening to The Man talk about it being too big all the time. Like seriously, who cares?!

      1. We wanna ride our machines without getting hassled by The Man. And we wanna get loaded.

  11. Democrats held a 16-point advantage over the Republican Party among young voters on handling of the economy and jobs (chosen as the top issue by 37 percent of respondents

    That snippet alone should invalidate any answers given by those 37%.

    Note that the reverse would also invalidate them.

  12. If by some miracle of mind control the GOP platform (such as it exists) was replaced with that of the Libertarian party, would the GOP enjoy a similar electoral success as the Libertarians?

    Or would all things not be equal, in that the *GOP would still have some financial, media and organizational advantages that the Libertarians can’t match- at least for an election or two?

  13. What happens if in 2016 with an economy in no better shape than now, a Candidate Rand Paul actually manages to do worse against Candidate Hilary Clinton than Romney did against Obama- WITH THE YOUNG VOTERS?

    The hypothetical that he does worse overall is too unsettling this morning.

    1. If the hypothetical you propose actually turned out that way, then I agree it’s a hopeless situation. But with your hypothetical, I think Rand would win in a landslide. Hillary has never had much popularity apart from her association with the first first black president. In 2016 she’ll be older, more tiresome and tainted by Obama’s foreign policy. Rand Paul is poised to sweep up way more young voters than any Republican in decades, especially if he gets good at knocking down progressive strawmen by saying “States can do whatever they want; I just think that policy is inappropriate (or unconstitutional as the case may be) at the federal level.” More awareness that federalism does not equal supporting slavery. It’s not 1860.

  14. The CRNC report notes that 88 percent support safety-net programs that help people temporarily and 86 percent favor trimming regulations but maintaining ones “that keep us safe.”

    Define “safety-net programs that help people temporarily.” Most of our current safety net programs were pitched as exactly that, a temporary “hand up, not a hand out.” Yet how many people seem to end up stuck or trapped on welfare, either because of their own inertia or because of the nature of the programs being a band-aid instead of actually correcting the root cause of the problems they’re supposedly intended to fix.

    Also define regulations that “keep us safe.” There’s a lot of regulations that are presumed to do that but really don’t. Many fall under the category of keeping us safe from ourselves, such as Bloomberg’s large soda ban, or the ban on the sale of raw milk. I suspect that a lot of non libertarians fall into that 88 and 86 percent because of the imprecise nature of the terms used.

  15. So the yutes support Social Security, Medicare, the social safety net and the regulatory state. I’m really optimistic about the supposedly social liberal, fiscal conservative yutes of the future.

    In what world is Rand Paul “cool”?

    1. In a world that Romney and McCain exist.

  16. Anyone who thinks the GOP can win the next election by trying to be “cool” is either hopelessly naive or secretly wants them to fail. There is no way the GOP can become cooler than the DFL unless the definition of cool changes. In that regard, there could be a glimmer of hope. One word: entrepreneurship. I think there will be a big movement toward self-employment for this generation. The GOP needs to articulate, loudly, that government makes it hard for anyone who wants to “build that”. They need to appeal to the brain. The Dems have the heart covered. But heart doesn’t make you employed.

    1. Homeschooling is becoming increasingly popular as well, and not just for fundies. The GOP needs to stop peering over at the Dem playbook and taking pointers. They need to show how their way is better, for everyone. For example, Medicaid and Medicare do not help health outcomes……social security is a welfare program for rich older people. Republicans might need to say “fuck you” to the wealthy old crony segment of the voting base, who btw are a much bigger threat to this country than Christians.

      1. You’re talking about a Venn diagram that is a circle.

  17. This kind of article reminds of me polls that find most Americans actually identify themselves “conservatives” – but a lot of them vote for dems.

    No one LIKES the concept of a “big government” or runaway spending. If the question was “would you like to work and the government to cut down on spending”, of course the kids will offer libertarian responses. But in practice, they all favor activist government that responds to the needs of the people.

    Brand loyalty dies hard. Latinos and young voters switch allegiance only if some paradigm shifting event awakens them from their illusions. And that’s outside of the GOP’s control.

  18. That’s because young voters are turned off by the GOP’s emphasis on tax cuts uber alles

    HAHAHA lol.

    Fuck off, slaver.

  19. The GOP should go after FICA and Social Security. These are taxes that low income, young people pay for the benefit of older wealthier people. They should also look at tax simplification or flat personal income tax designed so that small businesses and people of moderate income do not have to file a tax return, like New Zealand were 60% of taxpayers do not file a return.

  20. That’s because young voters are turned off by the GOP’s emphasis on tax cuts uber alles and habit of embracing big businesses rather than scrappy entrepreneurs.

    There’s Gillespie’s inner fucking cosmotarian coming out again.

    The first article I ever read on Reason was about how the GOP focused too much on small business! How about we defend ALL business instead of trying to appease the fucking progtards at the cocktail parties at the Daily Beast.

    1. Businesses that practically run the government don’t need much “defense”. A large part of them are called exactly that.

  21. But all the young people voted for Obama. I understand what Nick is saying but it’s not happening. You would think young people would be a natural libertarian constituency but they’re not. They don’t read Nick’s articles about inter-generational robbery or they don’t understand them. My personal theory is we aren’t going to get back to the America we all know and love until the women come around. Most women I know have a few “Deal Breaker” things about Republicans and that’s it. They can balance their check book to the penny but they don’t care if the Federal gov’t spends a trillion dollars it doesn’t have or commits to unfunded liablilities that will break the country. I don’t understand it. I hope Rand Paul can bring the women back into the libertarian fold but I’m not so sure. When you say “gov’t health care” to most women, they say “That’s a good thing.”.

    1. Interestingly, I read that, in 19th century Europe, women voted more conservatively than men. It may just be that women are more likely to embrace the status quo, whatever it is.

  22. As if everyone who isn’t under thirty is going to die off in the next election cycle, and as if the views of these “young people” won’t ever change. The American people reject libertarianism by overwhelming majorities. They reject amnesty-immigration surge. They reject free trade. The GOP can still win if it appeals to white voters on these issues. Black and Hispanic Americans favor socialism as much as they favor the immigration surge. They will never vote libertarian. It is ironic that Gillespe, who prides himself on putting ideology above politics, advises the GOP to abandon the views of the people who have built it.

  23. Gillepse forgot to mention the elephant in the room, race. The GOP won young white voters. However Blacks and Mexicans overwhelmingly vote Democrat, and they are a much larger share of the young voters. As a White infant is already a minority, even without the additional 30 million immigrants Gillepse wants to add in the next decade, we will inevitably see the end of the GOP. The GOP will have to either improve its share of the White vote or improve its share of the non-white vote. I see the only possible way of survival for the GOP is to run on an explicitly pro-White platform. What do you think would be easier, improving the share of the white from 59% to 63%, or the Hispanic vote from 27% to 57%?

  24. my neighbor’s step-mother makes $76 an hour on the computer. She has been out of work for 10 months but last month her payment was $15443 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more on this site Go to site and open Home for details

  25. http://mallsjersey.blogspot.com/
    Cheap NFL Jerseys, NHL Jerseys, MLB Jerseys, NBA Jerseys Online,
    Authentic 2013 New Style, Wholesale and Custom, Fast Delivery?
    Free shipping fee http://modernjerseys.org/

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.