Millennials

Poll: Millennials Rejecting Obama, Dems and Turning to GOP? Or Kicking Politics Altogether?

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A new Harvard poll of likely voters between the ages of 18 and 29) drives home what The Reason-Rupe Poll of millennials found this summer: The kids are politically up for grabs.

The national survey of 2,000 millennials found that among likely voters, 51 percent wanted a GOP takeover of the Senate while 47 percent preferred the Dems to keep the reins. In 2010, the respective numbers were 43 percent and 55 percent.

Reason's poll of millennials was titled "The Politically Unclaimed Generation" precisely because younger voters appeared to be far less partisan than older Americans (this, despite President Obama overwhelmingly winning the youth vote in 2008 and 2012). Of course they are, for at least two reasons. First, they're still working out their relationships toward politics, where they came from, and the like. As Emily Ekins and I discussed in our October cover story in Reason, it's a given among political scientists and sociologists that the decade or your twenties is a time when you search around for your identity.

Second, Obama and the Democrats have generally been awful to younger Americans. Obama has presided over a terrible economy and can no longer simply blame it all on Bush; in 2012, despite pulling 5 million more votes from the 18-29 group, he actually lost to Mitt Romney among 18, 19, and 20 year olds. And when you move past economic issues (as big as they are), Obama and the Dems have been truly rotten on issues they care a lot about. Obama and a number of high-profile Dems such as Hillary Clinton are objectively pro-NSA surveillance, massive drone attacks, and new and better wars. They've dragged their feet on gay marriage, typically having conversion experiences in the thick of electoral battlefields that only inspire cynicism. Despite other recent "evolutions" on issues such as pot legalization and immigration, he's got a terrible record on both those things, raiding medical marijuana joints in California at a quicker pace than George W. Bush and deporting more illegals than Dubya did too.

What's even more interesting—and from a libertarian POV, even more inspiring—in the Harvard poll is that millennials show genuine signs of bypassing politics and diving right into life itself. These kids don't want to waste their time on political campaigns. They want direct action:

Harvard

That's good stuff, I think, and again it correlates with what Reason-Rupe found: Millennials are wary of politics but very interested in real life—63 percent told us that regulators favor special interests but 55 percent wanted to start their own businesses someday. Of course they are skeptical: Their entire lives have been lived in the relentless clusterfuck of the 21st century, where the right-wing, conservative failures of George W. Bush and the Republicans has been supplanted by the left-wing, liberal failures of Barack Obama and the Democrats.

As Ekins and I wrote, millennials are different from older generations when it comes to ideology.

…it would be a major mistake to think that millennials are the second coming of Murray Rothbard-style anarchism or even Reaganesque disdain for government solutions. While millennials clearly prefer free markets to state-managed ones, they are split on whether free markets are better at promoting economic mobility (37 percent) than are government programs (36 percent). Seven in 10 support government guarantees for housing, health care, education, and income for the truly needy. Yet almost as many—65 percent—think overall government spending should be reduced, and 58 percent favor cutting taxes.

From the point of view of older Americans and the political identities they inhabit, such seeming contradictions—government should guarantee income but cut spending?—come across as the folly of youth, an inability to hash out a coherent, systematic ideology. That sort of response will doubtless allow Republicans, Democrats, conservatives, liberals, libertarians, and progressives to keep selling what they've been selling for decades with minimal changes.

OK, millennials are willing to listen to new ways of thinking about politics and life more generally. The next step for libertarians (and conservatives, and liberals, etc.) is to explain exactly why and how their ideas and policies are more likely to create a world that is fun, interesting, innovative, fair, and workable.

I think we libertarians can do that, don't you?

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  1. I really wish someone would poll Millennials.

    1. THE MILLENIULLZ WILL GIVE US OUR LIBBERTARIAN MOMENT!!!

      Would that be a conclusion of said “poll”?

      1. If they keep repeating it enough, maybe someone will believe it.

      2. But it will only be a moment. Then we’ll get back to cronyism and statism.

      3. If there is hope,’ wrote Winston, ‘it lies in the millenials.’

        1. Politically confused, abused by their societal ‘betters’, allowed a higher degree of personal freedom while others are restricted, bombarded with violent and sexualized imagery…you may be onto something.

  2. Obama has presided over a terrible economy and can no longer simply blame it all on Bush…

    Um…

    BUT for the younger of the Millennials, politics-wise, Obama is all they really know. He should sour them on Dems for at least until the GOP can sour them on the GOP.

    1. at least until the GOP can sour them on the GOP

      Once the Stupid Party has the wheel, it won’t take long.

      1. They’ll be soured on the GOP by Summer.

        1. Sure, Huckabee might be a turn off for some of the Millennial fence-sitters, but Jeb will reel them back in! Did you know he has a Mexican wife?

        2. Why would it take that long?

      2. and then they will go a-flocking to Hillary and/or Warren.

  3. I was just wondering what the millenials are doing these days.

    1. being ironic… growing beards… listening to some shitty music.

  4. I think I speak for the majority of the commentariat in stating that NO ONE CARES ABOUT THESE STUPID MILLENIAL POLLS.

    PLEAAAAASSEE STAHP.

    1. I’m seriously tired of that beard. It looks dyed.

      1. Beards are so over. The next thing is retro pubic hair.

        1. Finally! I just knew that if I stuck to my guns, fashion would come full circle again.

          Jokes on you, society!

        2. Well, that’s gonna be a problem. I laser. It’s like a turtle shell down there.

          1. smooth but with a pattern?

            1. Green and hard

            2. Bony, brownish-green, and bumpy.

              1. Depends on my tumescence level, guys. Wanna see?

                1. How many levels do you have?

            3. With traces of moss

              1. and the little head is hiding.

        3. Are we talking neatly trimmed or the full fur coat?

          1. Closely trimmed, strategically shaved into the UPC code for Nair.

    2. But they are the most important demographic on the planet, don’t ya know!

      Or so one would think given the obsession with them around here.

    3. That’s not true I care, especially when the data risk’s MM’s ultra-tiresome talking points about Mils. Please continue.

  5. Someone could at least punch that dude in the face.

    1. It used to be a very bad idea to go around punching dudes with big beards and tattoos. Now I just don’t know what to think…

      1. Now you have to look at their clothes. Red skinny jeans, “vintage” advertising t-shirt, fake glasses? Punch away!

        1. Or if you can tell he spends hours trying to make his beard look unkempt, but not gross.

    2. I can’t decide what I hate more about him.

      1. His hair and beard are too dissimilar in color. My first thought is he dyes the hair on his head, but why would he stop there? I’m pretty sure he dyes his beard too, because he thinks the red makes him seem rougher and manlier to make up for the dye-job.

      2. His expression. It’s like he is turned on by how horrible he is.

      3. The backdrop “Give me the lightly grunge texture background in charcoal grey. Perfect for a brooding, ironic stock photo”

      1. It’s the “please punch me” look

        1. Pajama boy mastered the please punch me look. This guy is an understudy, at best.

      2. Not to mention the Conan O’Brien hair-do combined with the prison striped shirt.

      3. His expression. It’s like he is turned on by how horrible he is.

        That, to me, is the overwhelming feature of hipsters. They take pride in looking…bad. On wearing extremely unflattering clothes. Having horrible, ugly haircuts and facial hair. Having repulsive tattoos and moronic piercings.

        I can understand doing weird stuff if it’s flattering. But when it’s the exact opposite…what the fuck is wrong with you? I swear it’s mostly pushed by the already-ugly who have nothing to lose anyway.

        1. I admit to liking the looks of certain proto-hipsters but lately they’ve carried it way too far – especially with the beards and the tatts.

        2. I swear it’s mostly pushed by the already-ugly who have nothing to lose anyway.

          WAIT! I thought that was feminizm?

          Now I haz a confyooz….

  6. So it looks like generational collectivism is just as stupid as it was the last time there was an article about “millenials”. And the time before that. And the time before that. Well, at least you’re learning. Right?

    1. I’m Gen X, and we had our grunge movement with the flannels and the doc martin boots, and we too thought the system was oppressive and the man was holding us down, much the way our parents did during the 60’s.

      Then we grew up like everyone does.

      I don’t see what’s different about Millenials other than hipsters look arguably more ridiculous than grunge.

      1. I’m often around these millenials, because of my work often taking me to university campuses. But I don’t converse with them much, outside of my daughter and her husband and a few others. Of course they are politically naive for the most part just like I was at that age.

        What strikes me most about them these days though is how effeminate like most of the guys are. I mean, it’s sort of icky, for a lack of other words.

        1. ” What strikes me most about them these days though is how effeminate like most of the guys are.”

          Jesus tap dancing Christ this. When did being a giant pussy become desirable for men?

          1. I think there’s something in the water, or maybe too much soy in the diet. Sure, when I was a kid, androgyny and transsexualism and such was all very hush-hush, but there just seems to be a heck of a lot more of it than could be accounted for by simply removing social suppression. Of course, living where I do I don’t get a random sample.

            And what’s up with all the “deadly peanut allergies” and “gluten intolerance” and all that crap? That sort of thing was hugely rare if not unknown 50 years, and now everybody and his brother has something.

            1. They all grew up in sterile environments. Their immune systems are bored.

            2. No one gets a random sample. It’s just getting a lot more press now. Also, until very recently, the only viable treatment for transgenderism for 98% of patients was a 7.5g bolus of lead administered to the temple at high velocity. It was able to stay hush-hush because it wasn’t survivable. Hell, even if you wanted to transition, you couldn’t because it would destroy the social lives and careers of everyone in your family.

              But yes, I do wonder how much gender stuff is because you have to be part of an aggrieved community to be legitimized in the worst corners of the blue tribe. Of course, there are ways to do that that let you keep having erections, so I can’t imagine it’s the only reason.

            3. Honestly I think Brad Pitt was right in FIGHT CLUB, just a couple years early.

              “We’re a generation of men raised by women…”

              1. Paging Philip Wylie!

          2. The thing is, it’s not desirable to women, either. Effeminate with scuffy facial hair? In my life, I’ve never heard a woman say she’s anything but disgusted by either of those two things. So what do millenials do? Double-down on both.

            These people are going to look back on their youths with so much shame.

          3. I can tell you from the young women I know, they are asking the same thing. Being married and a little older but not too old and enjoying chatting up women, I talk to a lot of 20 something women. You wouldn’t believe the stories they tell me. The men their age are appalling. I don’t mean they are immature and like to play video games. I mean they are effeminate and of vague sexuality.

            1. And their horrible rap music!

            2. Young women have always been less attracted to men their own age than they are to slightly older men.

        2. how effeminate like most of the guys are.

          The social explanation is that the definition of manhood is currently up in the air.

          I’ve read a few articles talking about how womanhood is contained inherently in their ability to have children while manhood is generally gained through some kind of rite of passage – being strapped to an ant hill, having sex, going to war, owning a car/house, or having a job.

          Since the sexual revolution, women have been able to do many of the things that once defined manhood – mainly sexual freedom and holding importance positions in the work place.

          Apparently, my generation is currently struggling to re-define what manhood means. I just hope to God it’s not re-defined as having a punchable face and sitting around in onesie pajamas sipping hot chocolate.

          1. JEP, don’t forget that the government is the big daddy now. That’s where a lot of people look too for every type of protection, sustenance, guidance and morality. That probably doesn’t help the “old fashioned” idea of manhood either.

            1. This is true. Forget about providing for a family, a man shouldn’t even provide for himself anymore.

              I forget where I read this (it may have been Charles Murray), but someone was arguing that women entered the job market in droves during the ’70s not because of the sexual revolution, but because of the massive inflation it was no longer possible to raise a family on one income.

              That’s really depressing when you think about it.

          2. *how effeminate like most of the guys are.

            The social explanation is that the definition of manhood is currently up in the air.*

            Yeah, because none of those long-haired smelly hippies in the 60s looked like chicks.

            Or any of those glam-rock dudes in the early 70s.

            Or those goth dorks in the 90s.

            Does everyone here have long-term memory loss? I don’t remember.

        3. What strikes me most about them these days though is how effeminate like most of the guys are.

          The feminists are winning.

          I really hope the pendulum swings back the other way. I’m sick of people telling me I need to apologize for being a man. They really have become sniveling pussies.

          1. The pendulum IS swinging the other way, and it’s not a good thing. On one hand, some people define masculinity in terms of hot chocolate, onesies, and retweeting things about being sensitive to women when they talk. The reaction is to define masculinity as being a hypermasculine gym bro. It’s almost like it’s a bad idea to get your cues about what your gender means from terrible people on the internet!

            Anyway. Masculinity will be saved by transmen who don’t want to be anti-women or anti-gay, but who can credibly say that being a dude in their culture sucks.

        4. how effeminate like most of the guys are

          My god yes. I’ve noticed – esp. in NYC – that every man under the age of 30 looks like they just walked out of a gay bar.

          1. I have guys in their 20s working for me who fit this description so well that the women I work with are surprised to find out that the guys are straight.

            1. And it’s not going away any time soon – if the looks of the high schoolers I see on the subway every day are any indication.

      2. Nothing, kids are kids and are generally going to act pretty stupidly, just like we all did when we were kids. That’s what makes these generational cohort collectivizations so fucking stupid.

      3. Yeah, every generation feels oppressed. Every generation sees the horrors of war. And then they grow up to be the oppressors and to start their own wars. It’s the natural way of things.

        Hipsters definitely look more ridiculous than grunge, but not nearly as ridiculous as the disco crowd.

        1. Yeah, the 70s should probably be erased from history. Between disco and Carter…better to forget.

          1. Hey, man, Jaws is a great movie.

              1. But do you like Star Wars?

                1. But do you like Star Wars?

                  Did you say Rolls?

            1. I took tickets in a theater the summer Jaws came out. I learned to tell where they were in the movie by the pattern of screams: little-little-big, OK, that’s the moray eel scene.

            2. My dad still won’t go more than waist deep in the ocean because he saw JAWS in theaters when he was a teen.

              1. It’s actually one of my favorite movies ever. VERY well done on top of it being a brand new genre.

          2. Those who forget the past…

            We should have a large monument on the National Mall to the 70’s and placards all around it that say “Never Forgive. Never Forget.”

          3. EVEN STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN????!?!?!?!??!?!?!!?!?!?

            1. (takes out elephant gun, loads it, gets Warty in its sights)

              1. (Is larger than an elephant)

                1. Look, Warty, this is the most powerful elephant gun in the world and would blow your scrotum clean off. So tell, me, punk…do you feel lucky? Because I’m not sure if I loaded it or not.

            2. *Francisco flicks his bic and hoists it skyward*

            3. The end to every high school mixer* I ever attended (which was all of them), and a sloppy, wet kiss at the end of the song from the Hotty of the Week.

              FUCK ANYONE WHO DOESN’T STILL GET A BONER WHEN “STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN” STARTS PLAYING! WHOOOOOOOOO!!!!

              *”the dance after the football/basketball game” where I grew up

          4. If he’s still alive in two administrations, Carter will be viewed as a president who made mistakes, but had a reasonable foreign policy. Hey, he didn’t even invade Iran!

            One administration if Clinton or Bush make it into office.

            1. “Carter will be viewed as a president who made mistakes, but had a reasonable foreign policy.”

              Being completely incompetent in an area is NOT a reasonable policy.

              1. Competence is relative, and we’re working on a third president who is worse at it than Carter was.

              2. Don’t shortchange him, he was completely incompetent in MANY areas.

                1. We’re running out of presidents who weren’t shitty at foreign policy to put on TV. Pretty soon, Carter will be the only one left.

    2. Yeah but it drags out the generational collectivism from the commenters for all to see. Plus diatribes about how the collective mind called Reason should totally buddy up with Socons and only won’t because the collective mind called Reason is fighting a culture war.

      1. True, we can’t get enough of both those things! They’re just the bestest!

    3. You still don’t know what ‘collectivism’ means.

  7. I have finally figured out Reason’s obsession with Millennials. The sad fact is that most of the people who agree with Reason on culture war issues are economic illiterates or outright socialists and most of the people who agree with Reason on economic issues are some degree of social conservative. Reason doesn’t like this fact because it means life for Libertarians is very hard. So rather than deal with it they pretend there is this mythical creature known as the socially liberal but fiscally conservative voter. Of course there is such a voter. They are called Libertarians and they make up the 5% or so of the population that vote L in most elections. Reason likes to pretend there are just millions of these “socially liberal, fiscally conservative” voters out there that are just being ignored by the big old mean major parties. That is of course a fantasy. Politicians may be craven and are nearly always stupid, but they do know how to read voters. If such voters existed there would be politicians who fit that description and there are generally not.

    So what is going on here with Reason’s Millenial obsession is Reason is trying to convince themselves that the Millenials are the great mass of socially liberal fiscally conservative voters neglected by the major parties they have been dreaming about. Sadly, they are not and will probably never be.

    1. The thing is the majority of college/post-college kids with any kind of experienced or reasonable political outlook is pretty damn small.

      I mean hells-bells I was pretty much a straight-up socialist revolutionary type when I was in college, wondering why so many lefty revolutions failed so miserably.

      It wasn’t until I got out of college – and got a job and started paying my own way through life – that I started to question taxes; and not to mention having a deeper understanding of cronyism, and all the other human foibles that make up the world.

      1. Obama has worked very hard to ensure they never get jobs. Maybe this is why.

    2. I think millenials are more fiscally conservative than the Dem base, but it doesn’t matter. They are desperate to be seen as being politically correct in every way. They would happily surrender financial security to avoid being associated with anything perceived as bigoted or offensive. So they will vote Dem, because everyone knows Dems are never bigoted and are always supremely socially sensitive. Or they will simply not vote at all, because voting is boring and the polling place is, like, four blocks over.

      1. Or because voting is statistically meaningless. Maybe they’re better at math than you think.

        1. I can’t tell you why they are not voting. But I am pretty sure it is not because they are good at math.

          1. That was a joke, John. They’re not voting because kids have better shit to do than vote, like go get drunk or have sex or smoke some weed or play frisbee or, well, anything.

            1. Yes. That is exactly it. I have never understood how people can complain about America not being engaged in politics. There is nothing more fucking miserable and dreary than being around people obsessed with politics. Thank God most of the country isn’t.

              1. There is nothing more fucking miserable and dreary than being around people obsessed with politics.

                And yet you live near DC, right?

                1. Yes. How do you think I know that such a world is so dreary?

                2. And this is a political website, no?

                  1. It’s only a political website because so many of the topics currently fall under the jurisdiction of the government.

                    Ideally, all of these topics would fall under economics and sociology and have nothing to do with politics.

        2. You still don’t understand statistics.

      2. Yes. Such are the wages of losing the culture war with the Left.

        1. If only conservatives would stop losing it i.e. fighting against gay marriage and abortion.

      3. Or they will simply not vote at all, because voting is boring and the polling place is, like, four blocks over.

        This is what a sizeable majority do, which is completely reasonable. Plus all the ones who vote but not for Dems. All told a pretty small percentage are voting dem.

      4. some guy: sadly true.

      5. Well this poll indicates there are about as many Millenials okay with the GOP as they are with Dems so I guess they’re not a monolith.

    3. The sad fact is that most of the people who agree with Reason on culture war issues are economic illiterates or outright socialists and most of the people who agree with Reason on economic issues are some degree of social conservative.

      I figure there are a lot of people out there who are disgusted by the Republicans for their war on personal liberty, and the Democrats for their war on economic liberty, who simply choose not to vote.

      They’re not going to vote R or D, and they see the Ls as a bunch of stoned anarchists.

      So they don’t vote.

      1. Maybe. But maybe also they don’t vote because they are disgusted for other reasons. Nothing says people can only be disgusted for “Libertarian” reasons whatever those are. I don’t think such voters exist because if they did there would be more politicians out trying to appeal to them.

        1. What do the politicians have to gain? They want to appeal to people who want them to do stuff, because that’s how they get more power. They don’t give a whit about people who want to be left alone.

          1. Winning elections. Politicians don’t have some grand plan for power. They are not that bright. They just want to get in office most of them. And if saying these things would do it, they would.

            1. Problem is picking up 5% of voters who want to be left alone could cost them 25% who want free shit.

  8. In the early 90’s, we had the phenomenon where youngsters would say that something was “bad” but they really meant “good”.

    Maybe millennials use the word “likely” to mean “unlikely”.

  9. Noooooooooooooooooo

  10. Well, I’m a boomer. And I have to tell you that most of my generation are a bunch of statist assholes of assorted types. And it’s very unlikely that most of them are going to change their position now no matter how good the argument is. Most of the folks from the generation before us boomers are even worse and they’ll all be dead soon anyway.

    So, I hate to tell you, but we have no hope at all outside of the Gen X and Millenials if we are ever going to have a government that has a sizeable representation from libertarians. It’s up to us to get the message out. We have the truth on our side, it’s just getting younger people to believe it and then to care. That’s pretty much it, like it or not.

  11. semi-related:

    Mounting Crises Raise Questions on Obama Team’s Ability to Cope

    So did Obama just have a lucky few years in office? Or was it media pandering? Did the mass of bad news finally catch up to him? Of course every two-term presidency has its problems in the later years…

    1. What crisis did they have to deal with during the first four years? And yes the media covered up for all of their fuckups.

      Now the fuckups are so big there is no hiding them. These people are all morons. Name a single person in the Obama Administration who is a no kidding smart and competent person?

      1. The terrible Obamacare exchange rollout seemed to be the moment that broke the dam.

      2. Competent at what? Obama is a genius at sleaze, Joe Biden is a genius at being a fucking moron, and all the underlings are geniuses at asskissing and backstabbing or they wouldn’t have made it this far.

        1. Exactly. Politicians want to get elected. The ones who get elected are very competent at achieving their goals. You just can’t assume they are actually trying to achieve anything else.

      3. Obama is certainly smart in his own way. “Competent” is another story.

      4. “Name a single person in the Obama Administration who is a no kidding smart and competent person?”

        I guess most of them that worked on his re-election campaign would qualify.

        1. No they wouldn’t. Winning an election and running a campaign means you are good at PR. It doesn’t mean you are competent to do anything else. Somehow I am not surprised you would think they would be.

          1. Being good at ‘PR’ can get you paid quite a lot in a lot of places.

          2. Winning an election and running a campaign means you are good at PR

            So they are competent at running a campaign. Why would they want to be competent at anything else? All that matters is winning the campaign.

      5. The near-collapse of the global economy?

        This media bias thesis is wearing thin. Remember Bush’s first crisis? He actually got credit for failing to prevent the country’s worst terrorist attack.

        1. *This media bias thesis is wearing thin. Remember Bush’s first crisis? *

          Hey, numbskull, Bush’s first crisis was a US military plane that was forced to land in China.

          I know you were 8 years old when it happened, but there is thing called the internet, now…

    2. How can you possibly be sure if a president is really, actually horrible, or just had an unfortunate set of circumstances unless you reelect him?

  12. I guess it’s never occurred to the various paleo and conservative leaning posters here that maybe, just maybe, Reason focuses on millenials because they are going to dominate politics in the future, or because previous generations seem wedded to the two party system and this new one might be hoped to be different, or because they’ve played disproportionate roles in recent libertarian campaigns? Naw, they’re just secret liberals and Democrats (the irony of these posters thinking Reason is secret liberal Democrats is, of course, pretty heavy).

    1. Reason focuses on millenials because they are going to dominate politics in the future,

      They are not a particularly large generation. So there is no reason to believe that other than it makes you feel good I guess.

      And the two party system isn’t going anywhere. But yes, Reason obsesses over them because they like to fantasize about a future of ponies and rainbows

      1. I’m more with Bo than John on this. It makes sense to focus on young voters. As the twig is bent, etc. But as I’ve said many times, the idea that libertarianism is going to get anywhere by having Libertarians win elections is probably doomed. Better for libertarians to take over the GOP, the way socialists took over the Democrats.

      2. They are not a particularly small generation either.

        Over the next 30 years they will in fact become dominant. But to your larger point, it really doesn’t matter. Boomers want their SS checks. Millennials want their student loans paid off. They both want “free” healthcare, etc.

    2. Naw, they’re just secret liberals and Democrats

      Based on revealed preference (their voting patterns to date) as opposed to their stated preference in polls, that’s the way to bet. There are always exceptions, but the tendency of that age cohort is pretty clear.

      As noted above, the Left’s Long March through the institutions is finally bearing fruit. This generation was subjected to levels of ideological indoctrination that is unprecedented in this country.

      And, ironically, is giving the lie to the basic premise of Marxism that economics drives everything. We are about to get yet another hard lesson in how culture drives economics (and everything else).

      1. Marx – in a nutshell – was a grade A idiot. But I repeat myself.

      2. “Naw, they’re just secret liberals and Democrats” that was in reference to the writers here at Reason.

        “the Left’s Long March through the institutions ”

        Oh good grief.

        1. For heaven’s sake, Bo, you don’t think that many of the institutions in this country are not dominated by leftism and leftists, including:

          (a) Public schools
          (b) Higher education
          (c) The media

          1. You essentially named two (a and b are ‘education’). And I don’t think either of them is as correct as you think (the schools here in SC are not very liberal, and there are plenty of media where the Right does very well).

            The whole ‘the Left owns all the institutions’ line is essentially a ‘what’s the matter with Kansas’ on the Right. They can’t believe anyone would really hold positions so different from them, so they must have been brainwashed or something. Leftists students I know all rail about how ‘the media’ is controlled by the Right (because the big media companies are Evul Corporations don’t you know).

            1. The ones I named are very formative of the culture. You can collapse (a) and (b) if you like, doesn’t really matter to me or my point.

              If you believe that these institutions, generally speaking, aren’t dominated by leftists, you are in the kind of deep denial that I would expect of someone who has marinated in their indoctrination.

              1. Yeah, but the thing is, I NEVER listened to or believed a word any adult ever told me. I was an anti-establishment rebel from birth.

                One would think there would be a backlash to the indoctrination. What happened to the rebelliousness in kids? Has it been Ritalined out of them? Why are they such conformist pussies?

                1. What happened to the rebelliousness in kids? Has it been Ritalined out of them? Why are they such conformist pussies?

                  You were only supposed to rebel against the Wrong People. Now that TOP MEN are in charge you must OBEY.

        2. As to the lingering suspicion that Reason writers might be secret liberals and Democrats, many of us recall too many of them promoting and voting for Barack Obama.

      3. You don’t have to believe that millennials are majority libertarian to realize that the growing Gray Tribe affiliation in their ranks is important, or to realize that there are trends pushing more of them in that direction.

        1. If they could be turned, they would become a powerful ally.

          1. HAWT.

      4. As noted above, the Left’s Long March through the institutions is finally bearing fruit. This generation was subjected to levels of ideological indoctrination that is unprecedented in this country.

        That’s the gist of it. These kids have spent their entire lives being convinced that collectivism is great and that free markets are slavery, that white males are patriarchal slave masters and racists and that all other races and genders are pure and noble victims. And all sorts of other pure fucking bullshit.

        It would be a wonder that by the time they graduate from a 4 year college that they are capable of logical independent thought at all.

        The only hope is for libertarians to mount an equally effective information campaign and try to de-program them. And we have to do it without an endless amount of tax dollars and resources. The other thing is that the left are really beginning to go too far to such an extent that even the most indoctrinated might start to finally see that they are stark raving mad.

        1. “he other thing is that the left are really beginning to go too far to such an extent that even the most indoctrinated might start to finally see that they are stark raving mad.”

          The beautiful thing about partisans of all stripes is their inevitable drive to overreach.

        2. The internet is making this indoctrination drive harder and harder. See GamerGate for further reference.

      5. Yes, we’re going to find out, they’ll teach us good and hard.

      6. Based on revealed preference (their voting patterns to date) as opposed to their stated preference in polls, that’s the way to bet.

        No it isn’t that’s a lie. Please stop lying. Most millenials don’t even vote. God you are one tiresome liar.

        1. Most millenials don’t even vote.

          About half of them do. Not significantly below the rates for most of their elders.

          And those that do, have historically broken for the Dems.

          http://www.politico.com/news/s…..83510.html

          I’m not lying. So why are you so defensive about this?

          1. Oh wow, half. What a great way to smear all of them!

            By the way that study might have been commissioned by the Romney campaign it is such a laughable attempt in shifting blame. Obama is the only president to lose vote in his successful re-election-Romney lost because the people who cared enough to vote McCain weren’t motivated to vote Romney.

            Also, Virginia had an election for governor more young people voted GOP than Dem. Give it up you’ve grossly outrun your meagre evidence.

            1. Oh wow, half. What a great way to smear all of them!

              Well, half not voting isn’t most, so you’ve got that not going for you.

              I have no way to access the revealed political preferences of people who don’t vote. Do you? If so, please tell us what the revealed preferences of non-voting Millenials are.

              As it is, you are complaining about my use of the only available data set to generalize about an age cohort. Sorry, but that’s the best I’ve got, and seems to be way more than you’ve got.

              1. 1) It was half of *eligible* voters.

                2) If so, please tell us what the revealed preferences of non-voting Millenials are.

                None of the above. Duh.

                3) As it is, you are complaining about my use of the only available data set to generalize about an age cohort. Sorry, but that’s the best I’ve got, and seems to be way more than you’ve got.

                No sorry that’s not how it works. If your data set isn’t enough to make the conclusion you want to make, then you can’t make it. Your conclusion might not be wrong, but you still can’t make it. Doesn’t matter if it’s all there is.

                1. Point scored on NOTA. Well played.

                  As to point number 3, well, I’m not in a business where we can sit around and wait on perfect data. I don’t think anybody is. You generalize based on the data you have, hopefully with some awareness of its limitations.

                  If your data set isn’t enough to make the conclusion you want to make

                  My conclusion was about the revealed political preferences of Millenials. This conversation has shown that I was drawing incomplete conclusions about that and should refine it to say:

                  Millenials who vote have historically shown a strong revealed preference for liberals. Millenials also tend to vote at pretty high levels especially for their age. So far, so good?

                  Of the Millenials that don’t vote, its hard to say what their revealed preference is, but NOTA is not a bad start.

                  How’s that?

      7. As noted above, the Left’s Long March through the institutions is finally bearing fruit. This generation was subjected to levels of ideological indoctrination that is unprecedented in this country.

        No kidding. I read an article recently (The Atlantic?) that went on and on about the “stereotype” of Africa as a place filled with diseases, as if it were some sort of baseless bigotry. Never mind history and biology and all the stuff they hear about the biodiversity of jungles, nope, it’s just some white colonialist prejudice. The authors were two women in their 20s. I’ll be they were thrilled to get an article published that applied the leftist bullshit they got in college.

    3. Then they should spend less time analyzing them and more time making reasoned arguments to them

      1. Knowing what they value might help with that, right?

        1. Not really. You’re trying to convince them off the things they should value

          1. No offense, but I hope you’re not in sales or marketing. Knowing about someone or a group helps you sell to them.

            1. Selling a philosophy and selling a product are wholly different things unless you plan to make a base appeal to emotion. The other guys specialize in base appeals to emotion, which is why their philosophies suck.

              1. There’s nothing wrong with admitting that emotion plays a part in determining political philosophies since a big part of that is values.

                1. And which emotions are most commonly used and most effective in politics?

                  1. The two emotions that drive most human activity:

                    Greed

                    Fear

          2. Think of us as being at the diagnostic stage.

            With a good diagnosis in hand, we can then begin the treatment.

    4. SNOCONES!

      jesus titty fucking christ man, you really are a tiresome, broken record.

  13. When did this phenomenon of naming generations come from? It’s dumb as shit. We should stop doing it. “Millenials” aren’t a group. It doesn’t exist.

    1. At what % of a group of which X is true do you think one can talk about that group doing X without being dumb? If someone says ‘black voters voted for Obama’ is that dumb because 7% of them did not?

    2. But it’s so satisfyingly collectivist, Warty. Plus it allows people to go “those damn kids” without seeming super old! Except they do!

    3. Look, we have a bunch of lines drawn in arbitrary places that says it does.

      1. Look, this arbitrary distinction allows me to invent support for whatever it is I already believed in, so it’s obviously useful.

        1. It’s so obvious!

        2. No, we didn’t. Some of us were the right age to watch Thundercats and Transformers, that’s all we have in common.

          1. Shit. That’s supposed to be in reply to RC.

            1. I know. My snarkasm font just isn’t showing up today.

    4. No group larger than about 144 individuals exists in a meaningful way.

      1. That’s gross.

    5. I think it all started with “The Greatest Generation.”

      Pretty dumb to start there in my opinion – by definition, society has no where to go but down.

      1. I think of all the horrible shit the greatest generation gave us…

      2. Yeah, the first time I heard that shit (wasn’t it relentlessly pushed by Tom Brokaw or one of the other idiotic media talking heads that decided to focus on WWII like a fucking laser?), I was thinking “that’s a pretty bold statement, using the superlative and all; what’s left?”

        1. Brokaw

      3. I thought Boomers were the first. Even that was stupid. The Baby Boom was a real event, but lumping together everyone born to WW2-age parents was stupid. Lumping together everyone who’s 15-35 or whatever it is now makes even less sense. What do we have in common?

        1. What do we have in common?

          You grew up together?

          1. What does that mean? It’s not like the population only cranks out batches of new people every 4 years or something.

            There’s no good dividing line. We’re organizing people by date of manufacture.

        2. You’re all a bunch of whippersnappers?

        3. The generational grouping thing goes way back: “The Lost Generation” was in the ’20s.

      4. I’m pretty sure the Baby Boomers were first to codified? I’m not sure how much pull the “Jazz Babies” or “Lost Generation” had in the 1920s.

    6. It doesn’t bother me. It’s more convenient than saying “the cohort born between 1961 and 1981”. And I think most people realize that there can be a lot of diversity in a cohort.

      1. It may be more convenient, but this kind of lazy lexical shortcoming leads to lazy thinking and idiotic collectivization that leads to fallacious conclusions. “Millenials” are not a group any more than “People who live along the Pacific Ocean” are a group.

    7. Yes it does exist. It is a cohort.

      1. And how is “cohort” defined?

        It’s an arbitrary definition based on the fact our a society follows a certain calendar and a particular year happened to have a lot of zeros in it.

        1. Don’t disturb him. He’s busy trying to convince us he’s a scientist.

          1. I am a Master of Science actually and yes a scientist. I studied age cohorts. They are real. You can define them how you like. Makes sense to use Big Events like the end of the Cold War to define them.

            1. A Master of Science??? Holy shit, you must be real smart then. I bet nobody else here has one of them thingies.

              1. Too many judging from my luck in the job market. BTW it’s an MSc in a real science not economic or something like that.

                1. What kind of real science would be interested in age cohorts? Serious question.

                  1. I don’t want to give away my details on the web, but take say exposure to lead. If you want to demonstrate a correlation between lead levels in the environment at a stage in life and the development of some physiological/mental effect in a population, you do a temporal study-if you have environmental data going back over time on lead levels. Then you get a bunch of people of varying age, put them into cohorts, and study them. Compare and correlate. This is just an example.

  14. Nobody likes Republicans except cranky old geezers who never change the channel from FOX News. They only win because said cranky geezers always vote and everyone else often fail to.

    1. You’re making the same mistake as some others here, but in reverse. It all depends. As reported here in the recent Virginia gubernatorial election the older vote put the Democrat in power.

      1. How’s that? Cuccinelli won the older vote, though things were pretty close down the line except on race. I don’t see how you attribute the outcome to older voters.

        1. Coochi got more young votes than McCauliffe. Sarvis got a bunch too.

        2. You’re right, I stand corrected. But Cuccinelli won the youth vote.

          1. The young youth vote at any rate. I think that was probably due to a concerted effort by college republicans.

            1. *
              I think that was probably due to a concerted effort by college republicans*

              And the Koch Brothers.
              And Faux News.

              Yawn.

  15. The only conceivable optimism I can muster is that maybe, just maybe, some meaningful subset of these youngsters are smart enough to finally realize just how badly they were punked by the DNC and its chimera, Barack Obama.

    A few of them must have woken up by now, realizing much too late that the snappily creased tent show huckster who got them to chant, “We are the ones we have been waiting for!” has been laughing up his sleeve the whole time, snickering, “I DRINK YOUR HOPE. I DRINK IT UP.”

    1. Oh, they realize they were punked. But they know Elizabeth Warren is different. She won’t let them down.

      1. A belief in principals persists

  16. One thing we should learn from the Left’s many victories, is the value of just being relentless. Of never giving up. Keep pounding away, and when your opportunity comes, there you are. On that front, I agree with Nick’s call to arms above.

    The other thing we should learn is the value, over the long run, of incrementalism and opportunism. Although, to be fair, we libertarians rarely even get the opportunity to make incremental gains. Still, when we get them, we should take them, regardless of how odious our allies on that issue will be.

    1. Hear, hear. “Fabian libertarianism” I call it, and will continue to do so until it catches on.

  17. REASON/RUPE POLL OF MILLENIALS FINDS:

    Polling Millenials Yields Absolutely No Useful Information At All

    Researchers Suggest Kidnapping a Few and Torturing Them For Answers: Others Say, ‘Twitter Provides Same Results’

  18. But they know Elizabeth Warren is different. She won’t let them down.

    *climbs on chair, puts head through noose*

  19. he right-wing, conservative failures of George W. Bush

    WTF?

    I must of missed those. Or is Nick referring to the failures to partially privatize Social Security,sustain the veto of the Farm Bill and…?

    I’m coming up blank on any more “right wing conservative” successes or failures from Bush.

    1. Good catch.

      Its the easy, thoughtless parroting of lefty/DemOp media tropes that happens at Reason that sustains the suspicion that Reason tends to be a leetle too coastal elite/cocktail party/cosmo squishy.

      1. This. This is why you’re tiresome.

      2. Oh puh-leeze. You know they’re talking about the War on Terror, The Iraq Affair etc spare us your bullshit.

      3. The pair of you are firmly on record as not getting my point here. No need to be tiresome about it.

        If he meant the WoT, why didn’t he say the WoT? Why did he use a common DemOp/lefty formulation that is intended to sweep in ideas that, among other things, libertarians might support (such as those mentioned by SIV), for a blanket dismissal?

        The Reason folks live in a certain environment. That environment has risks. I think unconsciously absorbing and using DemOp media/lefty memes and tropes is one of those risks, and one that I wish Reason folks were a little more wary of.

        1. Nitpicky and tiresome.

        2. RC has a point.

          I don’t recall GW bush making any particular SoCon policies his signature efforts.

          Medicare Part D? hardly.

          DOMA was Clinton, for crissakes.

          Tax cuts? ooooh. Right wing.

          Aside from his providing *Neocons* (read: formerly Liberal Wilsonians in the Defense Department) free-reign to try and remake the Middle East… i’m not sure WTF people are talking about when they call Bush ‘Right Wing’.

          Obama has done nothing if not confirm that the oppressive Statism of the Patriot Act, NSA, DHS, etc. is entirely shared and endorsed by the Left.

          So what was so ‘right wing’ about Bush?

          1. Banned online poker.
            Went after the porn industry. (Obscenity task force)
            Empowered the FCC to fine people for saying naughty words on the fucking teeeveee.

            Bush was plenty socon.

            1. Empowered the FCC to fine people for saying naughty words on the fucking teeeveee.

              They didn’t have that before?

              1. Wasn’t enforced. Things were moving in the right direction until that bitch showed us her booby.

                I was listening to the uncensored version of this on the radio in South Dakota, prior to “the crackdown”.

                1. Horrors.

                  Still, take heart! Children today as young as 5 all sing the *uncensored version* of songs like David Banner’s “Play“, despite attempts by the Government to limit people’s exposure. And so civilization progresses!

            2. Right, the poker. That was lame.

              He didn’t seem to get far with the porn… last i checked… (checks) Yep. still there.

              The last one i’m going to call a wash. The FCC is shit and does that stuff on their own.

              I’m still unconvinced. As I said – he had zero actual ‘socon’ signature policies. There may have been some more-socon-leaning enforcement of *existing law* on the books… but he didn’t seem to go out of his way to shove anything down people’s throats that I recall.

              Im not endorsing the guy, just saying that the meme of “Right Wing Failure” is a bit of a fantasy.

              1. Bush did sign a law allowing for higher fines for violated FCC standards but he didn’t start it.

              2. I can apparently come up with better stuff than others =

                – stem cell research ban?
                – Plan B repression?
                – Attempts to transfer lots of federal spending to “Faith Based” organizations?

                1. Ooow. Those are good ones I forgot about.

                  You’re right, they weren’t signature, but they were enough to be annoyingly noticeable.

                  1. The horrors of limiting NSF funding!

                    I’d rank the stem cell funding ban as a “right wing conservative” success.

                    1. I’d rank the stem cell funding ban as a “right wing conservative” success.

                      Why doesn’t that surprise me?

  20. It may be more convenient, but this kind of lazy lexical shortcoming leads to lazy thinking and idiotic collectivization that leads to fallacious conclusions.

    Oh, come on. Next you’ll be telling me there are ten thopusand pickup truck driving, pistol shooting, dirt bike riding, back country skiing twenty-somethings who couldn’t give fuck less who the Speaker of the House even is, for every Pajama Boy congressional page wannabe.

  21. So what was so ‘right wing’ about Bush?

    He cut tax rates for millionaires to zero, completely deregulated the banks, and sold off the Great Smoky Mountains to Peabody Coal!

    1. Is your objection to threading on religious, or political grounds?

  22. Monomaniacal contraryism.

    1. +1 stickin it to the man

      Never give in Brooksie

    2. Sweeet!

  23. I mean ….

    Sweeet!

  24. As a millenial myself, I am just fed up with the partisanship of the two major parties. I mean, it seems, to me, that since Obama got elected (and maybe longer) we have become a nation that is so politically separated that we resort to something like The TEA Party (which, in the beginning I didn’t have an objection to but, lately, has just become FLAT OUT cultish).The Left wants Uncle Sam to dictate every aspect of our lives; but The Right is just a lighter shade of gray. Therefore, I am thankful to The Libertarian Party for providing a REASONable alternative.

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