Millennials

2016 Candidates Should Address Millennials' Economic Woes, Not Promise Them World War III

What snake people want

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Snakes
Dreamstime

Noting that snake people millennials belong to "the largest and most diverse demographic cohort in American history," CNN asked a bunch of us what we were thinking about the 2016 election. My opinion was among those solicited. Here's what I had to say:

My sophomore year at the University of Michigan coincided with the rise of Barack Obama as the preferred candidate of young people during the 2008 campaign. I saw firsthand how this fresh-faced senator from Illinois inspired my fellow students.

It's easy to forget—especially after years of continued U.S. military intervention in the Middle East—that the single issue that drew so many young people to Obama was his promise to curtail the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's a promise he hasn't entirely lived up to; one of my college buddies who campaigned ardently on Obama's behalf actually burned his stash of pro-Obama campaign materials in protest of the President's summer 2014 bombing campaign in Iraq.

But though young voters may be less enthusiastic about life under Democratic leadership than they were six years ago, it's hard to imagine many of them falling in line with the Republican Party as long as its presidential candidates continue to emphasize national security paranoia as the paramount issue of the 2016 election. Millennials today remain more skeptical of foreign policy interventionism than older Americans. According to a recent Cato Institute paper, millennials "perceive the world as significantly less threatening than their elders do" and are less supportive of war.

Though young Americans feel astutely safe about foreign threats, they are worried about their economic situation. Any candidate who wants to inspire Obama levels of dedication should stop girding millennials for yet more endless warfare (warfare they will be obligated to partake in) and instead focus on what they would do to expand the job prospects of the under-30 crowd.

Other millennials similarly highlighted domestic issues—student loan debt, unemployment, health care, etc.—as their paramount concern, though many seemed to possess confidence that leftwing policies were the correct way to solve those issues. I remain convinced that Republicans ­must eventually court young voters, and they should do so by explaining why a limited-government approach to economic issues would create more opportunities for young people.

To hear more about my opinions on the 2016 election, millennials, and libertarianism, listen to my recent appearance on the Federalist Radio Hour with Ben Domenech. And if you're a fan of millennial in-fighting in general, you can watch me debate Sex-and-the-State editor Cathy Reisenwitz on college censorship and safe spaces for a recent Russia Today segment.

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  1. Where is the fucking poll?

    1. Robby seems to have basically polled himself. NTTAWT.

      1. Everyone does it. You’re a liar if you say you don’t.

    2. Probably down at the strip club.

      Oh, wait. You meant the millenial poll. Sorry my bad.

  2. I remain convinced that Republicans ?must eventually court young voters, and they should do so by explaining why a limited-government approach to economic issues would create more opportunities for young people.

    Maybe someone should explain it to them first…

    1. The one issue Rand Paul could gain traction on he wussies out.

  3. Millennials gave us Obama. And probably Hillary. Fuck ’em!

    1. I doubt they’ll be rushing back to the polls. The millennial vote is unreliable. They only voted for Obama in any numbers because the “fresh-faced senator from Illinois inspired” them for some reason.

      1. They wanted to be part of history in voting in the first Black president. I’m sure they’ll be (nearly) as excited to vote for the first female president. But I would be happy to be proven wrong…

        1. Too much baggage. A first only works if they manage to give off the mystic history in the making vibes. Hillary has been around on the national stage to long for those vibes. Millennials voting for her don’t get to feel they got in on the ground floor.

          1. I truly hope you’re right. It just concerns me that so many polls list Hillary as one of the most respected and admired women in America. If the majority doesn’t see her for what she really is by now, they likely never will.

        2. Hillary is not “fresh-faced”.

          She is not that popular among women in general. Don’t expect to see millennials (men or women) lining up to support Hillary.

          1. Don’t expect to see millennials (men or women) lining up to support Hillary.

            Of the current contenders, who do you think they’d line up to support? They all know Hillary’s name, and for many voters that’s all they need.

            1. The thing with millennials is that it is always a valid option not to line up behind anyone. If you don’t get their panties wet they’ve got cat videos on the internet with way more appeal than standing in line to vote.

            2. I expect them to stay home in droves.

            3. I hear more people talking favorably about Bernie Sanders. They liked Obama because he seemed to be genuine and optimistic. I wouldn’t describe Sanders as optimistic but he is genuine.

              If he wins, I foresee Congress not passing any of his preferred legislation and rule by executive order even more so than Obama. Because Sanders is so convinced he is right, and that he has the will of the people behind him, I can absolutely see him bypassing Congress in every way imaginable.

              1. …until he gets taken out by a stroke six months into his first term on account of being an old, old man.

                1. Then VP Lie-a-watha would step up.

              2. I hear more people talking favorably about Bernie Sanders.

                It’s disconcerting that a self-proclaimed Socialist (aka the path to Communism) could get the traction that he has. Do people even listen to what he’s saying?

                1. Yes, the scary thing is I think they are listening to him.

                2. A lot of people seem to honestly think that “1%ers” are evil capitalists sitting in their mansions just waiting to kill all us proles and destroy the Earth to further enrich themselves.

                  They don’t realize that this more accurately describes the politicians they wish to give absolute power to.

                3. Millenials are too young to have much first-hand experience of an actual (or substantially) socialist government, so it sounds new and exciting to them. They mostly missed the decline and fall of official communism and the 70s are only a distant legend.

        3. They wanted to be part of history in voting in the first Black president

          No, for most people it was more about Obama himself, not his skin color.

          1. not his skin color.

            John Edwards expressed the exact same things that Obama did. But the Progressives went for the Black guy to prove (mainly to themselves) that they weren’t racist. This is also the only reason Ben Carson is polling so well among Republicans.

            1. That wasn’t my experience when talking to his supporters back then.

            2. Obama said it all (nothing really) in grandiose language with an oratory style that was new to people who don’t attend black church services.

              Nobody on either side has an unique style except Trump – and I think people will see through his bullshit faster than it took them with Obama.

              1. The first time I heard Obama speak was at the ’04 DNC convention, and I thought he sounded good. I wasn’t falling all over myself, but it was more inspiring than any other politician I had heard at the time.

                Granted I wasn’t much of a libertarian back then, but I was definitely no progressive, either. I was a proto-libertarian moderate and was sick of the partisanship.Obama seemed like he really could rise above that. Race had nothing to do with it.

                Fast forward to ’08 and I was starting to go over to libertarian ideas more fully. I was mostly already there but I was starting to learn about the history of those ideas, what they were called, etc. I was never going to vote for Obama at that point. But I saw my peers (mid-20s by that time) responding to him in the same way I did in ’04, and even more so.

                He really did sound different than other politicians, even if his substance (or lack thereof) was no different. And people responded to that for reasons that I think were understandable.

          2. I’ve said this before. Back in 2008 Dems didn’t want to vote for Hillary for the same reasons they don’t like her today. However, they needed a way to not vote for her without being called a misogynist. Along came Obama. He was perfect. Now they could vote for him and be able to brag about their liberal bona fides because they were voting for a black guy.

            This year, the same thing is driving Sanders. If any other pols were in this race, he wouldn’t get anywhere. The super libs are flocking to him because it again allows them to not have to vote for Hillary and tell their friends that socialists are the new cool thing.

        4. No. My generation is more interested in voting for Bernie Sanders… which is probably worse.

      2. He inspired them because I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.

        1. and in low-infoville, that matters. None of that applies to Hillary. Part of Obama’s appeal among the left was a response to Clinton fatigue

          1. Clinton fatigue

            But fatigue fades and is replaced by nostalgia. Jerry Brown sent California toward a fiscal cliff in the 70s, but the brilliant people of that state have since elected him twice to continue what he began decades earlier.

      3. They only voted for Obama in any numbers because the “fresh-faced senator from Illinois inspired” them for some reason.

        Leg tingles.

    2. Generational collectivism is fucking stupid. “Millenials” didn’t give us shit. All the people who voted for Obama did.

      1. But..but…they are a big and diverse cohort… that all think alike!

        1. We don’t all think alike, we’re divided down the center on most issues, but we perceive the Republican party as the party of war and bigotry. The democrats are seen as the lesser of two evils.

          1. My “Millenial” niece doesn’t know any Republicans.

            /Kael

          2. we perceive the Republican party as the party of war and bigotry

            And here we see the fruits of the progressive/crypto-Marxist “long march through the institutions”.

    3. Millennials gave us Obama. And probably Hillary. Fuck ’em!

      Um, turnout in the millenial cohort was below 50% and of course a significant amount voted for Rs or other parties.

      So a small minority of millenials (who were a small minority of the over all Obama vote) gave us Obama.

      1. Yep. Millennials didn’t give us Obama, boomers did, by and large. Because Opera, because folks were grumpy with Bush (including writers here), because racism, and, of course, because free shit. But let’s not pretend for a moment that the Long March to Socialism has been led by the boomers.

  4. “2016 Candidates Should Address Millennials’ Economic Woes, Not Promise Them World War III”

    Why not both? Take the worst ideas from the “D’s” and “R’s” and use WWIII as the ultimate broken window policy?

    1. Well, FDR ended the depression by starting world war two, so it’s worked before.

      -anyone educated in a state run school

      1. Mainer2,

        Whenever I balk when hearing this belief expressed and begin to (gently) refute it, I am rewarded with confused and/or suspicious looks, followed by a change of subject.
        After one such occasion I found that my friend(s) stepped in to save me from making a fool of myself. Evidently everyone knows…. it is true, except me.

  5. We’re heading towards being more like the Europeans. Our lack of a parliamentary system managed to slow it down, but eventually the socialist always win. The guy or gal working a dead end convenience store job is going to see government bennies as a good thing, and the families of such folks want to ensure they don’t end up homeless so they’ll be for it too.

    1. Socialism appeals to those who realize they have no marketable skills and will never have anything of value to offer society. But they still expect to live the lifestyle of those who do contribute and will vote for anyone who promises to take the earnings of others and give it to them. And there are more people like that every day, unfortunately.

      1. And the families of people who coast through life from one bad decision to the next. The biggest socialist I’ve met (working the phones, volunteering organizational skills, talks about nothing else on Facebook) is one not because of her bad decisions but because large chunks of her family are permanently on the brink of living on the street.

        They can’t take care of themselves. They fail to pay bills. They don’t renew stickers on their cars. They do drugs, drink away their paychecks, and if they have anything nice they let their friends destroy it. She got past the stage where she thinks she can save them from themselves, but she moved on to wanting the government to save them instead.

        1. And the families of people who coast through life from one bad decision to the next.

          This is my girlfriend’s whole family. I don’t understand how people can live like that.

          1. I really can’t either, and I’ve known a bunch of them personally. Nothing you can do will help them. You could give them 10,000 a day and they’d still find a way to go so deep in debt they were living in a shelter (until they got kicked out for bad behavior). I just don’t get their thought process.

            1. There isn’t one.

              1. Yes. They live in the moment and seldom consider the consequences. I’m totally opposite; I spend so much time considering the consequences I don’t get to enjoy the moment.

                1. Clearly we share a common ancestor.
                  Regardless of whether or not that is correct, Antilles, I will add that there is a high level of contentment I experience from postponing enjoyment in order to behave with some degree of clarity which I may look back upon with approval.

    2. My co-worker’s high school son was getting his constitutional originalism on the other night at dinner, and I went looking for some indoctrinating literature for him to consume. I came across Bastiat’s “What Is Seen and What Is Unseen” stuff, which I think pretty much fills in half the hole in millenials’ (or any generation’s) thinking. Immediate benefits for a defined group will always trump dilute costs for an undefined group. I don’t see how we can roll that back.

  6. Noting that snake people millennials belong to “the largest and most diverse demographic cohort in American history,

    Defined by?

    1. Long, thin bodies, no appendages, covered in scales… Any other questions ?

      1. Mr. Lizard did you see the reptile pr0n I posted for you in the AM links?

        If not, here it is again (SFW) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srOypBhKmd0

  7. It’s a promise he hasn’t entirely lived up to

    *spits coffee all over monitor*

  8. stop girding millennials for yet more endless warfare (warfare they will be obligated to partake in)

    Obligated to partake in, how?

    1. they are the ones of fighting age. i don’t think he’s saying individuals will be forced to fight, but it will be their generation that provides the majority of the corpses.

      1. Yeah, its the “obligated” part that I don’t get.

        1. We would lose fighting with millennials ! I’m not much older than them but already want them off my lawn !

    2. Obligated to partake in, how?

      Well, if my money is taken from me for the rest of my life to pay for ill-advised military adventurism, I’m being forced to partake through financing it, no?

  9. it’s hard to imagine many of them falling in line with the Republican Party as long as its presidential candidates continue to emphasize national security paranoia as the paramount issue of the 2016 election.

    So your choice is… “or Bernie Sanders”?

  10. Other millennials similarly highlighted domestic issues?student loan debt, unemployment, health care, etc.?as their paramount concern,

    Is there any indication that their “concern” is anything other than “not enough of other people’s money being spent on my debt, my welfare, my health care, etc.”?

    1. Forgive student loan debt.

      Increase unemployment benefits and eliminate the previous employment requirement.

      Totally free health care paid for by a tax on the rich.

    2. that’s why GOP should be focusing on making it “how to help you get more money for yourself.” problem is, that is something people thank you for long term… (no kid says, “thanks for not helping me with rent”)

  11. …many seemed to possess confidence that leftwing policies were the correct way to solve those issues.

    An analysis of why this is the case might be interesting.

    1. Ima go with willful obtuseness.

      1. Nah, ignorance is at least half of it. I remember my HS Econ/Civics class. It had only slightly less to do with reality than my middle school American History class.

  12. his promise to curtail the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s a promise he hasn’t entirely lived up to

    That’s quite the understatement.

  13. Any candidate who wants to inspire Obama levels of dedication should stop girding millennials for yet more endless warfare (warfare they will be obligated to partake in) and instead focus on what they would do to expand the job prospects of the under-30 crowd.

    Since a president can’t expand job prospects for any crowd, be it under-30, 40, 50… the only thing a president can do is be less in the way, and veto free-shit and/or regulatory bills coming from Congress.

    Other than that, a full-throated dismissal of Fed policy and cock-block of every Fed move might go a long way in improving the economy, but I’m not sure how that would legally work for the executive.

    Something tells me Millennials who have grown up firmly rooted in the activist-government environment won’t be comfortable with a president who says “here, allow me to not do anything” in regards to their job prospects.

    I’m guessing Millennials will fall into the same trap: more education funding, student loan forgiveness, make it easier to attend college (because degrees, ANY degrees = jobs!) and government supports and subsidies for favored industries.

    1. For a fun read, go to NoLabels.org.

      One of their “no brainer” goals is to create 25 million new jobs over the next 10 years.
      How ? The President and Congress commit to make it so, setting aside partisan politics.
      The premise of course is that it’s not “ideological” to have Washington do this.
      But what if the best practical way to create 25 million new jobs is for the Feds to butt out ?

      1. Easily done, really.

        Just have the feds hire 25 million more people. Duh.

        1. Think bigger ! Just have Gov create 300 million jobs and whamo, all is perfect !

      2. NoLabels = let’s all pretend that our ideology is not ideological.

        See also “common sense”

  14. (warfare they will be obligated to partake in)

    We don’t have conscription. I don’t picture the University of Michigan demographic volunteering for the military, particularly combat duty.

    1. That’s what AmeriCorps is for!

    2. “Volunteering” =/= “obligated”

  15. My sophomore year at the University of Michigan coincided with the rise of Barack Obama as the preferred candidate of young people during the 2008 campaign. I saw firsthand how this fresh-faced senator from Illinois inspired my fellow students.

    I was in my first year of law school there when he was elected. I remember sitting in the basement of the UGLi when it dropped. The students paraded through town like a mob and went to the president’s house to see if she wanted to join them. I was later a precinct chair for the city in the 2010 midterm. The only thing that surprised me was that Rick Snyder made such a strong showing; he got a third of the votes for governor at my station. Apparently his “one tough nerd” schtick was palatable to people afraid to vote for the “stupid party”.

    I suppose some of those supporters were “principled”, but most seemed to me like they were along for the ride. Voting Democrat was a signaling tool that you were sophisticated and independent from your suburban Detroit parents. The only backlash I remember was when Obama reauthorized the National Defense Authorization Act in 2012, though I was gone by then. That pissed off the more socialist of my proggie friends, the ones who refused help from their wealthy parents for the sake of Deacon Blues. Other than that, I hadn’t seen anything other than fawning for the guy.

  16. ww3 IS the economic plan of some candidates….silly reason.

  17. And if you’re a fan of millennial in-fighting in general, you can watch me debate Sex-and-the-State editor Cathy Reisenwitz…

    How long into it before she screamed “Ack!” and married Irving?

  18. Rand Paul seemed to be tapping into this idea early on in his campaign but he has since fallen into being just another boring candidate. He seems to be too afraid to say anything too libertarian and so is almost completely uninspiring.

    My sister in FLA did say she became a real fan of him after the last debate but that he got so little screen time she can see why most people would look past him.

    He is still the only guy I would vote for if I decided to vote for the US election, but at this point I have no faith in the electorate to elect anyone that is liberty minded.

  19. What I can’t figure out is, have Millennials ditched the papier m?ch? head as the primary form of protest, or does that have more to do with the fact that Obama is president, and a papier m?ch? head would be racist?

  20. papier m?ch? =work

    you can’t keep fiddling with your smart phone when your hands are covered in flour paste

  21. It should be noted that polls have found young Millenials to actually be more conservative than older Millennials.

    This may be because young Millennials didn’t experience the Bush years but have been severely burdened by Obama’s incompetence.

    1. Less exposure to environmental lead contamination

  22. “[America] goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.”

    “She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself, beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force. The frontlet upon her brows would no longer beam with the ineffable splendor of freedom and independence; but in its stead would soon be substituted an imperial diadem, flashing in false and tarnished lustre the murky radiance of dominion and power. She might become the dictatress of the world: she would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit.”
    Secretary of State
    John Quincy Adams
    1821

    Prophecy.

    1. Thanks for the quote, Ice Trey.

  23. I have young “friend” on facebook who is an Uber driver. To make a long story short the city he can no longer operate in banned Uber drivers in a roundabout way. Yes he is a progressive, and voted for the progressives that make up the city council. He is mad at them for doing it, yet goes on, and on about how he voted for Obama, and now how he is going to vote for Sanders.

    We are doomed.

    1. “We are doomed.”

      Your Youtube link would fit nicely in that comment.

      1. Yeah I screwed it up.

        1. Not at all. I merely pointed out that I thought you could have used the link twice.

  24. There’s a nasty part of me which wants the Millennials to become old people, so that Reason will finally stop catering to them.

  25. Lets jsut roll with it one time man. For real.

    http://www.CompletePrivacy.tk

  26. I hesitate to read “comments” here these days. There are so many inane personal comments that do not relate to the article. Come on guys; stop the grandstanding and stick to the subject!

    Thank you, and good luck to you USA young folks.

  27. I hesitate to read “comments” here these days. There are so many inane personal comments that do not relate to the article. Come on guys; stop the grandstanding and stick to the subject!

    Thank you, and good luck to you USA young folks.

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