Millennials

CPAC Offers Utterly Uninspiring Vision for Millennials

For all the things establishment conservatives think millennials should be against, they have a hard time articulating what young people should be for, and what that has to do with the Republican Party.

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ENB

The one millennial-focused panel on the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) main-stage Thursday was titled "FREE stuff vs FREE-dom: Millennials' Love Affair with Bernie Sanders?" It got worse from there.

While the panelists—only one of whom was a millennial—had a lot to say against socialism of the Venezuelan or Sanders sort, they failed to so much as mention the socialist tendencies rising in their own ranks. The Donald Trump administration, Trump voters, and the "alt right" have all expressed support for socialism-lite policies, from trade restrictions to mandated maternal leave. Why the new "conservatism" looks so much like the old socialism might have made for an interesting conversation, but instead we heard the same tired tirades about Obamacare and socialized medicine, ignorant kids lionizing Che Guevara, the Marxism found in academia, and how Democrats are "normalizing socialism."

When asked why young people might express nominal support for socialism, only Florida state Rep. Ron DeSantis offered any structural critique, citing the economic mess millennials inherited as one not-ridiculous reason they might be wary of capitalism. For the other panelists—Ana Quintana of the Heritage Foundation, Greg Dolin of the American Conservative Union Foundation, and Mercedes Schlapp of The Washington Times—it was simply a sign that millennials "have absolutely no concept of reality," as Quintana put it.

Asked what might bring Bernie-loving millennials around to Republicans or capitalism, the panelists continued to bash Democratic policies such as the Affordable Care Act and the socialist policies that wrecked Venezuela. But they still failed to offer any positive visions of their own. It served as a stark reminder why the Republican Party does so dismally with young folks—in polls, just around 20 percent of millennials tend to identify as Republican—and why provocateurs such as Milo Yiannopolous and others of his ilk are able to command such a share of young, right-of-center attention.

For all the things establishment conservatives think millennials should be against, they have a hard time articulating what young people should be for, how that relates to the Republican Party, and how conservatism and capitalism can help young people accomplish the things that they think big government is needed for.

Meanwhile, at CPAC's millennial session, the panelists pondered instead how to make millennials more patriotic. They concluded that it might help them to visit Washington monuments and the Arlington Cemetery. When policy ideas and politics fail, there are always dead soldiers, I guess.

For more on millennials, socialism, and capitalism, see:

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  1. Well yeah, now that they kicked Spencer out.

  2. While the panelists?only one of whom was a millennial?

    Excellent… everyone remains stupid beyond words. Good luck with your next generation, CPAC.

  3. …it was simply a sign that millennials “have absolutely no concept of reality,” as Quintana put it.

    He’s not wrong. And it’s not limited to millennials.

  4. While the panelists?only one of whom was a millennial?had a lot to say against socialism of the Venezuelan or Sanders sort, they failed to so much as mention the socialist tendencies rising in their own ranks. The Donald Trump administration, Trump voters, and the “alt right” have all expressed support for socialism-lite policies, from trade restrictions to mandated maternal leave. Why the new “conservatism” looks so much like the old socialism might have made for an interesting conversation, but instead we heard the same tired tirades about Obamacare and socialized medicine, ignorant kids lionizing Che Guevara, the Marxism found in academia, and how Democrats are “normalizing socialism.”

    Reason went to CPAC expecting Republicans to discuss the socialist tendencies of their own party (esp. as long as Bernie Sanders still has a political career)? The communist/socialist tendencies in question being trade restrictions, which when applied as sanctions by the previous administration were a-OK and, presumably, when applied against Putin would be as effective as they were against the Soviet Union… Seriously, just nuke the site from orbit.

  5. For all the things establishment conservatives think millennials should be against, they have a hard time articulating what young people should be for, how that relates to the Republican Party, and how conservatism and capitalism can help young people accomplish the things that they think big government is needed for.

    The thing is, it doesn’t matter. No matter how articulate and well thought out and logical the argument is, you can’t convince people who think with feelz that you are right. It seems this very thing has become the problem on this site causing all the hubbub in the comments. Reason wants to target millennials, so they have begun to abandon well reasoned arguments for more appeals to emotion. You can’t convince people who’s decisions are derived from feelings rather than logic.

    1. You can’t convince people who’s decisions are derived from feelings rather than logic.

      No? Republicans and Democrats seem to have been doing just that for ages.

      1. Meant using logic to convince, not appeals to emotion.

      2. I am unconvinced that you can get people to accept liberty and freedom through the feelz, but if Reason wants to try they will need to up their game.

        1. When you spend a lot of time discussing things with smart, nerdy libertarians, it might seem that way. But I think a lot of people accept and desire liberty simply out of an instinctive (and emotion based) desire to be left alone and for people to mind their own business.

          None of us is as rational as we like to think and no political philosophy is going to gain a lot of currency without being able to appeal to people’s emotions or “feelz”.

          1. “None of us is as rational as we like to think”

            Just a quick read over any of the comments on an article here shows that to be true.

            1. A quick read of the comments at any website anywhere, probably including the professional organizations for neurosurgeons, physicists, and professional logicians will prove this point quite as well.

          2. Any effective argument is going to be at least partly emotional, and this crackpot idea that arguments or positions could be free from “feelz” is embarrassing.

          3. I think the innate desire to be part of ‘something bigger’ than merely being an individual is a strong inclination. In a burdensome totalitarian setting, people may more clearly perceive what they’re missing, but the freer the society, the more the pull toward the abstract idea of communitarianism grows and becomes a driving force in politics. Ultimately a great many (most sometimes) people will sacrifice their freedoms when they no longer feel their 100% voluntary rotary club satisfies the existential desire for their life to ‘mean something’ beyond itself.

        2. I’ve always thought its pretty easy to sell liberty to a slave (debt or chattel) just purely on the feelz. But yeah – as long as the audience is the slaveowner and the topic is property rights, then not so much.

          1. The way you speak to feelz is by telling a story, where the government boot crushed someone they could identify with or feelz for.
            -do you care if the person doing your hair can pass a written test about hair? Personally knew a girl who failed out of beauty school not because she can’t do hair but because she can’t pass some state test…how about girl in beauty school harassed for giving free haircuts to homeless?
            -my next door neighbor dug a 2ft by 2ft “water shed” that’s become a mosquito pit making the backyard off limits now…why? Oh to avoid the 300-600$/yr “rain tax” O’Malley foisted on ppl.

            Telling stories is how you reach feelz. ANY government policy has many many many unintended consequence victims. It’s still hard to speak to people who could be so blind

            1. Telling stories is how you reach feelz.

              So you’re saying you want to weaponize critical theory against its inventors, the left?

  6. But it’s a place where awkward dorks in blue blazers and khakis or ill-fitting suits get laid, which is really all that matters.

    1. The after parties are going to be fabulous straight as hell.

    2. I’m not really interested in any convention where there isn’t cosplay.

      1. There’s plenty, it’s just hard to tell because everyone went as Jared from Silicon Valley for some reason.

  7. Well there’s that one guy speaking who might appeal to the millennial anti-PC crowd… aaaand he’s gone.

    1. Probably that pederast Hanrahan bucking for a promotion.

      1. Hanrahan! Suzanne sucks pussy!

        Good to see Reason continuing its trite obsession with so-called Millenials.

          1. What kind of name is “Poon” anyway?

            1. God, I admire you.

          2. I thought it was the same guy? That’s what I’m going with on my next “film theory” video, anyway.

          3. I know. Couldn’t help myself though – it’s always my first thought when I see the name Hanrahan.

          4. eh, you using the whole fist, doc?

      1. Meh, he’s a little too angular for my taste.

        1. He can be a little obtuse, but he’s still acutie…

    2. I know, right? They’re always talking about how they want to reach out and touch young people…

      1. Maybe they can get former Speaker of the House Denny Hastert to replace him. Though he may be otherwise engaged.

  8. ENB, it’s a known phenomena that young people who have few assests and generally don’t own any property do not lean conservative. There is no incentive for them to be conservative, and there is incentive to go along with policies that not only ‘feel good’ but also redistribute things to them.

    As a demographic ages, and accumulates assets and property, they see the literal first hand effects of government and tend to lean more conservative fiscally.

    This is such an old truism that it baffles me that there was no mention of it in the article. Why appeal to a generation that is just now accumulating assets & property with any kind of fiscal non-feel-good agenda? Give this generation another five or ten years and you might see a difference in their left-right leaning, but appealing to them for smaller government & fiscal conservatism is something of a fools errand.

    Certainly they should reinforce what the benefits of such an agenda would be, but to pretend that their agenda connects with a group of people who have no incentive to lean towards fiscal conservatism is to ignore over 100 years of history in my opinion.

    Just food for thought, but socialism appeals most to those who have very little or who simply don’t know enough history. Especially when feel-good socialism is being taught to all of them through government funded college

    1. But, Reason totally appeals to millennials. They got an old dude with a leather jacket (radical, man!), they care deeply about which washroom the federal government mandates that you use (party over here, y’all!), and they don’t believe in anything unless it’s woke as hell (far out, man!).

      1. And for the record, some would consider me a ‘Millennial’ but I’m past the cusp where most draw the line. The reason I never went for Socialism in any form is because I read a lot of history & took actual economics classes at the college level. That doesn’t make me an expert, it just makes me not-completely-ignorant as most people seem to be whenever I talk to them about super basic economic theory. It isn’t even complicated stuff, but most people can’t seem to grasp even the fundamentals. It would appear that the author unfortunately is included in the ‘doesn’t know much about economic theory’ grouping or is at least not applying it in this instance.

        1. The reason I never went for Socialism in any form…

          Also a millennial here and I’m of the same disposition as you, but for me it was always been a simple thought of:

          How can one look at the path (capitalism) that raised America to a level of power and privilege never before witnessed IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE — defeating superpower’d socialist and communist and dictatorships along the way — how can one look at this blatant fact and say that socialism is an even better path to prosperity? Especially when its never achieved that aim.

          1. Socialism isn’t about prosperity, for one thing, or at least not in the same vein as capitalism is. It’s more about to each according to his need and from each according to their ability. That’s about as plain as it gets.

            Unfortunately, such a system sounds good to many (especially those with little or none) but it also requires some body (Re: Government) to determine what each persons need is and what each persons ability is. Since that is virtually impossible at any scale, it devolves into simple authoritarianism and central economic planning with predictably disastrous results.

            You can not subvert the selfish nature of man. You just can’t do it. You can try to mitigate it, and lord knows the Technocrats want a camera in every bedroom to make sure you’re following every last one of those hundreds of thousands of behavior-altering laws meant to perfect us, but at the end of the day it has always been a fools errand. To believe otherwise is to be free from reason.

            1. Not really disagreeing with you in any way.

              You can not subvert the selfish nature of man.

              I mean no arguments there; can’t be done without diving headlong into the realm of the unethical.

              My comment was more about giving my reactionary two cents for your bit:

              The reason I never went for Socialism in any form…

              1. Absolutely fair, and I would agree that if my entire premise was ‘in history ‘x’ happened, therefore ‘x’ will happen now’ it would be a logical fallacy. I had hoped my argument was a little more nuanced than that, but perhaps not. ^_^

            2. Socialism isn’t about prosperity, for one thing, or at least not in the same vein as capitalism is. It’s more about to each according to his need and from each according to their ability. That’s about as plain as it gets.

              Absolutely. Socialism is about collective security and equality. Socialism is nothing but a form of tribalism. Tribal societies are always and necessarily socialist societies. Free societies are always and necessarily capitalist societies. The fight between socialism and capitalism is nothing but the continuation of the fight between tribalism and capitalism.

          2. Because: “it’s never really been tried!” . Trust me, I spent two family visits this year explaining it. Then I stopped.

      2. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Did you not see Katherine’s purple highlighted hair in the “four decades of libertarian journalism” posting? That’s edgy, and the kids today think it’s “hip.” (Though frankly, the website was much better when Dame Judi Dench was in charge in the 80’s.)

        1. I think that a lot of people don’t fit into the perfect little boxes of ‘Democrat’ or ‘Republican’ let alone ‘Conservative’ or ‘Liberal’.

          It’s become fairly obvious that the current crop of Libertarians, who are probably around my age, can’t seem to make a very convincing argument for Liberty so it’s hard to take any criticism of Conseratives very seriously.

          Or, to write it in a much older way:

          “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

          1. To be fair, there isn’t a generation of libertarians that *has* made a “convincing argument for liberty”.

            1. I’ll admit, you made me laugh at that one.

              I’d say a pretty convincing argument was made almost 300 years ago, but apparently the older something gets the more you can ignore it in most people’s minds. I still find the same arguments to apply just as much today as they did then, minus a lot of the ‘derived from god’ stuff.

            2. To be truly fair, generations don’t really make argument for anything, individuals do, and plenty of individuals have made convincing arguments for liberty going back two and a half thousand years.

        2. If they wanted to be edgy they should have called the posting “four decades of pot, ass sex, and Mexicans”.

    2. to ignore over 100 years of history in my opinion.

      Focusing mostly on this bit of inductive reasoning… I believe that historically accurate patterns such as you describe will not repeat endlessly. Moreover, with the worldwide advancement of technology, where now through twitter and facebook, peasants have been able to topple regimes (Egypt) and the rich and powerful (pick one) — this pattern of young lefties to old righties might not survive another generation.

      1. where now through twitter and facebook, peasants have been able to topple regimes (Egypt)

        Peasants were overthrowing governments long before twitter. And there is nothing that says digital technology will end up being empowering in the long run. It might be that digital technology, by centralizing so much communication into the digital medium will turn out to be disempowering. Governments have been subverting technology into weapons to use to control their citizens since the dawn of civilization. Yes, the internet and the digital revolution took governments by surprise. They seem to be adapting, however.

        1. I don’t disagree with anything you said. Let me try to revise my words (I’m always bad at articulating this idea):

          Simply, modern technology makes for an unknown variable that cannot be properly applied to historical patterns, as such, it also makes unreliable applying historical patterns to gauging, let’s just say, the future.

          1. I agree. And I don’t think historical patterns are that persuasive. Every circumstance is different. The “patterns” people claim to see are usually just post hoc rationalizations explaining large events that defy simple explanation.

          2. That argument necessarily rests on the idea that technology has had a meaningful and profound change in human nature on some level. Could you provide an illustrative example?

            1. I don’t see why technology has to change human nature for that argument to be true. It could be that it changes circumstances to such a degree that the past patterns no longer matter even though human nature remains unchanged.

              1. Did the invention of the smart phone fundamentally alter the nature of man, or did it just change the way we read the newspaper? There are those technocratic transhumanists that seem to believe these things, but I have seen precisely zero proof of it in the world today.

                There are good arguments on both sides, but to me the idea that technology is going to change some fundamental aspect of humanity, to create all of us in an altruistic mold, is retarded.

                My personal belief is that some technology may very well have the potential to change humanity forever, but that level of technology is still very much in the realm of science fiction. Matter creation, freedom from scarcity, freedom from mortality, genetic & chemical recomposition of the body, these types of things will change humanity in a very fundamental way.

                At the moment we’re still barbarian monkey’s who happen to have found very creative ways to create fire, which barely qualifies.

                Ron Bailey is one of those types, if you want to talk to someone that thinks that way, but that person isn’t me.

                1. the idea that technology is going to change some fundamental aspect of humanity, to create all of us in an altruistic mold, is retarded.

                  I think you are the only one fashioning this idea from the above comments. To bring us full circle, we were initially discussing the conventional wisdom — which I do not disagree with, it seems fairly obvious — in your own words:

                  it’s a known phenomena that young people who have few assests and generally don’t own any property do not lean conservative……As a demographic ages, and accumulates assets and property, they see the literal first hand effects of government and tend to lean more conservative fiscally.

                  You called this an old truism and I do not disagree, where our discussion seems to have diverged is that you stated the above with the underlying intention that this cycle will continue endlessly — where I basically posited we cannot know that because we cannot accurately apply historical patterns to the future generations anymore because of… yada yada yada see above comments on digital age and technology.

                2. Toilet paper more than the smart phone.

              2. ^this would also by my counter to your claim:

                That argument necessarily rests on the idea that technology has had a meaningful and profound change in human nature on some level.

                Thank you John for being more concise than me and sparing me from endeavoring into a long ramble, as is my nature.

                1. *bad thread, meant for John 4:03pm*

                2. You are welcome. And I understand. No one rambles like I do when I get on a roll.

                3. The pattern I’m talking about is the judgment of what construes the base level of human behavior and how that translates into the constant cycle of governments changing their form between the well-known and documented types of government. Ergo, to meaningfully deviate from the pattern the variable that must change in my view is human nature.

                  I also wouldn’t say it’s a perfect or even predictable pattern, but there is one there. You can even see it on the individual level. Pettiness, selfishness, jealousy, greed. It’s all a part of us, and we can’t get rid of those impulses which translate into more of the same on a grander scale in our construction of government. Government is, on some level, merely a reflection of what we will accept in the collective sense.

                  What technology will enable a sudden divergence from a more than four millennia old cycle between authoritarian and liberal societies? Technology seems to change the pace, but not the progression.

                  I think a quote attributed to Samuel Clements summarizes the concept best:


                  “History doesn’t repeat itself but it often rhymes.”

                  This is a pretty long digression, but the debater in me refuses to let a point go. ^_^

                  1. And sorry, I just saw this and had to reply:


                    You called this an old truism and I do not disagree, where our discussion seems to have diverged is that you stated the above with the underlying intention that this cycle will continue endlessly — where I basically posited we cannot know that because we cannot accurately apply historical patterns to the future generations anymore.

                    *bold added

                    Can you think of an illustrative example where technology has changed mankinds fundamental nature? Or is it your contention that rational self interest is not a fundamental part of mankinds nature? Or, perhaps, you misunderstand mankinds nature and why government is a considered limit upon that nature?

                    Indeed, government only exists in some form or another to ameliorate the effects of one man upon the many. If man were not man, government would not be any government we know of today. There are, as it turns out, only so many tolerable ways to effectively curtail mans base nature against his fellow man.

                    1. The goal posts seem to be changing. We started with your simple depiction of: young folk traditionally starting as liberal hippies and then as they grown older and gain actual assets they move towards a more fiscally conservative disposition — and this cycle (we’ve also used the word ‘pattern’ a lot) we had both agreed has repeated itself for many generations along the same lines; you called it an old truism.

                      Can you think of an illustrative example where technology has changed mankinds fundamental nature? Or is it your contention that rational self interest is not a fundamental part of mankinds nature? Or, perhaps, you misunderstand mankinds nature and why government is a considered limit upon that nature?

                      ^this while deep in thought, seems to me to be aiming at something beyond the scope of our original context. I only claimed modern technology is a variable that past human history has nothing comparable too. And as such it is unknown whether old truisms which have perpetuated for generations will continue on in the same fashion — I assume this is your point of contention, as you veer off into questions of mankind’s fundamental nature… to me this is a step further than my more narrow claim that new variables have yet to reveal how they may or may not affect humanity in any context. I haven’t asserted what effects technology may have, I’ve only commented on the dubious nature of applying old truisms to future generations, in light of new variables.

      2. You can go ahead and roll the clock back to the beginning of recorded history and find the same recurring theme’s which I hold to be proof that mankind itself doesn’t vary as much as some would like to believe.

        If anything the past fifteen years should have made you realize that one of the biggest threats to individual liberty is the creeping technocratic authoritarianism that literally lives in the shadows in the so-called ‘Free World’.

        Sure, we may know that there is a FISA court and massive surveillance of every man, woman, and child in America but do we really have any idea of what that really looks like or what it’s really being used for?

        What you describe is utopianist perfectibility of man. In other words, a pipe dream which has justified more murder the world over than any other single cause in mankinds history. Keep trying though, maybe one day utopia will be possible but the gateway for that is the end of scarcity. Do you have the secret for generating ordered matter for free from nothing? No? Then still impossible.

        1. Sure, we may know that there is a FISA court and massive surveillance of every man, woman, and child in America but do we really have any idea of what that really looks like or what it’s really being used for?

          Not much. Governments are more surreal and incompetent than anything else.

    3. First year making well above median income.

      Smash the state *stares at W2 in rage* Smash all of it.

    4. This is such an old truism that it baffles me that there was no mention of it in the article. Why appeal to a generation that is just now accumulating assets & property with any kind of fiscal non-feel-good agenda? Give this generation another five or ten years and you might see a difference in their left-right leaning,

      In order to get solid majorities for liberty and small government, you have to appeal to a significant number of young people and make it clear to them that a Life of Julia would be a miserable life of slavery.

      If you only appeal to the people for whom small government is of immediate benefit, you only end up appealing to white males aged 35-55, and that’s not a sufficiently large demographic.

  9. Conservatives can’t articulate what they are for because they don’t understand themselves. There is an old saying that Libertarians can’t explain why they are not anarchists. Well, conservatives can’t explain why they are not Libertarians except to say they really don’t like pot and abortion.

    Conservatives like to use Libertarian principles as an easy way to avoid honest debate about things they want. Talk to a movement conservative about free trade and he is all about “freedom”. Talk to him about drugs or social issues not so much. None of them can seem to grasp that you can’t be a little bit libertarian. If you want to rely on freedom and individual autonomy as some sacred first principle for some things, you can’t then walk away from that when it comes to other issues where such principles give you answers you don’t like.

    And when they are not being opportunistic libertarians, conservatives are often opportunistic Progressive internationalists who treat American nationalism like it is a dirty word and embrace the progressive idea that it is America’s duty not just to be the city on the hill but to assume the role of international guarantor of peace, stability, and justice.

    1. Conservatives of the CPAC ilk have given up on doing the hard job of explaining when what the government’s proper role is and figuring out what is in the national interest and embraced whatever “principles” are convenient to justify what they want on a given issue and delegitimize anyone who disagrees. The CPAC conservatives no longer understand why they want what they want. They only know they want it and their job as conservatives is to construct a clever way to justify it.

      1. Conservatives of the CPAC ilk have given up on doing the hard job of explaining when what the government’s proper role is

        That’s because conservatives have no agreement on what the government’s proper role is; “conservatism” isn’t even close to a single, coherent political ideology. Conservatives can be anything from monarchists, mercantilists, and theocrats to small government free market types.

    2. One of the differences is that libertarians think people should be able to hurt themselves if they want to.

      1. That is because Libertarians believe that protecting individual autonomy is not just the primary or best goal of government but that it is the only legitimate purpose of government. Conservatives do not agree. They see protecting freedom and individual autonomy as perhaps the most important role of government but not the only legitimate role of government. Even when conservatives and libertarians agree about an issue, they reach those conclusions for very different philosophical reasons. That is actual conservatives, as opposed to the stupid and unprincipled species of Libertarians the CPAC conservatives have become.

      2. If only they could show that instead of just thinking it.

        1. Still waiting for progressives to lead the way by testing the principles of population control on themselves.

    3. Conservatism is a political philosophy of hierarchies. Starting with God at the top. The guiding principle of conservatism is that human beings are by nature sinful, and will revert to violence, promiscuity and sloth unless guided by a civilization with clear rules, led by leaders who try to set a moral example (at least in public). Most conservatives don’t even really like free trade. They like the corporate business world and the army because those spheres of activity seem to provide empirical proof for conservative values – decisive leaders create value, obedience is a virtue that helps the organization, people are held accountable for poor performance and rewards go to those who work harder. Conservatives value stability and personal relationships. They are also tribal, and don’t like people changing teams (immigrating,changing genders, having sex with the wrong gender) because that sort of behavior calls natural hierarchies into question.

      American libertarians have done a fairly good job over the last 50 years of getting conservatives to pay lip service to a number of libertarian principles, but the rise of Trump seems to indicate that American conservatives have had enough of that, and want to revert to the kind of parochial conservatism that is still strong in Europe and was stronger in American before WWII.

  10. Not so long ago when someone talked about socialism they were talking about communism. Need I mention China is a communist country. In many communist (read socialist) countries the land is owned by the state. If you want to build a house the first thing you do is rent a lot from the state. Now it seems anything to the left of the speaker is “socialist” or “socialism”. However the right is happy to buy lots and lots of stuff from communists (read socialists).

  11. Actually, I think that there’s been a lot of progress over the past year about bringing non-socialist alternatives towards young people. I think that the size of the youth population that finds conservatives/libertarians to be cool is growing but unfortunately still a niche audience. Think of the left as mainstream pop and the right as metal. Some find an appeal, but most are still terrified of it.

    1. I think the best way for conservatives and Libertarians to appeal to young people is to stand back and let young people have real exposure to the left. It may not happen but immediately but give it time. Let people get enough exposure to the left and they will eventually see it for what it is and come over to the right on their own. Some things have to be experienced to be truly learned.

      1. I’m already seeing some signs with some of my colleagues and fellow students regarding the importance of free speech is concerned, as well as how harmful identity politics is. The main turnoff (from what I’ve seen) from joining the other side are SoCons. Lessen their influence and the millennials will come in droves.

        1. They will likely come when they get older anyway. Let them get married and have kids and they will suddenly get a lot more socially conservative. It is human nature.

          And young people of any political persuasion don’t vote in high numbers anyway. You are better off having older supporters because old people vote.

          1. Id say more fiscally conservative

            1. And more socially conservative. Haven’t you ever heard the “when you have kids you will understand..” line of BS? That shit is real. People really do become irrational about some things after they have kids.

  12. the panelists continued to bash Democratic policies such as the Affordable Care Act and the socialist policies that wrecked Venezuela. But they still failed to offer any positive visions of their own. It served as a stark reminder why the Republican Party does so dismally with young folks…

    1) CPAC is not the Republican party, any more than Black Lives Matter or Lena Dunham-type Twitter-gibberish is the “Democratic party”.

    They’re called ‘conservatives’ for a reason. Conflating the conservative wing with the republican party is mendacious.

    And 2) citing your own pre-election polling – the kind of polling which, as everyone noted, was wildly wrong in its predictions of likely outcomes – is similarly misleading; maybe consider reflecting on actual voting results instead?

    Among the younger portion of the millennial generation, 18 to 29 year olds, Trump earned 37 percent of the vote to Clinton’s 55 percent. Millennials of color were considerably more likely to support Clinton than Trump, Circle found, while young white voters actually threw more support behind the winner. Trump secured 48 percent of the white vote in the 18-to-29 age group, while Clinton won just 43 percent.

    insert {UGH WHITE PEOPLE} caveat

    1. *further –

      CNN offers some insight which Reason might take some time to consider – namely, “Millenials are more conservative than you think“…. noting that more young people currently identify as conservative than did either of their preceding generations at the same age.

      Given that people tend to get *more* conservative as they age…. this suggests sort of the opposite of the headline conclusion about demographic political destiny which the writers here would have you believe.

      1. Conservative and libertarian ideas tend to show up in the details as far as people in my age range (early-mid 20s) are concerned. I bet that if you ask them about what they feel is the best economic system, more would say socialism, while if you asked about their ideas about very specific policies (regulations, taxation, foreign policy, constitutional issues, etc) more millennials would skew libertarian than in past generations.

        1. Which shows they don’t really think things thru or understand socialism

      2. Who cares if some tenuous distinction can be made between whether they’re leaning “conservative” or “liberal” when those two words increasingly just describe two flavors of authoritarianism?

        1. This may be the case in Washington right now, but culturally I don’t think that this is the case. Identifying as conservative is quickly coming to mean that you are pro-free speech, pro-capitalism, and anti-identity politics, at least in the mainstream. That’s far more libertarian than the moral/religion-based conservatism that was dominant back then. Because politics are downstream from culture, you’re not seeing its effects in Washington yet, but IMO the right needs to be less authoritarian than the left for it to really thrive as a major party long-term.

        2. Who cares if some tenuous distinction can be made between whether they’re leaning “conservative” or “liberal” when those two words increasingly just describe two flavors of authoritarianism?

          Maybe you should ask ENB; my point was simply to clarify that

          1) Conservative !=Republican, and
          2) Millenials!=Less Conservative than their predecessors

    2. Then there is the fact that there is some evidence that the generation behind this one is much more conservative.
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..e-WW2.html

      And there is also the fact that the Millenial generation isn’t as liberal as it is made out to be.

      http://www.latimes.com/science…..story.html

  13. How does one showcase the benefits of capitalism and free markets when there is all this regulatory capture, rent seeking and cronyism going on?

    You cant really sell something that doesnt exist. If you want to be more free market, you have you to starve the beast that is government

    1. Saying you should be free to pursue these things is not attractive as hey here is some free chit

    2. I think one thing that would help would be for Libertarians and conservatives both to stop treating capitalism and the free market as some kind of magical machine that makes everyone rich instead of the necessary result of personal freedom that it is.

      Capitalism is not a system like socialism. It is the inevitable result of freedom. If you don’t embrace capitalism, you do not embrace freedom. I wish they would make that point and make it clear that socialism and freedom are completely inconsistent concepts.

      1. Yea i think the purity stances do libertarians in at times. The article i think while it makes sense is ignoring a reality of how to offer things that are appealing opposite of progressives….getting rid of protectionism, reducing social security, medicare or abolishing the min wage aren’t exactly winning issues. In a class of kids, a debate between a nutritionist and the confectioner…the nutritionist loses every time

        The best bet is to offer alternatives that don’t go for a hail mary right away.

        1. Both Conservatives and Libertarians rarely show any understanding of why freedom would appeal to someone. They just think it should and don’t really understand why it appeals to them much less why it wouldn’t appeal to other people. Freedom is not all wine and roses. With freedom comes opportunity but also risk and responsibility. People value freedom because they value the good that comes from the opportunity afforded by freedom more than they are repelled by the risk that comes with it. Conservative and Libertarian writers are always, hard working reasonably successful people who can’t understand why being that way would make freedom appealing. If you are sick or alone or not very bright or disabled, the opportunities offered by freedom might not be so appealing and the reduced risk associated with having a government safety net really appealing.

          1. Yep. Also Some people think being coddled like a little kid is freedom. How does one appeal that telling to earn own stuff?

            1. See my follow-up post below. If you do not instill the values of personal responsibility and self-reliance in children, they are much less likely to value real freedom. Instead, they will see what is really an indulgence as freedom. The thing about freedom is that it is personal. Only you can have it. It is your freedom, not mine. So if you are dependent on the largess of someone else to do something, you are not free to do that. The person giving you the charity s giving you an indulgence. This is why freedom is not connected to your actual ability to do something. If you take a child to a toy store and say “you can have any toy there”, that child isn’t free to have any toy. He is free to have any toy, provided you don’t change your mind. You have the sovereignty not the child. And since freedom is always personal, the child isn’t free. You are the free one because your decision to buy or not buy a toy is yours and not someone else’s

              1. I agree. But upper middle class kids (at least liberal) arent really raised that way

          2. Yep. Also Some people think being coddled like a little kid is freedom. How does one appeal that telling to earn own stuff?

        2. Think of it this way, the least free place on earth is a prison. But it is also, assuming it is well run, the most stable and safe place. There is zero opportunity but you never have to worry about having a meal or a roof over your head. The opposite of that is something like Dickens’ London where opportunities are endless but you always run the risk of being out on the street begging with nothing. What someone prefers on the continuum between Dickens’ London and a prison is largely a product of who they are and their culture.

          It helps to be young and healthy and smart, but that is not everything. It also matters if you have a functioning family and a support structure. you are likely to be less risk adverse. It also helps if you either through religion or through socialization, value personal responsibility over dependence. If you have a culture that sees nothing wrong with depending on others and sees no special value in self-reliance, it isn’t going to value freedom. This is why tribal societies are so unfree. People don’t value personal responsibility and see the tribe as being responsible for everyone. Indeed, socialism is really just a heavily intellectualized form of tribalism.

          1. If i was homeless i am either going to seattle, san fran or prison and then claiming i am a woman

      2. Yes, very good point, John, and one I have often tried to make.

        Capitalism, or free market-ism or whatever you want to call it isn’t just another system like socialism or fascism or what have you. It is, as you say, what happens when people are allowed to interact and associate freely in the economic realm.

        It drives me nuts when you hear people on the left going on about capitalism being “imposed” on people, as if there is some neutral choice to be made between it and the other systems that involve top down control and restrictions on individual choice.

        1. To whatever extent you do not embrace capitalism, you also do not embrace freedom. And no one is totally pure. I don’t embrace freedom and capitalism in all cases. Everyone is somewhere on that spectrum I describe above between prison and Dickens’ London. And that is okay, but no one on either side should pretend that the more you reject capitalism the more you reject freedom.

        2. I mean no one on either side should pretend they can somehow reject capitalism without also rejecting freedom. it doesn’t work that way.

        3. The word itself is pretty insidious. It puts the focus on ‘capital’, and one’s mind is led to focus on investment capital, of big corporations, of their power in society, etc.

          By right ‘capitalism’ should be called economic liberalism. It’s just the freedom to produce, by, and sell goods and services at an agreed upon price and quantity. It’s the default economic system, and everything else is just an attempt to tweak it. But we lost the vocabulary war, and we’re stuck defending something that’s called ‘capitalism’ while they get to defend something called ‘socialism’, which is oh so social.

      3. Conservatives are not by nature supporters of personal freedom. They generally want the government not to artificially level natural hierarchies and they oppose outsiders interfering in their local communities. Inside the local community conservatives expect everyone to follow the community rules or be punished.

  14. I greatly enjoy these low-count comment threads.

  15. Trump hasn’t tweeted in over 32 hours…should we be concerned?

  16. Just don’t bring the millennials around Leonard Matlovich’s grave. It’ll remind them of what they don’t like about Republicans.

    1. Yeah because Democrats have always been pro gay and will never turn on them if doing so becomes politically convenient. Keep telling yourself that.

    2. Blah blah blah I’m gay and sad blah blah, we need socialism and hate speech laws because Jerry Fallwell doesn’t like me blah blah blah. Is that your entire personality basically? Please, do try and come up with something interesting to say.

  17. See when it comes to an individual’s self (except for a small few like die hard progs with low self esteem)….they are libertarians

    The problem is to everyone else…they arent libertarians which leads to statism

    I think you got to convince other people to treat others as you like to be treated so to speak…they have to extend how they view and treat selves to others

    Henry hazelett alluded to this in econ 101 but with a shop owner raising prices…he knows why and valid reasons for doing so but others he can only speculate and assume due to greed or something

    My friend was like this…he was whining about how companies want to make profit and not pay more, bring jobs back, purpose of business is to create jobs etc

    so i asked him “why do you want to open a restaurant”? First thing out of his mouth “to make money” and then he had an ah hah moment

  18. Team mentality, it’s us vs them. That is basically how Trump won the party vote, he is not a republican but calls himself one. The dialog between the two major teams has disintegrated into dust. I am a millennial. A major reason I left the republican party was because I was tired of “well the democrats did this or that!” I wanted to know how the republican party was going to reduce federal overreach, reduce the debt and deficit, and restore the bill of rights, not how much they hated democrats.

    1. Vote democrat then and see how much federal overreach is reduced then.

      1. Well now that democrats are spouting on about executive power I might! At least until they hit office, at that point they will forget all about reducing the amount of power the president has. No I am going to listen to Mr. Friedman and Mr. Sowell for now. 🙂

  19. Republicans are saavy enough to realize that liberty is preserved when politicians are against some things than for all sorts of things and dead set against everything else.

  20. Thanks ENB, sounds like an facepalm-worthy shit show. Keep up the good work.

  21. Yeah, last year was sooooo much better.

    IT’S CPAC. OF COURSE IT PROVIDES AN UNINSPIRING VISION

    1. Ya know who did provide an inspiring vision?

  22. Millennial’s are not going to wake up one day and join the Young Republicans. They may though vote less socialist as they get older. Concentrate on getting them good paying jobs so they can buy a house. It’s that simple. The trend is less party affiliation not more.

  23. I looked at the check for $8628 , I didnt believe that…my… father in law was like actualie taking home money in there spare time on there computar. . there sisters roommate haz done this for under 17 months and just cleard the morgage on there apartment and got a gorgeous Chevrolet Corvette . go to websit========= http://www.net.pro70.com

  24. “Mercedes schlapp” is a great pornonym.

  25. I am familiar with the word CPAC that the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC; /?si?p?k/ SEE-pak) is an annual political conference attended by conservative activists and elected officials from across the United States. CPAC is hosted by the American Conservative Union (ACU).
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