Excerpt | Millennials and the Shifting Political Climate: A Chance for Libertarianism to Emerge

by Kristin Tate, coming in Kosmos Journal, Fall | Winter 2016

The 2016 presidential election has been a disaster for young people. Between the dishonest pandering of Hillary Clinton and the perceived boorishness of Donald Trump, many millennials are stuck in no man’s land.

But the future of politics may not be as bleak as it seems. Libertarian views will likely shape the ideologies of tomorrow, and as this shift occurs, millennials will become increasingly eager to engage in the political landscape.

The political views of young people overwhelmingly fall somewhere between those of mainstream Democrats and Republicans. Millennials have consistently ranked as socially liberal, with many leaning fiscally conservative. In other words, these young adults are overwhelmingly libertarian in their views—even if they don’t know it.

The GOP’s socially conservative platform simply does not align with modern sensibilities and wears thin on a generation less likely to attend church or even believe in a religion. Among millennials, 68% support gay marriage, 56% think abortion should be legal in all or most cases, and 69% support legalizing marijuana. Young people aren’t engendered to respect old men lecturing piety from the pulpit of social morality.

The Democrats don’t cut it for millennials either. At a time when the average college graduate has nearly $30,000 in student loan debt, these young Americans want jobs. And many understand that increased regulation and taxes proposed by the left isn’t going to yield a healthy business climate and job market.

As millennials come of age, create businesses, and become politicians themselves, a fresh set of ideas will rise to prominence. This new way of thinking will increasingly become associated with the ‘live and let live’ ideology of libertarianism.

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