Do Millennials Really Support Libertarians and the Libertarian Party?
Are Millennials really the most libertarian generation in modern American history? Are they really supporting Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson and other LP candidates in local, statewide and national elections? And are they philosophically supporting the Modern American Libertarian Movement in general?
First, who are these Millennials? The Pew Research people say “Millennials refers to population ages 18 to 35 as of 2016” and includes everyone who turns 18 from now on until the next generation comes along with the next label pinned on them by demographers, sort of like meteorologists naming the next hurricane.
Progressives love to claim Millennials as their own. So did self-identified socialist Bernie Sanders. Conservatives want them too but don’t seem likely to get many. Unfortunately, poll after poll and survey after survey, depending on how and where and why and by whom they’re conducted, always seem to muddy rather than clarify the picture.
The problem with Polling and surveying and sampling is that they can be scientific and factual and still be manipulated. Following is how this works.
August 8, 2016, Reason Hit & Run Blog reports:
“A new poll from McClatchy shows Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gov. Gary Johnson getting more votes from the under-30 crowd than Republican Party candidate Donald Trump, a difference of 23 percent to 9 percent.”
(Note that “the under 30 crowd” = Millennials.)
August 15, 2016, The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) released the polls that will be used to determine who’s in and who’s out for September's first presidential debate. The Hill included this statement in its story:
“Candidates will need to hit an average of 15 percent in polls…”
(Note that “15 percent” is a purely arbitrary number set by the privately owned CPD run exclusively by the Republican-Democratic Party duopoly.)
September 7, 2016, Being Libertarian reported:
“The CNN poll included the following results for the 18-34 demographic: N/A. Yes, they excluded the millennials. A group of 65 Million people who are knowledgeable and open to something new. 65 million people who favor Johnson/Weld in large numbers. 65 million people who would catapult Johnson/Weld into the Presidential debates.”
(Note that the CNN poll is one of the five polls used by the Republican-Democratic Party-operated CPD to determine debate qualification.)
September 16, 2016, an article from The Libertarian Republic opened with this:
“On Friday, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced that only Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton would be the only candidates invited to the first debate on September 26 at Hofstra University.”
So, Cause + Cause + Cause = Effect. When you count only who you want to count you get the results you want to get. Simple. Makes one wonder if anyone should ever again believe anything any poll ever tells anyone ever.
Unfortunately, polls and surveys are the only game in town, and a game it definitely is. Thus, when considering the original question about Millennials and libertarians it’s a given that asking how many Millennials will vote for the Libertarian Party, and then how many will vote Democratic and how many will vote Republican the results will differ wildly.
With these caveats, warnings, cautions and realities in mind here are three takeaways on the millennial question.
This headline, “Gary Johnson Leads In 18-24 Demographic Over Both Clinton And Trump,” purports to clearly place Millennials in the Libertarian Party Camp. To quote from this source, “When those polled were asked who they would choose to vote for between four candidates - the 4th being Jill Stein of the Green Party - Johnson came in first with 35%, with Clinton trailing with 30%. Trump placed 4th, once again, behind Jill Stein with 12% and 14% respectively.”
But wait. The source for this great news is the Johnson/Weld website. Some may think they just might be a wee bit biased in favor of and overexcited about this news. So here’s another reaction.
This headline comes from liberaldom’s The New Republic: “Gary Johnson? Millennials, You Can't Be Serious.” The article insists that the things “millennials hold dear” are climate change, gun control, Obamacare and the mythology of “free” college tuition, and then unsurprisingly declares “There’s only one obvious candidate for younger voters: Hillary Clinton.”
The article concludes, “If Clinton is unacceptable to so many millennials despite her positions, – if a majority of young people are aligned with her on the issues, and still they refuse to vote for her – then for all intents and purposes, these voters are not acting in their best interests. They’re acting irrationally.”
Wow. Way to win the hearts and minds of those stupid Millennials.
And Mother Jones just has to turn libertarianism into race-based race-baiting with their headline, “Millennials Voting Third Party: It's Mostly Limited to White People,” meaning, apparently, that any young white person who would even dream of voting for anyone other than the Progressive White God Ste. Hillary of the Emails must necessarily be racist. All white people are racist, of course, except for those intellectually and emotionally Superior Progressive White People. Maybe that explains why so many Millennials are turning to libertarianism; they’re sick of the egregious race-baiting from the Alt-Left.
(Since the Alt-Right is defined as everyone on the political right who isn’t mainstream conservative it’s only fair to condemn everyone on the political left who isn’t an old style conventional liberal as Alt-Left. Right?)
The Right(Wing) Stuff
While we’re at it, it might be interesting to take a stab at finding out how many Millennials are claimed by the Conservative Republican portion of the population.
Their twist on the facts was laid out a year ago by The American Conservative in an article they optimistically titled “The Myth of Enduring Millennial Liberalism.” Citing a Reason-Rupe Poll from the previous year they had no choice but to concede that “A majority of millennials did tell pollsters they preferred a larger government with more liberal services.” That would be Bernie Sanders style Democratic Social Republic liberalism. But once they were asked if they were willing to pay higher taxes for their cherished larger government with more liberal services 57 percent bailed, preferring “a smaller conservative government with fewer services.”
And that is Conservative Land’s only claim to Millennial conservatism. They try to embellish this position with other facts like “Almost two-thirds not only thought government was usually wasteful but preferred free markets to a regulating government.”
But the only people actually advocating real “free markets” are libertarians. Conservatives don’t want a free market. Both they and their liberal cohorts absolutely want “a regulating government,” which is precisely how one gets “crony capitalism” or “corporatism,” both of which are deeply beloved by the power-grabbing money-grubbing ego-gorging political establishment.
Then for some reason the article points out that “substantial majorities” of these polled Millennials want government to provide for the poor, build public housing, support college education, and guarantee living wages.” But this is a Republican position only if Republicans get to stay in control of the taxpayer purse strings, and a Democratic position only if they get to control the public treasury. Their only difference is whose special interests get the citizen’s money since that determines who gets the kickbacks.
As the Political World Turns
By now it should be clear that the original question, “Do Millennials Really Support Libertarians and the Libertarian Party?” can’t be answered with polls, surveys, samplings, facts or opinions. Millennials, like every other group of individuals, are not just one big monolithic blob. They’re individuals, which means that the questions can only be answered by individual votes. No, not just by electoral votes but by individual human votes, with people voting by making choices in the economy, in society, in their thoughts and ideas and values and judgements and hopes and commitments and actions and all other aspects of their lives.
When enough people from the Millennial Generation, and the next generation, and the next, demand ever more freedom from government intrusion into their lives, ever more freedom from coercion, intimidation and fraud, ever more acceptance of personal responsibility, then we’ll find out if the Millennial Generation was the beginning of the Libertarian Generations to come.