Rand Paul Libertarianism is the Hot New Thing For Millennials
Libertarians. We all know they exist, but in small numbers. Millennials. They're the unconventional generation. How they view policy issues is often misunderstood, much like libertarians. Conventional wisdom would suggest they lean Democrat for their acceptance of their liberal stance on social issues, but they actually represent a more nuanced bloc. Many identify themselves as libertarian, even though a few publicly espouse to it.
There's a misconception surrounding libertarianism's popularity among millennial voting blocs. According to one poll, young libertarians favored Obama over Romney by 10 points. This could explain one reason why he was able to maintain 60% of this voting bloc.
Why is this? The most plausible reason is that they could not distinguish Romney from Obama on fiscal policy, thus, they voted on social issues. This may seem incredulous to the outside observer. But consider this - most people think of libertarians as the party of, "don't tread on me," but the party of today, would most likely read as the party of, "don't tread on others."
The fact that young fiscally conservative, socially liberal millennials supported Obama in the election and he was able to garner 60% of the millennial vote shows just how clueless the Republican Party is. Even more, they have lost their roots.
Ronald Reagan, the poster child of the Republican Party, once said libertarianism is at the heart and soul of the GOP.
Republicans have an opportunity to refocus their efforts through the example of a handful of governors and congressmen who identify themselves as the Republican Liberty Caucus. Young guns like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) have become the most outspoken critics of Obama's policies.
According to Politico, libertarianism is going viral. The Republican Party of the future doesn't look like the Grand Old Party of our grandparents' generation; its becoming increasingly libertarian because millennials resonate with it's message of self-reliance. “Republicans value individual liberty, and that means cost-limited constitutional government and respect for individual empowerment rather than an empowered state. In many ways, as libertarianism expands in the party, we’re getting back to its basics," said Jesse Benton, Ron Paul's campaign manager in 2012.
The Republican National Committee issued a report in March called the Growth and Opportunity Project that said its primary goal should be, "to remain the conservative alternative to big-government, redistribution-to-extremes liberalism."
The biggest challenge the GOP has will be in communicating to the establishment that libertarianism may be capable to a majority Christian cohort. Despite the fact that there exists a large gap between the oldest and youngest generations over core religious beliefs, the Republican Party has to remember that it formed in under the oaks in Jackson, Michigan as an anti-slavery movement by a constituency that sought to seek freedom for all and became known for it's embrace of classical liberalism. Classical liberalism embraces civil liberties; social issues such as gay marriage and abortion are difficult areas for it to navigate. Thus, libertarianism is more of the fulfillment of the original purpose of the GOP than as it stands in its current form.
Millennials are fed up with the status quo. Libertarianism avails itself to this sentiment. They may not all by cold-hearted like Dagny Taggart or even care who is John Galt, but millennial libertarians are a resurgent force that are here to stay.