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Are kids today more Libertarian than progressive?

Are kids today more Libertarian than progressive?
August 29
12:13 2017

For all the millennials “feeling the Bern,” Time has come to a startling realization: “Young Americans Are Actually Not Becoming More Progressive,” the magazine announced last week (with a parental sigh). Republicans, you’ll remember, were predicted to have a “young-people problem” in 2016, but 37 percent of 18-29-year-olds—an age group that now includes both millennials and the newly christened “iGen”—ended up voting for Trump.

Young voters “are more conservative than is often assumed,” said Jean Twenge, professor of psychology at San Diego State University. The “percentage of high school seniors who identified as conservative rose from 23 percent in 2000 to 29 percent in 2015.” Which is a larger percentage of the student body with sensible political views than the GenX Reaganites of the 1980s. Yes, young people today are more likely to support same-sex marriage and legalized marijuana, but they’re also wary of gun control and nationalized health care. They are neither liberal nor conservative.

In the measured tones of a parent-teacher conference, Time explains that your child is what’s called a libertarian. “iGen was raised in a highly individualistic culture favoring the self over the group . . . and libertarianism is as close to cultural individualism as can be found in the political arena.” Not that it helped Rand Paul or Gary Johnson much.

Still, it’s a hopeful sign that so many young Americans, notwithstanding the social pressure to be socialist, have libertarian-conservative impulses. Just wait till they have to start paying taxes in earnest.

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