Millennials and Libertarian Challenge

Most of the New Republican strategy hinges on the rise of Millennials into adulthood. Millennials are today’s 18 to 29 year olds. They are the highly schooled (though little educated), highly opinionated Obama supporters still living in their parents’ basement. They blame their economic woes on George Bush instead of their worthless, taxpayer-funded art history degrees or their endless attempts to turn skateboarding into a career. Their hope of a bright economic future rides on school loan forgiveness programs.

Can you see what easy prey Millennials are for savvy political operatives? Just bait the hook – tell these permanent adolescents that they’re America’s future; tell them their voice matters; tell them their ideal of a tolerant world demands respect; tell them their child-like construct of a world without war is visionary; tell them their generation’s technological savvy trumps their parents’ admirable work ethic; tell them Comic Con is worth quitting their job to attend – and Millennials will vote for you in droves.

That seems to be the strategy of the New Republicans – and it makes sense to them because they are largely libertarian-minded like the Millennials they seek to win over. So instead of fighting against outrageous Big Government schemes, New Republicans look to the low hanging fruit dangling for Millennials: “gay rights,” pot smoking and privacy issues. It’s a failed strategy if freedom is your goal.

So I have a challenge for Utah’s libertarian-minded community leaders, in behalf of their misled and wandering Millennial offspring: Set aside your myopic politics and join conservatives in prudently addressing the real evils of the day. Use your deep commitment to fairness and democratic processes to stop self-appointed elitists in their tracks.

After the defeat of Bob Bennett and its failure to gain traction in Utah’s unique caucus and convention system, Utah’s Moderate Establishment wants its political power back. It will feign righteous motives and demonize its enemies but all it wants is its own greedy hand on the ship of state to spread legal plunder to its friends.

Libertarian-minded citizens need to understand that the real threat to freedom in Utah isn’t conservatives who oppose unconditional adulthood. The real threat comes from Utah’s Moderate Establishment. Utah’s responsible libertarians should be protecting their Millennial offspring from conniving old businessmen, not wasting their time defending childish behavior in principle.

Utah’s libertarian-minded community leaders need to prioritize. You are losing your Millennial base to conniving old businessmen in principle. The more time you spend arguing over Utah’s liquor laws, the less time you have to fight against a culture of corruption in a pay-to-play world of politics. The more time you spend arguing for legalizing pot, the less time you have to argue against Count My Vote. Your principles are meaningless in a war that consistently passes you by.

In an age of savage attacks on federalism, in the age of Obamacare, in a deep culture of corruption inside this state and the threat of Utah’s Moderate Establishment to regain its stranglehold on state politics – Utah’s libertarian-minded community leaders need to salvage what’s left of their Millennial base, focus priorities on things that truly matter, humble yourselves and quit tilting at windmills.

I actually do have libertarian-minded friends – successful entrepreneurs, good citizens and great parents – who nonetheless have let cynicism diminish their political influence. It’s time for these friends to get back into the arena and to fight the good fight against the so-called “moderate” forces of entitlement, privilege and corruption.

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