Many conservative writers become so emotionally traumatized when presented with the growing evidence that liberalism’s grasp on America’s youth is shrinking, they revert to denial and name calling. An especially virulent out-break of this malady over-whelmed Selwyn Duke upon reading my September 4th article, ‘The Millennial Generation Is Abandoning Liberalism’. Since Mr. Duke published his manifesto, “It’s the Liberalism, Stupid”, he regularly trumpets as settled science to conservatives his theory that “there has been a consistent, but accelerating, degeneration ever since” the founding fathers established the Republic. But when a conservative rejects two hundred years of American Exceptionalism, he accepts confinement in liberalism intellectual house of straw. While Selwyn Duke tells conservatives to denounce the rising independence of Millennials as “our latest movement toward idiocracy”; I celebrate Millennials’ move to the middle as a remarkably positive shift toward political sanity.
On September 4th, the United States Senate was expected to quickly approve President Obama’s request to use military force in Syria. According to the 2011 Congressional Research Service publication “Declarations of War and Authorizations for the Use of Military Force, Historical Background and Legal Implications,” Congress granted all 11 Presidential requests for a declaration of war and all 11 Presidential requests for authorization to use of military force. But despite capturing 61% of the votes of Millennials in the last election, only 12% of Millennials supported President Obama’s request to use force in Syria. Facing overwhelming opposition from the key demographic that delivered his election victory, Obama became the first President in the history of the nation to be forced to withdraw a Congressional request to use force.
The Obama Administration assumed going into the October 1st government shutdown, a large number of the 72 million Millennials could be mobilized through social media to surround the Capitol and clog Congressional phone lines in defense of Obamacare. But this turned into a very difficult sell after a National Center for Public Policy Research study revealed that single, childless Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 could save at least $500 by opting out of Obamacare and paying the $95 individual mandate penalty. According to the FreedomWorks, a website followed by 6 million Millennials: “It’s a social injustice to draft young, healthy Americans into a coercive program where they are expected to pay more money to get less coverage, all in the name of subsidizing people older and richer than they are. If Obamacare is so effective, why does it have to be mandatory? After more than a week of the shutdown, the only mobilized groups coming out in size are the Tea Parties who oppose Obamacare.
Mr. Duke does acknowledge “Millennials may have soured on Obama somewhat, but this reflects cynicism more than conservatism.” Given that cynicism is the belief individuals are motivated by self-interest, the Founding Fathers were all for that. The Declaration of Independence states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Prior to the American Revolution, individuals had no rights as the collectivist subjects of the king.
Selwyn Duke blames Millennials’ cynical attitudes on the “feckless, morally-confused adults in their homes, schools, government, houses of worship and elsewhere” that have let them down. The Founders’ generation had much in common with today’s Millennials, since the majority were similar in age; Marquis de Lafayette and James Monroe were 18, Gilbert Stuart and Aaron Burr were 20, Alexander Hamilton was 21, Betsy Ross was 24 and James Madison was 25. Undoubtedly, the London newspapers of 1776 used similar epithets to describe moral depravity of the parents, teachers and ministers that failed to prevent the Founders from rebelling against their Sovereign King.
Five years before declaring their independence, the Founders were predominantly the aristocratic progeny of staunch supporters of King George III. They were expected to obediently fly the Union Jack and optimistically look forward to lives as Englishmen. But endless wars, deficit spending and new taxes drove the Founders to cynically reject the venality and vested interests of the British Colonial Office. It has been five years of endless wars, deficit spending and new taxes that are driving Millennials to cynically reject the venality and vested interests of American liberalism.
Bob Dylan heralded the rising political importance of baby boomers when he sang: “Come writers and critics who prophesize with your pen, and keep your eyes wide the chance won’t come again.” The boomers soured on liberalism after experiencing Jimmy Carter and for the next three decades they voted as Reagan conservatives. Millennials are souring on liberalism after experiencing Barack Obama. Conservative writers should open their eyes to this wonderful opportunity, “For the times they are a-changin’”.
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