The next generation is up for grabs politically. Although the youth vote swung heavily to Barack Obama in the past two elections, there are clear signs of hope in the next generation from a conservative perspective.
Despite energized millennial support for the socialism of Bernie Sanders during the presidential primaries, their flirtation is fleeting. Their idealistic support evaporates quickly in the face of real life. As one millennial analyst put it, “Millennials like socialism until they get jobs.” Another survey of millennial political attitudes found that when asked, 50% self-identify as conservatives.
Not definitive, but definitely encouraging signs. And I see more every day as I talk to Arizona Christian University students.
Yesterday in Next Gen Political Angst , I shared what some in the next generation dislike about politics. But they see much good in American politics today. They truly appreciate their political freedom. They like vigorous political debate. Maybe it could be more civil, but they like the American tradition of political sparring over ideas. They enjoy political conversation and the many opportunities to engage in politics. They want a voice in the ongoing discussion of the meaning of freedom and how to preserve it. On a very fundamental way, they are thankful for elections and the right to vote.
What else do they like about American politics today? Unlike many college students calling for revolutionary institutional change (think: Bernie Sanders’ calls for revolution), there is a deep appreciation among these ACU students for the American system of government — the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. OK, they are mostly political science students, but they specifically listed among their “likes”: separation of powers, checks and balances, Constitutional restraints on government power, protections for liberty, and federalism. One even mentioned the patriotism displayed in American politics.
Anecdotal evidence, but those in my generation should be encouraged.