By David McQuade
Young people today are smart, energetic, tech savvy and engaged. Because of this they’ve become the ideal breeding ground for an intelligent, well-articulated conservative youth movement, centered around values, lifestyle and media. Indeed, the movement has already begun and is quickly spreading among thinking young adults. If you spend time looking over their shoulders at their blogs or watching recent user-created YouTube content, you’ll understand that there’s a dramatic shift in thinking taking place over the past year: the more they learn about far-left social and economic policy, unsustainable spending and debt being heaped upon their generation, the more they “fall out of love” with the philosophy they so recently fought for. Despite left-wing ideologues assuming they largely owned them as a block for life, they are fast loosing their grip on young Americans, and the push back from the ideology they’ve been marinated in is nothing short of remarkable.
Young Americans have grown up in a relatively affluent culture and are dismayed that, just when it’s their turn to participate in the lifestyle they’ve come to expect as a baseline, their generation is being asked to give up the hope of affluence in favor of some lower-class socialist utopia experiment. Even with Herculean attempts at revisionist history, young people are smart enough to understand that their generation’s “required sacrifice” is a road to nowhere–that this ideology is a purely academic theory that has failed miserably, each and every time its been attempted throughout history.
To view the world through their lens: their’s is the first generation of Americans being asked to sacrifice comfort, style and safety on the freeway for tiny, fuel-sipping European-type cars. They’re being told that they should lower their lifestyle expectations for an American dream home in favor of more “energy-efficient”, often high-density, dwellings. They’re being told that their generation must sacrifice and absorb “necessarily skyrocketing” energy prices so that their earnings can be distributed to other countries “in need.” They’re being taught to downsize their financial expectations, along with their “carbon footprint”, in order to become a more responsible citizen of the world, while at the same time they can’t help but see hypocritical “Green” leadership exponentially increase their own personal wealth and carbon footprints. They’re young, but they’re nobody’s fool. They’re beginning to feel used, and are starting to comprehend what the phrase “spread the wealth around” actually means: a global redistribution of their hard-earned future success, resulting in three very distinct classes; the high cast ruling political class, and the low cast working class, who must sacrifice what precious little they have left with an even larger entitlement class. Popular young blogger, speaker, and proud advocate for the free enterprise, Katie Keiffer, frequently quotes Ayn Rand, “The man who speaks to you of sacrifice speaks of slaves and masters, and intends to be master.”
To this generation, liberal radicals from the 60’s and 70’s are not “radical” at all. Rather, they’ve become predictable, old-school flower children of a distant generation, the insipid “norm” in both the classroom and the newsroom. To them, liberal authority figures have become “the man”, relentlessly insisting to them how they should and should not dare think. Many students couldn’t possibly be more tired of bleeding-heart ideologues whining and complaining day in and day out about a perceived lack of “social justice.” To the chagrin of educators, an increasing number of young people actually desire independence, freedom and personal success in their lives, not some overly politically correct, progressive and collective comradeship. Undaunted, liberal institutions press on, exacerbating growing push back by ratcheting up their repetitive and boring rhetoric, which is only serving to aggravate and awaken a generation. As evidenced by the nearly unanimous booing at a recent University commencement speech, when a rank and file progressive professor used the incredibly inappropriate platform to bash Arizona’s new immigration law, they’ve had just about enough liberal theory being shoved at them on every possible occasion. It would appear that educators, working in league with crony press and over-zealous politicians, have finally managed to “push the envelope” so far that it’s torn irreparably, certainly in the eyes of any thinking young person. Thankfully, once lock-step young recruits are now pouring out of that ripped envelope en-masse.
So where does this bright, energetic and enthusiastic new breed of young Conservative go from here? How will their generation remove the boot from the neck of free enterprise and restore freedom to the America they’re still (wait for it……) proud of? While many of their parents frequent our generation’s conservative pundits and news organizations for perspective, it’s doubtful that they will start listening to conservative radio or watching Fox News in meaningful numbers anytime soon. Several years ago, Dr. Tim Elmore, in an in-depth thesis study on “Generation Y,” made a number of important observations: First, despite growing instability around the world, they are surprisingly optimistic. Unlike their “Generation X” older siblings or parents, who tended to be loaners and were nihilistic about the future (i.e. “I didn’t create this mess and I can’t fix it…”), Generation Y actually believes they can change the world. I would add that they run in large, market-altering packs that, thanks to new technologies, are extremely well-networked like no generation preceding them. They are proud and protective of their generation and fiercely loyal to their ever-expanding group of “friends.” This remarkably cohesive and powerful young demographic believes theirs is the generation that can finally bring about true and lasting change around the globe. This is especially true now that they’re wiser and more aware of the kind of “hope and change” far-left professor-types-turned-politicians are advocating for.
This awakening, values-driven generation can change the world, but only to the degree that our generation helps underpin their fragile new worldview and supplies them with the necessary tools. We must meet youth culture where it is in order to enable it to take a new direction. The technology is in place as are the ideas. With God’s help, they will succeed.
Editor’s Note: David McQuade is the President of ZCityTV.