Yes, there are young conservatives, but they’re not at college or watching TV. Instead, they’re working hard and watching conservative YouTube videos.
There’s a young man I’ve known and admired for many years. I met him through one of my children’s activities and quickly sized him up as extremely bright and incredibly hardworking. He also has a brilliant sense of humor; one, moreover, that is perfectly attuned to children. When he left the job through which I met him to start his own business, I didn’t follow him, because doing so would have involved a lot more driving. That was a bad decision because my child’s interest in the activity vanished when the young man left.
It’s been many years since I last saw this man, but I keep up with him on Facebook. He doesn’t post often, but when he does, I’m always blown away. He may be a millennial, but he’s a rock solid libertarian-conservative-classic liberal and he’s not shy about defending his viewpoints. He has a mastery of the issues and will expand upon them if he feels it’s appropriate.
Because I find this young man interesting and his conservativism heartening, I reached out via Facebook to learn a little more about him. He gave me some fascinating information about young conservatives. Here’s what I learned:
My friend believes that young conservatives in his age cohort (people under 40) are much more common than anyone realizes, as evidenced by Trump’s huge victory across America. As far as he’s concerned, the perception that his generation automatically hews Left is a byproduct of the Left’s own self-referential world view in entertainment, media, and the universities, each of which relentlessly promotes and reinforces its own cultural dominance.
Because his job involves teaching skills to young people, my young friend has seen a lot of young people grow up over the years. He therefore sees a trajectory that has them sucked into Leftism through school, and then finding their way out of it again when they hit the real world. He breaks this arc down as follows:
From 15-18, young people are fairly centrist politically and rely on common sense.
From 19-22, young people go “off to indoctrination sleep away camp…. errrr…. I mean University.” There, peer pressure, combined with a system that punishes dissent, pushes them so far Left that they actually view Leftism as a centrist political position.
From 23-25, these kids hit the real world. There, they discover that the real world is unlike anything their education told them it would be. Nevertheless, they are slow to realize what’s going on.
Only after reaching the second half of their twenties do young people start figuring out that they really do live somewhere in the center, and that the whole “institutional racism” issue is not the problem. The problem, instead, is the people relentlessly complaining about “institutional racism.” At this point, it hits them that the far Left isn’t fighting “the man;” it is “the man.”
Fascinating take on things, right? Especially because it comes from someone who lives in the middle of the young demographic.
But here’s the most interesting thing the young man told me: We old people still look at television as a driving force, which is why we’re so exercised by the crap spewed on the major news networks. His generation, however, isn’t really a TV generation, especially for young conservatives, who feel locked out of television. For that reason, young conservatives go someplace entirely different: YouTube. According to my friend, “there is a huge grass roots Conservative-Libertarian-Classic Liberal movement going on now on YouTube and on podcasting formats.” [Read more…]