The Youth Vote (Political Post)

I’ve seen several people talking about how the “18-24 year old” crowd voted. Here’s a map to represent how they voted in the presidential election of 2016.

2016 18 24

It looks like these young adults are pretty liberal…

I’m very Conservative politically. I personally believe we need to maintain the principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence upon which our country was founded. I believe in an America rooted in ideals as lofty as unalienable Rights: individual life, personal freedom, and private property. We should not choose our leaders for what we think is “best for us” (that’s a terrible way to vote), we should vote for what is right. We should cast our ballots, as best we can determine, to promote liberty and justice for all, not just for a segment of our population. That’s what it means to be a Conservative.

So when my fellow Conservatives see how young adults are voting, it gives them cause for concern about the future. Will we continue to keep the freedoms that have made this country the greatest nation in the history of the world, or will we end up like another mediocre European nation limping towards the oblivion of socialistic conformity.

Be of good courage! This does not have to be our future. Most young people have no idea, yet. This is the information age. Just as the answer to falsehood is not censorship but a free press (at least that’s the answer for a Conservative) so too, the answer for the ignorance of a child who would want a totalitarian state is the truth that Capitalism is necessary for freedom.

For me, reading books by people like Thomas Sowell or even Hayek had a profound effect on the formation of my worldview. Even more entertaining works like those in the Freakonomics series made a big difference in my life. However, there was no one more influential in my political formation than the late Milton Friedman. His books like, Capitalism and Freedom, Why Government Is The Problem, There’s No Such Thing As A Free Lunch, and even The Theory of the Consumption Function, but especially Free to Choose had a profound effect on the way I learned to think about politics (which is voting on economics). The truth is always more convincing.

So what can we do? Hand your average 20-year old kid a 300 page book and hope for the best? Yea, good luck with that. Video is a much more powerful medium today, at least until they acquire a desire for truth and can seek it out in more dense formats. With the advent of the Internet and the ubiquity of Social Media today, the best way to discriminate ideas is to forward videos. As a Pastor I can definitely see this in the sermon clips that make the rounds.

I have been very impressed with videos from PragerU. Less than 5 min. and packed with a whole lot of truth. Other groups like LearnLiberty, the Cato InstituteLibertyPen, and Free To Choose Network also have similar efforts. These are great ways to encourage others towards a more conservative worldview. Or, just google Milton Friedman and send the videos you think are most effective.

Can young adults change? Will they always vote more Liberal? Here is a map of the 1964 election:


The more Liberal Democrat won 486 electoral votes to the much more Conservative Republican’s 52, an even greater landslide than if only 18-24 year olds voted in 2016. People who were 70 years old for the 2016 election were 18 years old for the 1964 election. I know something about these folks, my dad turned 70 today (Happy Birthday! I just stuck your card in the mail).

People under 45 voted for Clinton by about a 9% margin, and people over 45 voted for Trump by about a 3% margin. Obviously, a lot more people in the over 45 crowd voted. When you get into the even younger group, they preferred Clinton by about 18% (yet it was 34% in 2012) and older Americans (those who were the 18-year olds back in 1964) preferred Trump by 8%.

Here’s what I want to say. The whole country was more liberal in the 1960s. Neither Johnson nor Goldwater were dynamic and interesting personalities and so people pretty much voted according to the issues they believed in. The 18 year old in 1964 (on average) grew up and voted for Trump in 2016 (though, 18 year olds couldn’t actually vote until the 1970s, but you get the idea).

There is hope. People do change. It’s just a matter of getting the truth to those who need it in a format by which they will receive it. The truth wins, that’s a Conservative idea. Let’s trust in right, let’s trust in Truth Justice and the American way.

Now, forward this to someone who needs it 😉

About John Harris

I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
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