Presidential candidate, former Senator and Vice-President Joe Biden enthusiastically takes endorsements from Leftists like Beto O’Rourke, who unforgettably said, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15”, and continues to announce he’ll be the VP’s gun czar. Meanwhile, his main competitor and self-proclaimed socialist, Bernie Sanders, has run on a platform to make college and healthcare “free.” The Democratic Party isn’t offering anyone who entirely supports the fundamental principles of individualism and federalism. Instead, there’s a dangerous trend towards Big Government and “free” everything, a cynical appeal to younger voters.
It’s a constantly repeated notion in contemporary politics that young people typically lean toward the Left, and that trend is growing. According to the Detroit Free Press, in Michigan’s 2018 August primary, 143,000 voters between 18-29 cast their ballots - significantly higher than the 49,000 who voted in 2014. But the conservative movement has its own army of young supporters who are determined to enlighten this next generation of voters.
The 2020 Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, was held outside Washington last week. The annual week-long conference is the single largest gathering of conservatives and Republicans in the nation. It’s entire aim is political activism, bringing some of the most influential people in the American conservative movement to speak to thousands of attendees. President Trump, Vice President Pence, and numerous Congressmen and women came to speak. You may think of CPAC as a massive political rally for conservatives. And there’s an ever-growing swathe of young conservatives attending every year.
Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, who organizes and hosts CPAC announced that 50% of the attendees are high school and college students, and that has been the trend for at least the past 3 years. In addition, these attendees are calling the Republican Party to action on issues that progressive Democrats own, namely climate change. In response to the Green New Deal, young Republicans are calling for market-based solutions -- solutions that conservatives can support. It’s not just simply climate change either; these young conservatives don’t want Leftist policies, they want their freedom. The next generation of the conservative movement is composed of freedom-loving students who don’t want, and won’t allow, our country to move to socialism.
It’s clear that the Democratic Party doesn’t own young voters. Young people across the country are waking up and embracing our First Principles. As the Left proves that they cannot be moderate, it is imperative that the next generation not only understand, but advocate, for the fundamental liberties that make the United States the single greatest bulwark for individual freedom on the globe.
Alex Tokie is an intern with the Michigan Freedom Fund.