Roughly Six in Ten Millennials Seem to fall right in line with Pro-American, Pro-Defense Libertarianism.
Two years ago, Reason Magazine and Cato Institute did polling opinion of American Millennials in regard to respectively domestic policy and foreign policy. But first let me address the title choice, specifically a word in the title.
So there is this term in the title ‘neolibertarian’, but what does it even mean? Well, allow me to explain.
A neolibertarian is a Moderate Independent who endorses greater economic freedom; meaning low taxes, minimal regulation of commerce, and rule of the world by free trade; and greater personal liberty; meaning no nanny laws, no exceptions to the US Bill of Rights, and the only blanket-ban in place being a ban on violating real people in real life.
However, neolibertarianism leans much closer to reality than mainstream libertarianism leans. Specifically, the neolibertarian judgement of America is to espouse a hyper-critical, but hyper-loving, basically ‘tough love‘ for America as a nation.
Not only this, but also neolibertarian sentiment differs from mainstream libertarian sentiment on foreign policy. While neolibertarians agree with mainstream libertarianism on free trade and free migration; they call for the US military to stay Earth’s strongest military, advocate a balance of using ‘soft power’ and using ‘hard power’ overseas, support humanitarian interventionism, and will always side with Israel regarding the Arab-Israeli war of 1948 to now.
Majority Opinions held by US Millennials
Polling data from all three sources I linked to, and including also data from Pew Research Center, confirms that majority sentiment among US Millennials can be most accurately branded ‘neolibertarian’. Unsurprising, as millennials want big cuts to government power economically and even bigger power cuts culturally, while mostly loving the US and mostly walking the same fine middle ground between neocons and mainstream libertarianism that neolibertarians live to walk. So let’s get to the numbers.
An average of Seven in Ten millennials, based on numbers from Reason; favor legalizing online gambling, allowing the recent hobby of vaping to replace the addiction to smoking without government laws, permitting women to wear revealing clothing in public, and letting chefs sell their food via food trucks.
Reason Magazine numbering confirms that 57% of American millennials want profits and wages to be based on work ethic and not on any opinion on income inequality. Also there is the fact that 64% of millennials prefer free markets over government management of the economy.
While it may be true that Seven in Ten millennials believe America has shameful flaws worth apologizing for and fixing, it’s equally true that EIGHT in ten still love the US more than any other nation on Earth.
Cato Institute’s particular findings are that two-thirds of my generation (yep, I’m a millennial) endorses use of military force to disrupt or preempt a genocide, which is what humanitarian intervention is. They also find that the two most popular forms of interventionism among millennials are ‘high cooperation, high force’ (30%) and ‘low cooperation, low force’ (also 30%). Furthermore, Pew Research Center finds that significantly more millennials in America side with Israel (43%) than with the Arab League (27%). However, I am having a hard time finding exact numbers for my generation on defense spending so I am forced to apply full population stats to just my generation. This means that I suspect (based on available stats) that 40% of millennials are satisfied with current defense spending, 35% want it to go up and 24% want it to go down. This means three in four millennials oppose defense spending cuts.
I seem to be seeing an intellectual obligation to answer the titular question with the following word: Mostly. Thank you for reading this, says the neolibertarian and millennial that I know I am,