Monday, October 18, 2004

Politics and Freedom

"Freedom" is an unfortunately abused buzzword. This is a complex discussion for another day.

Regardless, this article about the relative importance of "freedom" provides support to my belief that younger demographics are more libertarian (small "l") than the population at large:

Among those who cite freedom as an essential element of the American Dream, young people were most likely to list it as number one. Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 cited living in freedom as the key element of the American Dream 45 percent of the time. By contrast, only 24 percent of those between the ages of 50 and 64 put freedom at the top of their list.

It also provides insight into the root causes of our nation's political divide:

Race, sex, income and education also play a role in how important freedom is to the American Dream. Whites are more likely to see it as important, blacks and Hispanics less so. Men are more likely than women to cite the importance of freedom, and those with higher incomes and education are more likely to do so than those with less.
Politically, 44 percent of Republicans say that freedom defines the American Dream, while only 29 percent of Democrats do.

I would contend that freedom is what makes America special. The responsibility that comes with freedom is what makes Americans more industrious than other peoples. As we erode the culture of freedom and responsibility, we erode the very essence of America, and drift further into a socialist european-style society. The good news is that younger folks are more inclined to accept freedom and responsibility. The bad news is they aren't paying attention - and they are hopelessly outnumbered by their statist baby-boomer parents.


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