Other writers, on the Millenials, GOP and ISIS
The Millennials: Generation independent
While large numbers of millennials care about government spending and the national debt—78 percent agree that both are a major problem—such values do not define their politics. Indeed, over two-thirds of millennials who describe themselves as liberal do so because of social and cultural issues, not economic ones. It’s about gay marriage and pot legalization, not farm subsidies and food stamps.
In a 2013 poll, Pew Research Center found that millennials were the only cohort to support a “bigger government [and] more services,” by a spread of 53 percent to 38 percent. Members of the Silent Generation, baby boomers, and Gen Xers all decidedly preferred “smaller government [and] fewer services.”
The Reason-Rupe poll replicated Pew’s response when asking millennials if they would rather have a government that provided more services or fewer services: Fifty-four percent chose bigger government, with just 44 percent calling for a smaller government offering less services.
But when the same question is asked in the context of paying higher taxes for more government services, the results flip. Asked if they would prefer a “larger government with more services” that would require high taxes, just 41 percent of millennials want the larger government, with 57 percent preferring a smaller government and low taxes.
Bring back the Party of Lincoln
The history of the Republican Party is marked by vacillation between its founding principle of opportunity and its domination by the wealthy elite. The party came together in the 1850s in opposition to the wealthy slaveholders who controlled the federal government.
Democrats acting on their behalf insisted that America’s primary principle was the Constitution’s protection of property, and they pushed legislation to let planters monopolize the country’s resources at the expense of the working class.
Abraham Lincoln and others recoiled from the idea of government as a prop for the rich. In organizing the Republican Party, they highlighted the equality of opportunity promised in the Declaration of Independence and warned that a healthy economy depended on widespread prosperity. Northerners and hardscrabble Westerners flocked to that vision, and elected Lincoln to the White House in 1860.
Even as the Civil War raged, Republicans made good on their promise: They gave farmers their own land, created public colleges, funded a transcontinental railroad, took control of the national currency away from rich bankers, and ended slavery. To pay for their initiatives, they invented national taxes, including the income tax.
But as soon as the war ended, wealthy Americans joined with those who hated African-Americans and immigrants to insist that slaveholders had been right: Permitting poor men to have a say in government had produced policies that redistributed wealth. Only a few years after building a federal system that cleared the way for equal opportunity, Republicans faced a racist and xenophobic backlash against an active government — and they folded.
By the 1880s, the party’s leaders had abandoned their message of opportunity and tied themselves to big business.
End the U.S.-ISIS pipeline
When there’s a leadership vacuum in the White House, Congress needs to step in.
That means getting to work on thwarting jihadists with American or European passports from importing ISIS-style terror here. A year ago, on August 23, 2013, then-FBI Director Robert Mueller raised that danger in an ABC News interview.
In January and again in February of this year, Obama’s Director of National Intelligence told Congress it was a “huge concern” that ISIS training camps in Syria are preparing “people to go back to their home countries and conduct terrorist acts.”
The U.S. government can and should revoke the passports of any Americans who have joined up with ISIS.
Contrary to what many believe, international travel is not a constitutional right.