Paul's libertarianism taps into young people's distrust of bureaucracy. "This is an iPod/Facebook 21st century generation. Young Americans want to customize their own world. They want to shape their own destinies, not be part of a herd that is shepherded from one pasture to another. They like the advice of Obama appointee Anne-Marie Slaughter: Design your own profession," writes Michael Barone of the Washington Examiner, a former columnist at U.S. News. And, he says, when it comes to one-size-fits-all federal mandates, to these young people, "It's as if every iPod had an identical play list and every Facebook page were the same."
With unemployment sky-high among young people, many are turning to community service to solve our nation's biggest challenges. Last year alone, 48,000 young people applied to Teach For America; only 4,000 were accepted. If Republicans were smart, they'd get their hands on that other 44,000. Those are young people who understand that relying solely on the government to solve every challenge we face isn't the answer, plus they're impatient with the status quo and willing to personally sacrifice for a better future. They're out ahead of the politicians.
These are the kind of young people who bristle at the menu of inflexible government mandates that Obama is pushing. They also will be hurt the most by entitlement programs that go bankrupt. Republicans should take heed: An aggressive conservative agenda on social issues is unpopular with these voters. They don't like the government playlist of limited options, telling them what they can do and cannot do, what kind of light bulbs they should buy, but also what kind of contraception they should not have. Personal liberty and economic freedom will carry the day. A culture war will not.