Three Reasons Why Ron Paul Appeals to Young People
By Doug Newman
December 1, 2011
(WARNING: GRAPHIC, BUT NOT GRATUITOUS, IMAGES. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS IN WAR!)
Denver talk host David Sirota wrote a very fine essay this week on Ron Paul’s appeal among voters aged 18 to 29. Contrary to common belief, this popularity is not simply a matter of their wanting to burn hippie lettuce.* Rather, Sirota says, it is that they have a principled stance against America’s endless wars.
I want to approach this question from a different angle: how one’s life experience often profoundly influences one’s worldview. There are three major cultural reasons for Ron Paul’s appeal to younger voters.
1) They are on the internet more intensively than anyone else. Indeed, if you are 18, you may very well not remember life without the internet.
When I was 18, in 1979, we got our news from the three major networks, newspapers and news magazines. No we were not in the Soviet Union where the flow of information was controlled by TASS, Pravda and Izvestia. However, our news options were relatively quite limited. Cable TV hadn’t gained a footing yet. The Fairness Doctrine governed radio, so talk radio was a non-factor.
Along came the internet in the 1995-96 time frame. Now, anyone anywhere of even modest financial means could broadcast their message worldwide. Our news and information options suddenly became infinite. This is the world in which the majority of the group Sirota describes has come of age. This is how they get their information. And it absolutely tortures control freaks!
2) They know they have gotten a raw economic deal.