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There is no doubt fiscal conservatism and social conservatism go hand in hand. I, myself am a fiscal and social conservative, but social conservatism is not the focus for many under the age of 30.
Nationally, Republicans have been losing the youth vote in at least the last three presidential elections. There are many reasons for those disappointing results, but at least in part, Americans are becoming less socially conservative. According to a Gallup Poll released last week, 51% of Americans identify themselves as economically conservative, while only 42% said they were socially conservative.
Does this mean we should we forget about social conservatism? No. Should we give up on relaying the economic benefits of marriage and family to people under the age of 30? No, but if we focus on the fiscal issues first with students and low information voters in other demographics, we will begin to take some ground and win national elections again.
If you ask a high school or college student if they would rather have a smaller government that spends less, or a bigger government that spends more, they will most likely choose the former; a smaller government that spends less. If you asked the same student if they support gay marriage they are more likely to say yes. According to a Washington Post/ABC News Poll, 81% of citizens from ages 18-29 approve of gay marriage.
Many of my teachers and friends who identify themselves as liberal, are fiscally conservative and frankly, just want the government out of their lives. Many Americans want less spending, small government, lower taxes, less debt, and free market capitalism. In 2012, according to Gallup a whopping 55% of Democratic leaning people supported capitalism, while in 2010 only 36% of all Americans saw socialism as positive.
Fiscal conservatism is common sense that is no longer common. We should be focusing on issues that the youth have a stake in and teaching them in the process. It is my future, their future, that is being robbed by out of control spending and when messaged correctly, they'll care. Not only does fiscal conservatism bode well for both sides of the political spectrum, but it is uncharted territory for students across the country. Most students do not know the severity of our national debt, our unemployment numbers or our out-of-control government programs because they haven’t learned enough about it. Educating students about the fiscal issues and the solutions, will result in only one thing; a conservative victory.
The majority of students want freedom from the government and the opportunity to persue their goals. How many youths want to be told how to eat, what to listen to, where they can go? None. Again, if messaged correctly and we teach them about the proper role of government, they will want the government to stay out of their lives, resulting in fewer costly laws and regulations. Everyone wants to be rewarded for hard work and success, and values an even playing field as well. That is what we, as conservatives, stand for. For that reason, it is vital that we spend more time educating students on the fiscal issues.
I know for a fact, as a high school student, my peers go to the voting booth only thinking about gay marriage, abortion or other social issues. We must change this and move them to start voting with their financial future in mind. With Social Security failing, Obamacare hitting the youth hardest and an education system in crisis, the youth have everything to lose and nothing to gain if we don't get them on board.