This piece at Policy Micby Richard Lorenc explains how much of Ron Paul’s popularity with youth has to do with general attitudinal trends of the Millennial generation:
But perhaps the biggest reason libertarianism is on the ascent is that millennials have a basic predisposition to it. They share its skepticism of concentrated power, its philosophical consistency, and its embrace of individualism. Crucially, because millennials identify neither with their grandparents’ outdated social views nor the unaffordable fiscal beliefs held by their parents, libertarianism also indulges their need to distinguish themselves in the world.
Prompted by the times, many millennials have formed a worldview that appreciates the need to limit the power of the few over the many. They have witnessed how even the most ethical people break down under pressure. They have become more aware of how their own choices impact the environment and lives of people across the world, often with unintended consequences. And they’re discovering how the bad decisions of the past return to haunt the present.
Combined with a healthy dose of humility, the millennial worldview is essentially libertarian.
In April, a poll from the Harvard Institute of Politics confirmed the ongoing millennial-libertarian convergence. The 18-29 year old demographic expressed skepticism toward the government’s ability to stimulate the economy. They also tended to be against mixing religion with legislation.Blogger Vinnie Rotondaro remarked, “What remained, political scientists and pollsters noted, looked an awful lot like the silhouette of libertarianism, a political philosophy that champions small government and tolerant social attitudes (think Soundgarden’s “My Wave”) and – that especially for youngsters – is fueled by a deep distrust of mainstream politics.”