A new survey has been released showing that a vast majority of millennials do not agree with the anti-free speech groups that have been popping up on university campuses.
The survey released by The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) shows that 92 percent of millennials across the nation support free speech. Additionally, 93 percent of millennials support religious freedom.
“The media keeps showing us images of violent protests on college campuses, young Americans being angry and disruptive, but the truth is that millennials support religious and social freedoms more than non-millennials,” said Roger Ream, of TFAS. “There’s a vast, silent majority of millennials who embrace these freedoms and those are the young men and women we are seeing in our programs.”
TFAS utilizes a “Support for Freedom Index,” measures how Americans define freedom, and whether or not they support more government intervention in their daily lives. Interestingly, millennials (ages 18-34) believe that “more government” is necessary to protect freedoms at 54 percent. However, the majority believe that government is necessary to safeguard freedoms (60 percent), not safety (40 percent).
A surprising finding by the study, however, shows that when it comes to who prefers freedoms over safety, it’s Republicans who tend to lean toward safety, diverging from their ideological cousins, the conservatives.
Additionally, further distinctions at the ideological level within the Republican party were found. When asked to choose between individual liberty and concerns about security, conservatives split evenly between their support for liberty (51%) and security (49%). Republicans fall more in the camp of “more government” that ensures national security. Conservatives fall primarily in the camp of “less government” that promotes liberty.
“When you take a comparative look at conservative and Republican ideologies toward freedom, you would expect a lot of overlap. One of the surprising findings of this survey is that Republicans favor an active government approach which prioritizes security over individual liberties,” said Roger Ream. “This may explain some of the resonance for President Trump’s message in the GOP primaries, resonance that many, at the time, didn’t fully grasp. Conservatives were more supportive of a passive government which prioritizes liberty over security concerns,” Ream concludes.
This support for government intervention from the millennial right continues when it comes to certain economic issues. For instance, both Republicans and conservatives support tariffs on goods that Americans buy from overseas by 71 percent, and 70 percent respectively. Furthermore, 61 percent of Republicans, and 57 percent of conservatives believe that government should regulate oil companies to forcefully keep gas prices low.
“This is due in part to a failure on the part of traditional education to teach economics and the media to explain economics to the average American,” Ream said.