Current’s Jennifer Granholm interviewed co-authors of “Millennial Momentum” Michael Hais and Morley Winograd. They argue that the Millennial generation (born ’82-’03) will be a huge force in the 2012 Presidential election- which is true. Where they may be wrong, however, is where they say Millennials will elect Obama again.

First, let’s look a the facts provided in the interview. I will use the same information to draw my own conclusion.

  • The Millennial Generation is a “civic generation”, characterized by being strongly unified in viewpoint and vision (voted 66%-32% for Obama over McCain).
  • The Millennial Generation is the largest American generation – 95 million strong. That’s twice as many Millennials as Gen X-ers.
  • Youth turned out to vote in record numbers in 2008- and many Millennials had not turned 18 yet and weren’t even able to vote.
  • This year, 60% of Millenials are of voting age.

Michael Hais says you should trust his prediction based on his record, having predicted for 2008 that  “someone like” Obama would win, with the help of the Millennials. In that instance he was proven correct. I disagree, however, that 2012 will be another slam dunk for Obama. There is much that Hais and Winograd do not acknowledge.

Being the largest generation in the country right now, the burgeoning democratic power of the Millennials cannot be denied.  A smaller version of this voting block turned out in record numbers and elected President Obama in 2008. Now, sixty percent of these 95 million people are now able to vote. That’s roughly 57 million voters ready to elect a leader who will put the country on the right course.

Where Hais loses his way is in remembering why those young voters turned out to vote Obama in 2008. Millennails did not vote for a party in 2008. They voted for principles- principles that candidate Obama seemed to share, and that President Bush clearly did not: freedom, equality, opportunity, peace, civil liberties. The nation was faced primarily with the choice between the flag-waving, terrorist-hunting, Constitution-destroying, remedial English class that was the Bush presidency, and a promising young Senator from Illinois who denounced corruption and promised us peace and freedom. In 2008, Millenials were voting just as much against Bush’s disregard for the Bill of Rights, endless war, and crony capitalism as they were voting for what seemed at the time like their generation’s JFK.

But in 2012, we see that the more things “change” the more they stay the same. This President has been no different than the last President in the most important ways, and the Millennials might just be the first generation to be smart enough to realize it (or at least well-informed enough).

The Millennials are the Internet Generation- they have spent their entire intellectual lives with instant access to limitless information. There is hardly a celebrity rumor, sports score, (or government scandal, Presidential usurpation or oversight) that can escape the world-wide grapevine. When Defense Secretary Leon Panetta goes in front of Congress and says “we don’t need your permission to start a war”, the video has reached a thousand people before you’ve even finished watching it. When the President sells Main Street to bail out Wall Street, the Millennials are watching. When candidate Obama promises to restore freedom, then President Obama signs the NDAA quietly on New Years’ Eve- complete with indefinite detention provisions, they are not fooled. Even with the dearth of real critical reporting in the mainstream media, popular web blogs, YouTube channels, and email distributions allow access to crucial information on the fly, instantly. After electing Obama, Millennials have watched him break one promise after another. Gone are the days of relying only on filtered, censored, pre-packaged, spun and sanitized news reports from the big television networks (which are owned by military-industrial interests in the first place).

So in 2012, Millennials are faced with the frustration being in much the same place they were in 2008: with a President running rough shod over the Bill of Rights in the name of “national security”, and printing funny money for his friends on Wall Street along the way. We heard in this interview that Millennials are notoriously unified in their principles and unless those principles have changed in the last four years, this is precisely why we cannot be sure that they will elect Barack Obama for a second term. Even a brief look at the internet today will reveal thousand upon thousands of people pointing out the hypocrisy the Obama presidency on the matters discussed above. You also see just as many doing the same for Mitt Romney and his flip-flopping history. As a wise man once said: “We can’t get fooled again!

What else do you see on the internet? Thousands supporting Ron Paul for his consistent, career-spanning fight for your individual liberty and prosperity. Grassroots videos on YouTube produced by supporters spreading the message of liberty. Video responses to those productions in support. Facebook avatars, Twitter tweets. Fan art. Music. Poetry. Even video games… the movement is omnipresent and undeniable. The nature of the internet itself lends itself to a voluntarist, libertarian philosophy- where people can do anything they can imagine, as long as it is consensual and does not employ force. Hais and I agree that the Millennials will vote the same way they did in 2008, but we disagree on what that means. It means that Millenial voters vote their principles; as long as they can overcome personal confirmation bias and get informed on the issues.

The Millenials are the Internet Generation, and the Internet is voting for Ron Paul.