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POLL: Majority of Millennials Support Free Speech

POLL: Majority of Millennials Support Free Speech

“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.”

New polling data suggests that there’s a silent majority of millennials (those aged 18-34) who ardently support both free speech and religious freedom.

The Fund for American Studies conducted the poll and found that contrary to what seems like a never-ending stream of headlines touting millennial love of safe spaces, hatred for ideological and social diversity, and affinity towards homogenized speech might not be telling the whole story.

The survey “measures how Americans define freedom and whether they generally support “more” or “less” government interference in their daily lives.”

Among the key findings:

93% of millennials support religious freedom
92% of millennials support free speech

“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, President, The Fund for American Studies (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.”

In the age of massive government expansion, it’s not entirely unusual that millennial reliance upon government to secure individual freedoms is high, but they also maintain government securing of liberty is more important than a government that guarantees security.

Might be a good time for another lesson on natural rights and the derivation of liberty. But I digress…

Almost 6 out of 10 millennials would choose liberty (60%) over security (40%) as opposed to individuals age 55-64 who are evenly split in their support for security (49%) and liberty (51%)
54% of millennials support “more government” over “less government” (40%) as opposed to non-millennials who support “less government” (51%) over “more government” (45%)
The study also explores the difference between political parties in terms of their attitudes toward liberty and security:

Republicans support security (57%) over liberty (43%)
Democrats support liberty (64%) over security (36%)
Independents support security (60%) over liberty (40%)

Lastly, the survey found a disconnect “between a general support for freedom and support for freedom on specific economic issues.”

Certain items in the survey emphasize the complexity of the free market, especially in demographics we didn’t expect, namely conservatives and Republicans. Where Republicans and conservatives strongly support a reduction in government regulations over property rights, they also support an increase in government through regulations of industries. For instance:

A majority of Republicans (61%) and Conservatives (57%) believe that the government should regulate oil companies to keep gas prices at reasonable levels
A majority of Republicans (74%) and Conservatives (71%) believe that the government should prevent drug companies from increasing the prices of life-saving drugs
A majority of Republicans (71%) and Conservatives (70%) support tariffs on goods that Americans buy from overseas
“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. “The Fund for American Studies was formed to bridge that gap, and provide an educational foundation which teaches economics and emphasizes the importance of all aspects of freedom.”

There’s a lot of room for improvement, namely the whole role of government bit, but it’s not all bad news for the next generation. There might be hope yet.

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


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until it’s something they don’t agree with, of course.

Good news, but I worry that the Millennial definition of “Free Speech” might differ than what Americans understood it for centuries.


Everybody supports free speech. The problem is what they consider “free speech” to be.

Muslims insist that “free speech” means that they don’t have to hear anyone criticize the Prophet. (No, I don’t understand it, either.)

Progressives think that “free speech” doesn’t include “hate speech”, which is any speech they don’t want to be free.

And forget “millennials”—government isn’t much better. The FCC has an arbitrary list of words which are excluded from the category of “free speech”.

Come right down to it, I’m surprised that anyone can be considered to believe in “free speech” in any way which counts.

Ditto for the rest of it. I’d be shocked if any of it is what it seems.

93% of millennials support religious freedom—this probably just means they get their panties in a wad over “Islamophobia”.

54% of millennials support “more government” over “less government”—they support less government control over their own affairs, but more government control over yours. And they consider this very reasonable.

But I suspect the poll is right when it implies that almost nobody on the planet has the slightest concept about how free (ie, uncontrolled) markets work, or anything much about those cases in which free markets don’t work terribly well.

    Yes, I’m very interested in how the questions were asked.

    Everyone supports free speech, and if you just ask, “Do you support free speech?”, you’ll get an overwhelming “YES!”

    However, if you asked and included context — say, “Do you support free speech, including hateful White Supremacist, anti-LGBTQ, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, and misogynistic rhetoric?” — you might find that support for free speech (as in, ALL free speech) falls pretty dramatically.

    Polls are useless (or as you said, meaningless) because pollsters are notoriously good at crafting questions to produce emotional responses, thus swaying the results one way or the other.

You can’t judge all millennials by what the ones in the reeducation camps universities think about free speech.

The biggest selling point to millennials about free speech is that — it’s free.

God help us when they realize there is a cost to maintaining freedom of speech.

Ragspierre | May 4, 2017 at 7:03 am

Bear in mind that Millennials are the rank and file of the ALL VOLUNTEER military.

They not only value liberty, they pay for it.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Ragspierre. | May 4, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    These “college” students with their blankies, padded rooms, cookies and milk, coloring books, crayons and Play-Doh are NOT the young people joining the military in most cases. “Big gun go boom-boom. I scared, want my blankie NOW! Wah! Wah! Mama!”

    They’re Millenials by age, not by association. They don’t “identify” with the group. 😉

JackRussellTerrierist | May 4, 2017 at 12:23 pm

“Programs”, or pogroms?

It’s been nine years since I worked with the 17 or 19 year olds who make up the vast majority of the USN.

But I’m here to tell you (and I’m showing my age) the kids are alright.

We’re f***ed up. That’s the problem.

Over 90 percent of millenials support freedom of religion and speech. This s remarkable considering not one single Western leader buckling under the feeble demands of Sharia supremacists can mouth a half way decent defense of either concept.