Iis popular wisdom that President Obama’s progressive social agenda is predicated on widespread support from the younger, hip generation. Certainly, concerns like gay marriage, marijuana legalization, abortion, the DREAM Act, gun control, women in combat, and blocking gas and oil exploration and pipeline transportation all get a lot of play on campuses and in popular culture. And these wedge issues supposedly represent the future direction of the country — a wise agenda for liberals eager to cement a majority constituency for decades to come.
But aside from the common-sense recognition that people become more conservative as they age and mature — and start paying taxes, and become financially responsible for their own children’s future — there is just as much likelihood that Barack Obama may inadvertently be building a conservative youth movement. Indeed, the new liberalism in all its economic manifestations is reactionary and anti-youth to the core. The administration seems aware of the potential paradoxes in this reverse “What’s the matter with Kansas?” syndrome of young people voting against their economic interests. Thus follows the constant courting of the hip and cool Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Lena Dunham, Occupy Wall Streeters, and others who blend pop culture, sex, youth, energy, and fad — almost anything to avoid the truth that today’s teenagers are starting out each owing a lifetime share of the national debt amounting to more than three-quarters of a million dollars. Those who ran up the debt enjoyed the borrowing, but won’t be around to pay back their proverbial fair share.