When you study the Millennial generation, you find a generation that’s remarkably independent. They don’t like people looking over their shoulder – like the government. In books like “Growing Up Digital” Don Tapscott describes how the Net Generation will use digital media to superimpose it’s culture on the rest of the world. They are technologically savvy, and value customization, personalization, and freedom of choice above all.
So the question for incoming president Barack Obama is how he will balance the marvelous job he did reaching out to young people through technology with the need to pacify the old retro members of the Democratic party in Congress. Which leads me to the question of why young people wouldn’t more naturally be leaning to the GOP?
For instance, the Left wants to being back the ancient and out of date “Fairness” Doctrine, limiting and controlling what could be broadcast on the air. Can you imagine the outcry of the younger generation if congress passed a law limiting their expression on the web? Actually, that’s what “net neutrality” is about. The Wall Street Journal describes net neutrality as subjecting the web to the kinds of laws that used to regulate railroad traffic. How will members of the Facebook and Myspace generation respond to politicians monitoring their access to online content?
If the GOP is serious about re-branding and re-thinking their party, then they should start by taking advantage of the issue of freedom of choice and expression – and position themselves in contrast to the restrictions of the Left. There are plenty of other issues as well, but as they say, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step…