Survey: 9 Out of 10 Millennials Support Free Speech, Religious Freedom

• May 9, 2017 12:16 pm


The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) on May 1 released a new national survey showing over 90 percent of millennials support freedom of speech and religion freedom.

The survey found that 93 percent of millennials support religious freedom and 92 percent 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," TFAS President Roger Ream said. "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."

The Support for Freedom Index was a national study and the first of its kind conducted for TFAS by WPA intelligence to measure how Americans define freedom and whether they support "more" or "less" government interference in their daily lives, according to TFAS.

Millennials (ages 18-34) represent the best indication of how the next generation views freedom and the implication for future public policy. They predominantly believe that "more government" is necessary to protect freedoms. But they also believe the government should be safeguarding freedom more so than guaranteeing security:

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 explored the difference between political parties by looking at 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%)

"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," Ream said.

"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," he continued. "Conservatives were more supportive of a passive government which prioritizes liberty over security concerns."

The study also determined that there was a disconnect between "a general support for freedom and support for freedom on specific economic issues." Certain items emphasize the complexity of the free market in unexpected demographics, especially the conservatives and Republicans, according the survey.

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."

Published under: Millennial, Religious Freedom, Speech