Another way in which to consider this question may be through the lens of David Frum, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. In his April 2, 2008 op-ed piece (http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2008/04/why-the-gop-l-1.html) in the USA Today, Frum argues that the reasons the GOP lost the youth vote are the following:
1. Young people react to the success or failure of the first politicians they know. The twentysomethings of the 1980s, for example, associated the Democratic Party with the malaise of Jimmy Carter — and the GOP with the triumphs of Ronald Reagan. Today's Republican Party is associated with a wave of disappointments and embarrassments: Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, congressional corruption scandals, the mortgage crisis.
2. The Reagan years were a time of prosperity for young workers. Unemployment plunged, wages rose, housing became more affordable. The Bush years have not been so favorable. The cost of a college degree rose faster than pay for college graduates. New college graduates saw their wages actually drop after inflation. And the costs of housing have outpaced incomes for just about all young people.
3. The Republican Party has become increasingly identified with conservative Christianity. Younger Americans are becoming more secular and more permissive. In particular, young Americans have become increasingly tolerant of homosexuality and increasingly willing to have children outside marriage. While unmarried births have dropped among teenagers since the welfare reform of 1995, unmarried births have actually been rising among women in their 20s.
4. Today's twentysomethings are browner and blacker than those of the 1980s. Hispanics and Asians both tilt strongly Democratic, as of course do African-Americans.
Frum's suggestions are that to reach the young (i.e., Millenials) you must focus on economic interests, the interests of our posterity, the environment, and success at the polls. This, Frum seems to argue, will undercut arguments based on class, race, and social agendas.
I am interested in Lee's early response post regarding the importance of the economy. Is a way to reach Millenials in our classrooms to focus on economic wellbeing and the power of some ideas to advance or retard this? Here, thus, I am addressing questions of curricula and relating them to basic human desires for wellbeing. Is good economics the way or one of the ways to reach Millenials?