Congressman Ron Paul: 12 term Congressman from the state of Texas? Check!
Ron Paul: MD who graduated from Duke University who, as an OBGYN, delivered over 4,000 babies: Check!
Ron Paul: Served as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force during the 1960s. Check!
Ron Paul: A member of the Beatles who draws crowds of young people like a magnet…just like John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Can’t check that one, because he was not a member of the Beatles. BUT…he is drawing in the under 30 voters like flies to honey (Being a Southerner talking about a Texan…just had to throw that analogy in). He is truly drawing the under 30 voters like a rockstar would!
This really has the media baffled, and quite frankly, Congressman Paul is somewhat baffled. Here he is…a man born in 1934, and he is truly the political rockstar of the men and women born between about 1985-1994. This is the age of men and women who are currently ages 18-28. Generation Y spans the birth years of 1977-1997, but we are seeing young voters from ages 18-28 showing up in huge packs to cheer the elder leader on. They are walking along major interstates with Ron Paul signs, and they are on waiting lists to work for the 76 year old Congressman. The question is WHY?
Well, I am here today to tell you why. No…I am not the most experienced demographer, but I did write a book on Generation Y about 6 years ago, and I have continued to study this demographic since that time. And, I am writing this post from Hilton Head, SC, where I am speaking tomorrow morning to a group of business leaders on how to attract Gen Y and how to best work with them to get great results. My answer? Follow what Ron Paul stands for and how he is drawing in this demographic.
So, here we go on the major reasons why Generation Y is so attracted to Congressman Ron Paul:
Number 1: People are drawn to others based on affinity. This may be a shocker to some of you, but Ron Paul is a traditionalist, and Generation Y is most aligned with the values of the Traditionalist generations. He was born in 1934, and generations have historically been repeated or reinvented every 4 generations. When you consider the order of generations as the following…
- Traditionalists (Congressman Ron Paul)
- Baby Boomers (President Bill Clinton)
- Generation X (President Obama is on the cusp…he is a very young boomer and a wise Gen X)
- Generation Y (Mark Zuckerberg and is 300 million friends on Facebook. I am sure I have the numbers wrong, but I am just doing my best to show you the lineup of generations).oy
you will see that Generation Y is the demographic that is going to repeat the values, world view and norms of the Traditionalist generation (if you believe that generations are repeated every 4th generation). It makes total sense to me, and here is why:
1. Ron Paul was born in 1934 in the middle of the Great Depression. His parents lived during the roaring twenties who thought life would be great forever with wealth and great things passed on to the next generation. But…two things happened: World War I and II, and so, Pauls’ life was built on a foundation of national debt, fiscal responsibility, hard work and brutal honesty. His parents thought they were “set for life”, the great depression hit, and then their kids were handed a tremendous amount of debt and work was hard to find. If you are a parent of a Gen Y, I am sure this scenario sounds familiar.
2. Through my interviews, the majority of the discussions I conducted (both with Generations Y, X and Boomers) revealed that Generation Y is sick and tired of the Baby Boomer mentality…of keeping up with the Joneses, living above your ability using a plastic card and telling their kids that if you are educated, you will walk into the job of your dreams and be anything you want to be. As a Baby Boomer, I want to personally apologize to Generation Y for filling your head with this unrealistic, blue sky thinking. As parents, we thought we were doing a great job by trying to build your self esteem. What we did not know was that we were moving in the direction of dumping trillions of dollars of debt on your shoulders (YES! That’s Trillions with a capital T as Ron Paul says). Ron Paul is very pragmatic about this situation…he is doing what he can to tell the public what is really going on with our deficit, and Generation Y finds this refreshing. He is concerned about this generation, because his children and grandchildren are inheriting trillions of dollars of national debt, so YES..he has both a professional and personal interest in our current economical meltdown.
3. The majority of Generation Y leaders that I interviewed told me that they are more interested in what their wise grandparents have to say to them than their parents who are drowning in debt, cars, boats, houses and gadgets. Makes sense to me. Congressman Paul is the age of Generation Y’s grandparents, so his wisdom, pragmatism and loyalty to a cause is music to their ears.
Number 2: Ron Paul is speaking to the values of Generation Y. Look at this graphic of what most demographers will tell you about the top values of Generation Y:
Freedom: Congressman Ron Paul is a libertarian at heart. Although he is running as a Republican for the GOP nomination, his big mission and movement are all about freedom, liberty and justice for all. He is the biggest supporter of the Constitution we have in Congress at this time, and he has not wavered off that path for the last 25 years (probably even longer).
Integrity: Congressman Ron Paul is a man of integrity. If you have not noticed, he is the one person who no other political candidate has gone after over not walking his talk or for having character flaws. He says what he means and walks his talk. He NEVER tries to veer away from what he believes, and he has been speaking to the congregation about liberty and less government for over two decades. Generation Y LOVES this! They have had it with being sold a bill of goods from their parents and key political leaders about how to live life, only to find out that their own parents and leaders are hypocrites! They have HAD IT! Congressman Paul makes living in integrity a “cool thing to do”. Thank you Dr. Paul.
Authenticity: Congressman Ron Paul is not pandering to individual states OR to the media. He is a truth teller, and he is super transparent! Paul is not afraid to call out Congress or the media when they are trying to bend the truth or pretend to be something they are not. Generation Y is drawn to this like a magnet, because thanks to sites like Facebook, Generation Y can write their autobiographies in real time. Generation Y throws their inhibitions to the wind when they are online, so their stories are raw and real. Dr. Paul is not going to bend just to get votes. He is the real deal, and Generation Y can smell it 10 miles away.
Scrutiny: In closing, I do want to speak about Generation Y’s value of scrutiny. Because of the internet and the 24/7 news cycle, Generation Y knows how to use the internet, news sites and social networks to dig deeper into a situation to find out the REAL truth. Generation Y is of the first groups to break “news” that even the media does not know about. If you don’t believe this, just go back and trace the steps of the protests in Egypt and the Arab Spring. Gen Y is VERY drawn to Congressman Paul’s boldness in scrutinizing Congress and then clarifying what the truth really is. I watched the Piers Morgan interview last night with Congressman Ron Paul, and it was blatantly apparent that Morgan was doing his best to draw Paul into the media view of what is going on in the world and in this race (their bias and some of the out of context quotes they throw at the public to keep things interesting), and Congressman Paul held his own. Morgan interrupted Paul about 8 times and talked on top of him constantly to get his questions in…which is irritating. I LOVE CNN! I watch CNN from 5 -10 PM almost every night, but they have two people who need help! (I personally think that Piers Morgan and Soledad O’Brien should get into a one on one debate to see who can interrupt the other one the most OR who can talk on top of the other the most. I am confident a great fight would break out. I watch Piers Morgan frequently (and I like him), but his talking on top of people has gone way over the top. He needs to take a few lessons from Anderson Cooper…the cool, listening, non-interruptive journalist or from John King…my hero, who just asks the very tough questions, waits for the answers and then allows people to talk without talking on top of them. Both Cooper and King have an eloquent way of “politely interrupting” unlike Morgan and O’Brien who just start yapping on top of people. Congressman Paul even asked Morgan to please not interrupt him last night. You can watch all below. So, since you are all CNN colleagues…Piers and Soledad…you can ask Anderson and John for a few pointers on how to come across as truly fair and balanced. It would truly help your credibility. Soledad…I know you think you scored this week by asking Romney about his comments, but you would not let him explain his comments…if you are fair and balanced, you would allow him the air space to explain his choice of words, but you just want people to believe the small snippet you thow out there to the public!)
Watch the entire video with Ron Paul on Piers Morgan (count the interruptions in just the first five minutes)
Number 3: Generation Y is all about wanting a change…not a change just spoken but change that is implemented. Believe it or not,Gen Y respects and adores the Constitution because it begs for freedom and liberty, and they want liberty and freedom to live their lives as they choose. They want true change, and they believe that Congressman Paul can deliver on the message he is speaking. Generation Y wants constant feedback, and they know that they are responsible for their choices…good or not so great. Congressman Ron Paul has opened the door to less government and more freedom, and they are loving that he is taking responsibility for driving forward the change we know we must implement if we are going to thrive as a nation.
If you want to know more about why I think Gen Y is so attracted to Congressman Paul, call me at 910.692.6118, as I do have more information. But, this blog post has gone on long enough! If you study Ron Paul over the next few months, you will quickly learn why our young (future leaders) are so drawn to him. It is very, very interetings!