I am a millennial. Like most of my peers, I own a smartphone, am active on social media, and spend more time watching television and Netflix than I should. Unlike a majority of my fellow millennials, I am a Republican. Recently, a Pew Research Study discovered that among millennials, 51% identify as Democrats or lean Democratic, compared with 35% who identify with the GOP or lean Republican. Why have I chosen to identify with a conservative ideology and the Republican party? Not necessarily for the reasons you might hear or think. Sure, my parents are conservatives. From a young age, I have been taught ideas of limited government, capitalism, and personal freedoms. Sure, I have attended church and have heard that all life is precious. Attending church service every Sunday was an important part of my upbringing. While these things have influenced my political beliefs, I am a Republican because I have compared and contrasted the differing ideologies of progressivism and conservatism. I am a conservative because I want to conserve the ideas which have made America so prosperous—ideas of limited government, free markets, and personal responsibility.

The foundation of conservatism is the idea of limited government. Limited government is vital to America because it gives the individual freedom by placing power in the hands of the people. The size of government is inversely related to personal freedom: as government grows, personal liberties shrink, yet as government downsizes, personal liberties increase. Government exists to serve the people; people do not exist to serve their government. When government grows larger and larger, it poses a threat to personal freedoms and oftentimes people are enslaved to their leaders. Conversely, a small government ensures the rights of people are not violated. Conserving the idea of limited government is vital for preserving the freedoms of Americans.

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Similar to the idea of limited government is the belief in free markets. Free markets have contributed largely to America’s economic success. Just as limited government places power in the hands of the people, so does capitalism. In a free market economy, producers work for consumers and there is a peaceful exchange of goods and services. Because of the profit incentive, producers create high quality products and seek to keep costs as low as possible. Free markets enrich the lives of all Americans by allowing people to innovate and create.

Additionally, personal responsibility is linked to limited government. Because limited government places power in the hands of the people, people have the power to make their own choices, leading to personal responsibility.  This idea of personal responsibility creates responsible citizens who must face the reality of their choices. When people have the power to make their own choices, they lead happier, more fulfilled, and more empowered lives. Personal responsibility has created citizens who love their country and feel a sense of duty to protect and defend America

Yes, I am a millennial, but yes, I am also a conservative. I’m not a bigot, homophobe, racist, or xenophobe like many will make you believe simply because of my political ideology. I simply believe America’s founding principles are worth conserving because they have given us the world’s richest, strongest, and freest nation. Many of the media, the left, and my peers won’t tell you that is the true reason as to why I am a conservative. 

Katya P
Katya Pledger is a high school student who is thankful to be an American and is passionate about the Constitution, conservatism, and capitalism.

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