As an engineer, one of the most valued books in my personal library is How We Decide, by Jonah Lehrer. The author briefly uses politics to illustrate his lesson on cognitive dissonance, “Once we identify with a political party, the world is edited so that it fits with our ideology.” This powerful statement adds to my sense of urgency to find strategies for appealing to young Americans with conservative principles while their partisan loyalties are still forming.
We won’t know until November of 2012 whether Republicans will be able to stop the Democrats’ determination to raze everything that makes America exceptional. Whether or not their plot is realized, it seems critical that Generation Y somehow attains an appreciation for founding principles if freedom is to have a future.
While young Americans won’t easily relate to traditional GOP heroes, there are some appealing, contemporary characters whose personal convictions have matured to conservative creeds. I urge the following celebrities to increase their public voice in politics for America’s under-40 population:
Dennis Miller seems to hold the lead position among cool intellectuals. This formerly left-leaning graduate of Saturday Night Live has emerged with more wit and savvy than any funny man I know of. If Rosie O’Donnell were the devil on your left shoulder, Dennis Miller would be the angel on your right. Anyone who hears Miller on his weekday radio show will marvel at his fleet and poetic common sense.
Ben Stein has been timelessly cool ever since his cameo role in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. While he parts with the conservative platform on several issues, Stein could bring credible understanding of financial matters to younger adults. His bold movie No Intelligence Allowed was an effective challenge to the liberal education establishment. Ben Stein could provide a winsome series of brief videos on American fundamentals.