Should we get involved in another civil war in the Middle East? Sure! What could possibly go wrong? That seems to be the way the Libya debate’s trending here in D.C. Ever generous with other Americans’ blood and treasure, Beltway pols and pundits are lining up behind a “no-fly zone” (for starters) and busily decrying President Obama’s “weakness.”
Rarely is the question asked, is our political class learning? (Probably because the answer’s always “no.”)
And yet, “the children” may have learned something from coming of age during two seemingly interminable and fruitless wars. That’s what’s suggested by a new survey from the Brookings Institution: “D.C.’s New Guard: What Does the Next Generation of American Leaders Think?”
Most polling on Millennials — roughly speaking, the generation born after 1979 — has focused on the general population. “D.C.’s New Guard” took a different approach, polling more than 1,000 “future leaders” of the sort who attend National Student Leadership Conference programs.
“It’s a survey of the type of kids who run for student government and choose to spend their summer vacations working in Washington,” the authors explain, “youth who already have the ‘Washington bug’ and have set themselves towards a career in politics and policy.” In other words … creeps!
If you’re the rare bird who favors limited government at home and abroad, you can hardly expect good news from a poll of this generation’s Tracy Flicks. After all, aren’t these just the sort of model U.N. types who’ve always wanted to run the world?
Maybe not: The Brookings study contains some surprisingly encouraging findings about the attitudes of our future policy elites.
When given a list of possible foreign policy actions and asked to prioritize them, our precocious politicos put “build a stronger military force to ensure deterrence” near the bottom. Moreover, nearly 58 percent of these “young leaders” agreed with the statement that “the U.S. is too involved in global affairs and should focus on more issues at home.”
Only 10 percent “thought that the United States should be more globally proactive.” “This isolationist sentiment,” the authors note, contrasts starkly with the views of older Americans, 67 percent of whom favored a more active U.S. role in the world, according to a 2010 poll.
Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/2011/03/rising-generation-rejects-globocop-role#ixzz1GmuQPy6l