Jordan Richardson

Age

26

Location

Ohio Northern University, J.D., Marshall University, BA in Political Science

Occupation

Policy Associate at Generation Opportunity, conducting research on criminal justice reform, health care innovation and free market principles

Twitter

@RobertJordanWV

BIO

Jordan Richardson is an attorney and Policy Associate at Generation Opportunity, a non-profit organization that promotes economic opportunity and prosperity for young Americans. Richardson conducts research on how criminal justice reform, health care innovation and free market principles can improve well-being for all Americans. Prior to joining Generation Opportunity, he was a Visiting Legal Fellow at the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at the Heritage Foundation. Richardson received his law degree from Ohio Northern University where he was a member of the Moot Court team and president of the Federalist Society. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Marshall University, where he graduated summa cum laude with honors.

Why is it important that at this particular point in time, right-of-center youth become involved publicly, whether in politics, media, their communities, or in other capacities?

For the first time in American history, the Millennial generation risks achieving less than our parents did. We are confronted with high debt, low-paying jobs and less freedom to prosper. The unemployment rate of young Americans is 14 %, and over a third of us are forced to move back in with our parents instead of advancing in a promising career. The government’s illusory promises of success stand in stark contrast to the grim reality of an entire generation worse off than the previous one.

But at the same time, we face an unprecedented opportunity to challenge the status quo. Our generation is comprised of innovative, transformative people who seek to transcend obstacles and create new opportunities. We are about a better future where freedom drives progress and possibilities are boundless. We stand together for the optimistic notion that individual liberty and entrepreneurship can improve people’s lives, not just for ourselves, but for future generations. The risks we face are significant, but the opportunity we face is endless when we step forward to change the system.

What must elected officials and others in positions of leadership do to make a right-of-center message resonate with the Millennial generation?

Ravi Zacharias, a famous theologian, once observed that, “In the battle of ideas, stigma always beats dogma.” Never has this principle been truer than in the American political system. Politicians must learn to define their ideas before the opposition defines it for them. Abstract ideals are no match for an emotional argument. Any elected official that seeks to capture the votes of young Americans must not only stand for conservative principles, but be smart enough to communicate ideas in a way that resonates beyond intellectual arguments, and engage the heart as well. We have a winning message — we just need to learn how to communicate it.

Where would you like to see the conservative movement in 10 years — and how can it get there?

In 10 years, “the conservative movement” should be in a place where it is no longer considered “the conservative movement.” If our principles are true and our ideas sound, they should be so compelling to the public that are accepted as universal truth. It is not a Republican or Democratic idea to believe in the concept of individual liberty and human flourishing – and rightfully so. We are starting to see this concept play out now in the area of criminal justice reform as both sides acknowledge that the system is broken and needs to be fixed. The success here can be carried to other areas as well. If the conservative movement possesses intellectual honesty and focuses on a positive message that resounds with an entire generation, then we can achieve true reform in every policy area.

Thirty Under Thirty 2015

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