Christopher Santarelli hosts a discussion of ways the Republican Party might try to "rebrand" and attract more young people:
Although I'm not young, and my suggestions won't surprise regular readers, a few thoughts come to mind...
1. Avoid looking at people too much. Maybe only the celebrity young Republicans like Meghan McCain are still getting this, but...I was astonished by some of the attitudes and confessions coming out of a self-styled Christian Republican in Dirty Sexy Politics. I was really bowled over by Meghan McCain's claim that she was told that her long hair looked slutty, probably because I'm old enough to remember when my brother was the one whose hair had to be cut every week and I was told that girls were supposed to have long hair. Most young people are naturally self-conscious enough without having this kind of stupidity projected onto them.
2. Don't abandon the moral standards that are important to those who live to become "old." Drunkenness and "crazy sex" are still indications that a person is not qualified for a position of moral leadership. Premarital pregnancy is still an indication that a person is not in control of her life. Quiet, unobtrusive sexual kinkiness doesn't bother real conservatives because we don't know about it, but when people scream in public about their kinks, they still need to be disowned--not because they are kinky but because they are obnoxious.
3. Avoid tokenism...but it won't do Republicans or conservatives any harm to read and listen to what some people who look different from us are actually saying. How many Republican readers remember how, in the 1990s during all the controversy about rap lyrics that endorsed violence, some popular rappers like Run-DMC and Queen Latifah were rapping about chastity and sobriety? When I said I agreed with what Marco Rubio says in An American Son about immigration, how many Republicans remembered what that was? What if I'd referred to what Marilou Awiakta said about abortion? I'm not saying Latifah should be the next Republican presidential candidate; I'm saying that you should pay enough attention to those who either look different or think differently than you do to notice points of agreement.
4. Do not move leftward, or become the party of the complacent, conceited frat rats. Give young people a chance to do something radical...like think for themselves, work for themselves, and raise their own children as they see fit. Be the party of small businesses, small farmers, homeschoolers, and other genuine (as distinct from hereditary) "cultural minorities" in today's United States.
5. And it might be a shift for those who fell for Dixie Lee Ray's errors of fact back in the 1970s (no need to look her up, she just reported errors of comparable magnitude to some of Al Gore's)...I would like to see the Republicans embrace the True Green "cultural minority" who've been forced by the Poison Greens in the other party to embrace the Republicans. Granted, these may not be the people we came to the party to dance with, but if they're the ones who are sober enough to dance, let's deal with it. Conserving natural resources, privately and independently, is a very conservative thing to do. I'd like to see Republicans consistently defending the right of people to live on the land, without yielding an inch to Loony Left land grabs.
I'm sure many Republicans hate Virginia House Bill 2313, but think, just for a minute, about where it could lead if we focus on preserving property rights while conserving the resources that are our property. Think of the car tax as an immediate concession to balance the budget for this year. Now think of what you could be demanding in exchange. Think of the budget cuts and income tax cuts. Think is all I'm asking you to do...but when you think about this idea you may find yourselves liking it.
Young people who have any perception at all have to be aware that they're being crowded off the land in ways that are harming their health. They mind! They care! That's why they're buying into the Poison Green propaganda that's being fed to them. Show them what True Green looks like, and very likely they'll oppose "Agenda 21" as vigorously as we opposed the Vietnam war when we were their age. Of course True Green does imply a few lifestyle changes...but young people want to define themselves against their elders by a few lifestyle changes. And they don't want to hate their parents' lifestyles; they just want to make their parents feel a thousand years old. This is a dynamic that could serve Republicans well, if Republicans think about it, use it, and don't sell out to Loony Left money and play the game to lose.