Let’s Give Young Voters a Legitimate Role in the Future of the Republican Party
Over at FutureMajority.com, a left-of-center blog that "covers the involvement of young voters in progressive politics," Michael Connery brings attention to this:
Want to be a member of the Democratic National Committee? The DNC Youth Council is now accepting resumes from young people interested in becoming At-Large members.
What exactly is an at-large member of the DNC? At-large members are full-scale, policy-shaping members of the Democratic National Committee who are appointed by the DNC Chairman and approved by the DNC.
Also take note of the fact that the Youth Council is a separate entity from Young Democrats — it is an official arm of the Democratic National Committee charged with winning over the youth vote for the Democratic Party. The Youth Council’s mission reads as follows (emphasis added):
The Democratic National Committee’s Youth Coordinating Council (Youth Council) was formally constituted as a council of the DNC in December 2005. The goal of the Youth Council is to increase opportunities and improve participation by young people, under age 36, in the activities and structure at all levels of the Democratic Party. Among the purpose and goals of the Youth Council is to ensure that the Democratic Party maintains a majority of the youth vote which it currently holds with a wide margin.
Reading all of this forces me to ask two critical questions. First, where is the Republican National Committee’s version of the Youth Council? I’ve previously written that the RNC must establish some sort of “Young Voter Outreach arm,” but to this day nothing of the sort seems to exist (or even be in the works). Indeed, when I did some Googling, the closest thing I could find was an outdated page that still has talking points related to President Bush’s accomplishments.
Second, why isn’t the RNC offering these same sort of full-scale voting positions to young voters? If the GOP wants to win over millennials, then the RNC must be willing to not only listen to young voters but also to give them a substantial role in shaping the future of the party. Putting highly qualified young Republicans in the position to have a real say in the decisions regarding the future of the Republican Party would demonstrate that the GOP actually cares about winning the youth vote and is not just comprised of older generations.
Earlier, Jon Henke wrote a blog post that concluded that:
Republicans had better become more appealing to young people, because patterns established in youth persist for life.
The Democratic National Committee is taking serious strides to woo the youngest bracket of voters by empowering them to make real decisions in the Democratic Party. Without the RNC doing the same, young voters will continue to flock to the Democratic Party — a dangerous trend that could establish a generation of lifelong Democrats. Michael Steele was installed to reform the Republican National Committee and right a rapidly sinking ship. So Mr. Steele, are you listening?