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 Indeed, when I did some Googling, the closest thing I could find was an outdated page that still has talking points related to President Bush’s accomplishments.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?

Crossposted at NextGenGOP.com.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)


build up GOP-youth coalitions

I agree. Excellent points.

One issue. The term 'outreach' is a bad one, as it implies the GOP is outside the youth. Actually, millions of young people who do NOT want big Government and support the GOP agenda ARE in the Republican tent already - just not enough! Sure, they went Obama 60/40 but that 40% is a starting point. We should prefer other terms like 'coalition building'. ie "Republican youth coalition-building" as it is more inclusive and recognizes the fact that millions of youth are ALREADY HERE, we just need to build them up, connect them and grow the numbers.

The same holds for hispanic, catholic, African-American, urban, etc. There are non-traditional voter groups and we need Republican coalition-building in these communities and groupings. We need to go beyond mere 'outreach' to building up and bringing up Republican coalitions and groups in these communities. In the end, 'outreach' is something you do to every voter, try to appeal to all the voters that you can.

Bush I

Didn't he try this with Quayle, and look how that turned out. : )

This is a very fuzzy opionion, and yes I totally agree with you, but one of the strengths of the Republican party has been the hierarchichal nature of the party. Toleration requires a relaxing of discipline. I don't see republican leadership letting go . . . at least not yet. If it can't tolerate moderates in the party, I don't see who it will allow a youth/mentoring side.

Fallacies, fallacies, here are dem' fallacies...

Let's begin with the notion that the RNC isn't doing anything to court young voters... take a look at the new webpage and please, for your edification, note that the first major commentary on the page is about new media issues and indirectly aimed at youth --who are, by far, the greatest segment of new media users.


Second, critically assess Jon Henke's notion that "Republicans had better become more appealing to young people, because patterns established in youth persist for life"... if that were true (which it is decidedly not) youth today would be overwhelmingly GOP since Pres Bush captured a larger share of the actual youth vote in 2000 and 2004 than did the Democrat contenders... and, secondly, the "patterns" that Henke refers to is overthrown in nearly 63% of all voters when they do one of three things: 1) get a real job and own property; 2) become parents or 3) serve in the military.  Additionally, given the Reagan Revolution that many here claim remade the American voter... where are all those Reagan voters if "patterns" is so important and inalterable?

"Patterns in youth" is it?  Someone better tell all those 30'something voters who have become GOPers in the last 12 yrs... because they sure didn't get Henke's message.

As for the concept that the RNC form a youth-centered council or policy forum of sort... the answer is that for 45 yrs, the STATE GOP parties have been responsible for involving youth chairs, co-chairs, presidents, executive directors, etc.  Check out any state GOP and you'll find a youth Chair, co-chair and council in some form or fashion operating today.

Rather than claim the GOP doesn't do it, try using AlGore'sInternets and learning about what is happening instead of trying to find fodder that doesn't fit the cannon, can't launch and is a flat out dud when test-fired.

Miles and miles of college Republicans filled the last GOP convention.  In fact, the Convention Chair -under the McCain Campaign's direction- authorized an additional 1,100 youth-only, sgt-at-arms "members" to participate in the convention.

Or when you said "youth", did you mean high school aged kids?

Get with reality.  The GOP at state party levels does a great job involving youth and the youth voice.  The GOP's new media director has a target audience that reflects the YouTude demographics.  The GOP has always involved tons of young voters in the political activities of the Party.

Replying on a Couple of Points

I think you're missing the overarching point here, which is that the Republican Party is failing to reach out to young voters who are not already Republicans. In addition, you make a counterargument to Henke's notion about patterns established in youth lasting for life, but your argument is based upon personal observations while Henke's is based upon data from a Gallup poll.

I of course don't mean "high school aged kids" when I say youth -- most high school aged kids can't even vote, so they're not young voters.  Can you point out some specific examples of the "reality" in which the "GOP at state party levels does a great job involving youth and the youth voice"?  I network with young conservatives and Republicans from across the nation, and I have never once heard someone tell me that their state party actively engages them; I know for certainty that one of the largest state parties in Pennsylvania does very little (if anything) to win over and recruit young voters.  And even if some of these state parties are doing a good job of engaging younger voters, it's not going to have the widespread effect that efforts by the RNC would have.

Finally, you ask me to "take a look at the new webpage and please, for your edification, note that the first major commentary on the page is about new media issues and indirectly aimed at youth --who are, by far, the greatest segment of new media users."  This comes back to the root of the problem:  just using new media is not nearly enough for the GOP to win over young voters.  Until the Republican Party makes efforts to actually engage young voters at a level that allows them to have real influence in the party's decisions, the youth vote will continue to go by a large margin to the Dems.

"Reaching out to young voters who are NOT GOPers"? Really?

Kind of interesting that you identify that now as the overarching issue in your post, Aaron, because you were speaking about how the Democrats professional party organization incorporates young Democrats into the power structure of their natl party, not how the natl Democrats are attracting non-Democrat young voters to the fold.

Of course the poll tracking indicates that young voters align themselves with Democrats given the incumbent pres is a charismatic Democrat leader... just like the same segment identified with the GOP when RonnieReagan was the charismatic GOP leader & prez.  Anyone with more than 6 months in political activism knows that fact and dismisses the point because, guess what Aaron, over time young liberal voters BECOME moderate to conservative voters --in the US, in France, in Germany, in Britain.

I think it was WinstonChurchill who famously said "Any man who is under 30, and is not a liberal, has not heart; and any man who is over 30, and is not a conservative, has no brains."  Russel Kirk once said, "Show me a liberal at 22 and I can bet he'll be a conservative when his concern is a home, a family and a wife."

No, I'm not going to look up citations in polliing surveys for you in order to prove the point.  It's a truism in politics --the problem the Democrats have (and former Dem leader Terry McAuliffe will tell you quickly) is to work to KEEP those young liberal voters liberal and young-minded... and that's why the victimhood/victim groups industry over at the DNC is such a popular and expensive enterprise.  Democrats see the problem from the opposite side you see it... additionally, young voters as a percentage of all voters is smaller than older voters because, as one ages, one becomes more inclined to vote regularly.

I think there's a little bait and switch going on here in your reply.  At first, your original post sounded to be all about young GOPers being given some gravitas standing at the Natl Party level like the Dems are doing... now you're contending it's about attracting non-GOP young voters to the Party? One place that's done is by the use of new media... you seem to poo-poo that.  I think it's vital.  But on that point, we can disagree.

All those young conservative voters you speak with who complain the GOP Natl Organization has no room at the top for them... tell 'em to get off their duffs and work inside the Party at the State and local levels. Being young and a conservative and having a Brooks Bros tie doesn't exactly qualify your friends to sit on the RNC.  The folks on that governing Board have given years of service and raised millions of dollars for the Party.  You and your friends ain't there yet no matter how many times you read AynRand or even if you put tassles on your loafers.

Earn your stripes.  Prove your gravitas.  Quit playing the 11% card --you know, the one which young voters like to project their base equals in the electorate so, they argue, they can swing an election... so political parties better placate their interests, talk to their issues.  Like Obama did, afterall?  Yeah, he talked to just about every segment and offered just about everything to everyone and that's killing him now.

The RNC can tailor its message to young voters.  It can use new media to spread the message.  But it's unlikely that the RNC is going to change positions on an issue and, say, try to outspend the Dems on low-cost/no-cost college loans... or more skateboard parks... or embrace global rule... or end hunger in Africa... or rebuild our urban cities so more uppies can live in brick-faced buildings with antique chestnut floors as their right to a higher standard of living than Mom & Pop had...

I'd like to see young conservative voters get outside their special, narrow interests and think about contributing to society, to the Party, to others before stomping their feet and demanding a seat at the big boys' table.

Kind of like with gayGOPers... they need to drop their special interest clap-click and start thinking about service to Party, shared issues and moving constructively forward rather than demanding more... now... especially given their record of non-support of Bush with LCRs in 2004 and Romney's bashing in 2008.

JMHO... as a 36 yr old male.

outside the special interests . . .

I'd like to see young conservative voters get outside their special, narrow interests and think about contributing to society, to the Party, to others before stomping their feet and demanding a seat at the big boys' table.

Kind of like with gayGOPers...

This is what I was talking about mentoring skills. Often you have to engage people (youth or gays) at their level. There's a quid pro quo with the party reaching out to a particular special interest. Just saying, 'stop your whining and serve the party' isn't very appealling. Gays care about gay issues, the youth care about youth issues (yes, affordable college is important as well as public part space as well as social justice issues). There is were Reps stop and ask, why is the party so white, straight and increasingly old?

I have the perception that many republicans think that being firm in a fixed philosphy is enough to get people into the party. This is a blanket statement but you get the impression (escpecially from conservative media outlets), that it 'we're right, they're wrong, join us.'  A web page isn't going to fix that or make that appealing.

And as for dropping special interest . . . good lesson for GOP'ers. Why so much emphasis on abortion, anti-gay social issues? I was watching hannity last night and he was giving the 'Obama radical - anti - life . . it's wrong, it's wrong diatribe, and then the Catholic priest said, well . . . he's not so bad,  there's more to being catholic than that. 

Quality Control needed

It would make sense for the Republicans to try to develop new talent after the Bush family doing everything it could to destroy all talent in the Republican Party.

However, to keep the program for being a resume builder for overweight, glasses wearing failures that have domiinate Republican politics for the last couple of decades there need to be severe limits on who can participate.

First, anyone who worked in any Bush Administration who whose parents worked in any Bush Administraiton need to be kept far away.  In addition, anyone who was homeschooled, attended Patrick Henry College, Regents University, BYU, or Texas A&M need to be eliminate.  Those schools are too associated with the failures of the Bush Administraiton.

Second, anyone whose parents or relatives are big time donors needs to be avoided.  They have put too many idiot children into positions of power in the Republican party.

In addition, anyone who has been in Teach America or Americorp need to be eliminate. They are resume builders who are not thinking long term.

The best people would be young, state school educated private sector employed individuals who have actually dealt with the government and realize what a pain regulations and big brother can be.

I know how ter appeal to the Yoots -

Hip Hop Outreach and jive talkin' are sure to save the day. Our A.A. Head Noobie In Charge RNC Chair told me so.

9 'o'diamonds keeps up the Saul Alinsky ridicule games...

maybe at some point, on one thread, just a single time you'll get serious 9'o'diamonds and contribute constructively to the debate?

Nawh, didn't think so.  Sigh.

I got an important question for y'all about Michigan

...on the GOP recommendations thread. Perhaps one of our local Michigoids would care to contribute? Hehe...

Anyway - I thought I told our Michigan Moby Monkey to get off his duff and pay my mortgage! Too much time ice fishin' in May? Laid off from Mo-town and crying into his beer? Who knows? lol.


Important question?

or just more seemingly endless and useless blather from you, 9 'o' diamonds...

How's this: you stop projecting your own character flaws onto others --who are clearly your superior-- and the rest of us will stop pointing out how many times you get things wrong here.  Woefully, ignorantly, misinformed is an act you got nailed.  Time to move on to something constructive?

It's Hard to Imagine

...the current GOP leadership relinquishing their roles sufficiently for a new generation of leaders to step up, but that looks to me like the most obvious barrier to any youth movement.  These guys are stereotypical old and male and white politicians in a time when that is a rapidly shrinking demographic.  But they are in like ticks, and they like it where they are.

Politics has a lot in common with showbiz, and a few younger dancers might help the chorus line a lot.

As I'm a Republican living in a town where ~50%

of the population (roughly 46,000 total, so ~23,000 people) is between 18 and 39, all I can say is this article hit the nail on the head.   During the last election cycle, there was a huge get out the vote effort by the Democrats in this area, which was quite successful.   Many of the bars hosted Obama rallies and victory parties.  I received in excess of a dozen flyers promoting Obama and the local liberals, and maybe 2 for the Republicans, for whom I'm a registered voter.    

Needless to say, the town went D in 2008.  And that fact does not surprise me, given the historical trend of younger voter = more heavily liberal.   That said, I found the fact that the local Republican party didn't even try to be disturbing.   It's one thing to get beaten.  It's another thing to go down without even throwing a punch on your behalf.  And that seems to be the current attitude of the Republican party towards voters of my generation.  Go ahead.  Vote Democratic.  We don't care enough to even woo you.  

Would a deliberate outreach effort make a difference?  Hell if I know.  But it certainly could not do any worse than the current plan.

Maybe a little math...

Let's put their voting future into the context of the bills they're going to be paying for Obama's (and Bush's) excesses.  Let's admit that Bush was bad (and not in a good way) as a fiscal conservative, but further emphasize that Obama, Dems, and company are WORSE and will CONSISTENTLY BE SO as long as there is a Democrat party like today's.

Last I checked, the net loss due to the bailout, at a rather conservative 50% possibility that the govt. will lose money on their "investment" (it's really more like 75% to 90% risk), is about $150,642.  The portion tomorrow's debt that I personally will have to pay in taxes and lost income amounts to about $291,124 over 30 years at 5% interest.  Put in terms of the materialistic attitudes of today's youth, that would be approximately 22 Chevy Aveos, 12 college tuitions (which I doubt, seeing how much tuition has risen just in the past decade), 224 iMacs, and 73 vacations.

That's just my portion of the pain.  The 8.2 Trillion Dollar question for the yoots is this: How much will their portion be?  And those of their kids (if they actually grow up and have them).

We're spending (read: printing with no hard value to back it up) more money in a little over 100 days of Obama's first term than IN ALL PRESIDENCIES SINCE THE CIVIL WAR COMBINED!  But none of that matters, right?  Not if we have "free" health care, unfettered infanticide, defeatism and military drawdowns abroad, are controlled by the U.N., and have gay "marriage".

Do they still even teach math too da yoots today?

Nixon printed more money than obama.

when he told france to go shove it.

Aaaaand Nixon has....what to do with Obama....?

Sorry, I don't see your point. It must have been cut off somehow when you posted your comment.  You're talking about a misuided, but more importantly, dead former president who served decades before the voters we're talking about.

Oh, I get it.  It's the "Yeah, but _________ was worse than Obama" defense.  Insert "Britney Spears", "Paris Hilton", and throw in "William Howard Taft" because he was the fattest president on record weighing in at 300 lbs.

I disagree with your so called 'facts'

that obama has printed more money than anyone since the civil war.

TAFT would have punched Nixon for what he did (taking us off the gold standard. we are still talking money, right?)

Give him time ...

Obama's only had 5 months so far and he's manage to deficit-spend more in his first year than any president did prior in their whole term.

Nixon printed more money than obama.

Thank you for this informative read, I really appreciate sharing this great post. Keep up your work.


sbs sonuçları