College Students to the RNC: We Care, Use Us!

Promoted. My basic philosophy on a good leader: A's hire A's, B's hire C's. Let's hope that the next RNC Chairman is an A that can find A's within CR's and YR's to work for (and provide innovation for) campaigns and parties around the country. -Matt Moon

College Students to the RNC: We Care, Use Us!


by James Barnes and Brandon Hines, The George Washington University College Republicans

Fellow Republicans:  As we enter a fresh new year, it's easy to be discouraged by the battle ahead.  The Obama Administration promises to pursue an agenda of socialist redistribution.  On top of this, the 111th Congress has just convened, and it's the most liberal in our nation's history. Together, this double-headed monster threatens to grow another in the form of a new judiciary.

Sitting in a position we have long been removed from, our first step has been to question what got us here.  We've started to regroup, on Twitter, on the web, and soon by reconsidering who should lead the RNC into 2010 and beyond.  And, through these exercises, we've come up with some basic answers to the question of what got us in trouble.  We've blamed it on our grassroots, our fundraising, our web presence, our message, and a slew of other equally valid reasons, which we promise to overcome in the next election cycle.  We hope to argue, however, that many of these issues boil down to one oft-overlooked component: a focus on engaging and activating the 18-24 demographic —College Republicans. 

As the future of our party and, in many cases, the most passionate advocates for our platform, it is important that the RNC not only reach out and speak the language that we speak and communicate the way that we communicate, but that it engage and empower the youth of the party in helping to win elections. In this vein, the party already has a virtual army of well informed and connected potential activists, who, in many cases, simply haven't been asked to volunteer the resource they have the most of: their time. Though we lack the ability to donate large sums of cash, or the experience needed to run campaigns, we make up for this with cheap labor and an uncanny, even absurd, ability to remain in instantaneous contact with our peers and advocate for what we believe in. It is time for these and other potential resources to stop being overlooked, and for the RNC to directly engage the future of the party.

Consider this: during our organization's deployment by the RNC this year in Ohio, a state never lost by a Republican president, we never met a single student from an Ohio college.  Elsewhere, in 2007, many argue that we lost the Massachusetts special election due entirely to a complete absence of area college students.  Contrastingly, in Georgia's recent runoff, the unusually strong showing of college students from Maine to Texas served to bolster a winning campaign—a notable exception to a troubling rule.  College Republicans exist everywhere.  In this regard, it's very simple; it's not about changing the minds of college students-- it's about activating and empowering the ones who already care.  To our detriment, this is something that Barack Obama knew all too well.   

In the coming years, the promise of victory does not tolerate the prospect of an inactive college demographic.  This is why we, with the support of many of our friends in the young conservative movement, are calling on the next RNC chairman to pledge to directly engage the next chairman of the College Republican National Committee in kick-starting a strong partnership for a radically better next four years.  In this, they should plan for a future that utilizes CR’s in dominating new media, more directly involves college students in party operations, and most importantly, ensures that, in 2010 and beyond, every willing College Republican will be afforded the chance to work for a Republican candidate through a better organized and more broadly utilized College Republican grassroots operation in every state.  On the path to victory, this is an important stop that has the promise to change the future (and the face) of our party for the better.

James Barnes and Brandon Hines are the Political and Public Relations Directors, respectively, of the George Washington University College Republicans and are working to re-engage Republican youth.

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Go back to class

the 111th Congress has just convened, and it's the most liberal in our nation's history.

Clearly some college Republicans need to take a US history class from one of those liberal professors left over from the sixties.  Congress was more liberal then than it is now, thanks to the Reagan revolution and a repudiation of some of the more progressive ideas of the sixties.  If you think Obama favors redistribution, you should hear the old Kennedy speaches.  They're probably on youtube. 

Historically...

One of the slimmest majorities ever, and certainly since 1900. 

The salvation of the GOP will come from you guys.

I firmly believe that the GOP equivalent of Barack Obama is currently a young person who is still in school or just graduated. Fixing what ails the party is going to take a decade or longer. By then one (or a handful) of your ranks will be ready to step up and begin an improbable and miraculous journey towards national leadership.

When the president who preceded Obama was elected in 2000, Obama held no office and could not even get floor credentials for the 2000 Democratic convention. He writes in his book that he went home midweek rather than watch the convention speeches from a TV in his hotel room. Four years later, a historic keynote speech. Four years after that, nominee of the party. And on to the presidency.

Something equally wonderous awaits many of you young college Republicans.

My advice to these Young Republicans...

...its time to put down your twitters or whatever device you're carrying around. After all its not a whole lot different than walking through a crowd of people and talking to each person as you go.  You can only speak, listen and respond so many times in one day.  So put down your devices and take advantage of this special time to fulfill your obligation to your nation by putting on a uniform. No one is asking you to walk the streets of Fallujah with an M16 at the ready.  But the military needs young men with integrity and honor, like yourselves, to spend a few years repairing radios and other devices, preparing a gourmet meal for several hundred, man'ing a warehouse full of boots and clothing,  performing preventive maintenance on the diesel engine of a Coast Guard cutter, etc, etc.  Or even sign up as a first responder. Police or Fire. Get 'er done!  You'll be so glad you did!  And if you don't, you'll have regrets one day.  And by the time you finish your 3 or 4  year enlistment, it'll be time, again, for a new Republican President to take control.  Darvin Dowdy

Country First

First, I would like to commend these students for participating in politics when it has become increasingly difficult to identify yourself as a Republican on college campuses.

But I would also like to echo the call to service issued by the previous poster.  Rome is essentially burning.  This country is faced with a wave of huge crises  including the looming threat of Islamic terrorism.  Not everyone is called to be an infantryman or a marine but strong able man or woman can do something.  Heck, I'm a supply soldier in a bridge building unit.

 I was a college Republican a few years ago.  Instead of fighting the Democrats and liberals on campus, the CR's spend most of their time fighting amongst each other.  I don't want to drudge up the wars of the past, but the C.R.'s as of late have become incredibly unorganized and unaccountable.  I want CR's to play a bigger part in Republican grassroots, but they must be willing to reform themselves as with the rest of the party.  The worst thing that happened was when the group became a 527 instead of remaining part of the RNC.  CR's should realign themselves with the party while the RNC and state parties play more of role in overseeing and holding the organization accountable like other Republican groups.

I will be honest; I didn't do anything this election cycle.  Instead, after I graduated I enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve and enrolled in ROTC when I started graduate school the next semester.   I would rather give more to my country rather than serve the self interests of the Republican Party.  I believe the party has the capacity to reform.  Except I'm not going volunteer my time and services until the party has learned its lesson.

Expose the Swindle

I disagree that we should not be trying to change minds. These kids are being duped. While I completely agree that we need to empower those that are already on our side, I feel very strongly that activism is needed on campus to at the very least provide an opposing and compelling viewpoint. While the liberal political world has day-to-day operations to deal with, liberal academia is no doubt organizing something comparable to the Soviet Party. No joke.

No way

Liberal academia isn't organizing anything.  They don't really have time to, for the most part, even if they wanted to.  Besides, they're too disorganized.  They would only be able to agree in the broadest of general terms.

I spoke to a number of people about this, and the concensus appears to be that, at the undergraduate level, it more depends on where you live as to whether any bias exists; but at the graduate level, it is the norm.

I think a lot of it is "soft prejudice" from Leftists educated enough to be convinced they're right without being able to comprehend another view; an error of arrogance.  It sort of indicates that their education is not so complete as they would like to believe, I'd say.  Really, if they're that smart that they know how everybody ought to act, then why can't do a bit better themselves?

I can see why college Republicans would need some kind of support group.  The first time in years that it's cool to be politically active, and you're on the opposition team. 

you lost the academics

all the hard scientists used to be republicans.

there's a reason for this: Know Nothings.

there's a potential answer: the modern whig party.

Engaging the College Republicans

Engaging the CRs has always been essential to the long term health of the GOP.  Now, we are realizing that is absolutely necessary to the short-term health of it as well.

 

Great job guys!

Putting College Republicans to Work

One of the things young Republicans can do is make their presence better known on the Internet. Not by putting up sites, but by constantly commenting and contributing on existing blogs. Right now, liberals, perhaps college students, have chimed in on this thread with their usual putdowns and misstatements of fact.. During the last general election this organized effort was pervasive and effective. I can't count the number of posts I am certain came from paid shills or from some organized effort. How much Democrat money was distributed by so-called individual contributors when it really came from the big, liberal money sources? It's easy to do if an activist gets to keep $10 for every $100 "contributed."  This, less than ideal, use of the Internet is simply the way the game is played. After a while, what is really a small groiup of activitists, creates the impression that they represent some  kind of concensus. And who doesn't want to follow the crowd? Consider what the Ron Paul activists were able to do.

A more serious homework project for college Republicans is to methodically undermine the illusion that liberal professors are somehow more knowedgable and wise than other folks. In fact, these all-knowing people have self-appointed themselves to one of the greatest elitist cults of all time. The foundation of their cult was accidently laid down by, no less than, Sigmund Freud. Around 1900,  his wacky ideas about how human behavior can be molded like putty were enthusiastically taken up by writers and university professors. These were the first "intellectual" elitists and set in motion a cult that survives to this day. Freud's ideas suggesting that human behavior could be easily formed or reformed were also grabbed by Karl Marx and all manner of socialist and communists  The elitists, unfortunately, gave a degree of respectability to the whole left-wing movement. It is no accident that university campuses look like little socialist enclaves. Of course, research in genetics now shows that most human behavior is based in our chromosomes. That helps to explain why every communist or socialist society eventually fails because -- guess what -- people's behavior can't be magically transformed into "to each according to his needs" type systems. Nobody is going to change the mindset of the university elitists overnight but a dogged and factual effort is a great way to start.

A Google search will turn up such books as "Freudian Fraud" which is factually accurate and explains the origins of much of the amazing left-wing philosophy we are stuck with today.

the fuck?

seriously, we haven't even come CLOSE to proving that neuroticism is more than a genetic predisposition.

we have NOTHING CLOSE to what you're describing in terms of genetic contribution to behavior.

YOUR SCIENCE IS BUNK.

Nothing more irrelevant than College Republicans

Considering that the average College Repulbican meeting is probably as white as the audience at  an PGA tournament, who cares what they want and what they are will to do.  Do these college students realize that by the time they are old enough to be in power in the Repulbican Party, that the Republican Party wil be irrelevant and the U.S. will be a de facto one party state.

I wonder if the college Republicans realize that the current leadership has thrown them under the bus and ensured that their taxes will be sky high, the government will be enormous, and that they will have no say in politics because for over 20 years, the Republicans have support a policy of open borders and unlimited immigration.  In also wonder if the college Republicans realize that in order to have a high paying job, they will have to live in a deep blue urban area, pay the equivlaent of $20K per year for their children to get an adequate education, and pay very high insurance premiuns due to the risk of illegal alien driver and illega alien crime,

The college Republicans will not have any say in the way the government runs because their elders decided that low wage emloyees for Tysons chicken or Wal-Mart was more important than their future.

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More than just the CRs

I just wanted to point out that there's more than just the CRs as a possible counterweight to the general leftism on college campuses.

To begin there's the excellent work of The Institute for Humane Studies. I strongly encourage every college student that thinks of themselves as center right to try and get to one of their seminars at the first possible opportunity. The IHS is probably doing more than anyone else to give young, freedom-oriented individuals arguments with enough intellectual heft to stand up to professor's claims.

Second there's The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. Every center right student should bookmark their website, especially if they attend a public university. No one does a better job of standing up for students' freedom of speech (and we all know the majority of speech suppression on campuses is for political speech, most frequently conservative and libertarian speech). They also just launched The Campus Freedom Network, creating an excellent system to get literature and speakers on campus, so if you head a student group, link up with them.

Third is the newly formed Students for Liberty. Founded and run by current college students and recent grads, SFL is working to create a network of primarily libertarian students and student groups. They've already held a conference featuring students from all over the country as well as other nations, a series of regional conferences, and will soon be having the second annual international conference, to be held at George Washington University in February. They have been working feverishly to put together materials for student groups and develop other valuable resources for libertarian students.

I'm highly familiar with all three of these groups, but there are also plenty of other organizations - The Intercollegiate Studies Institute, The Leadership Institute, and of course, a wealth of individual groups on campuses across the country.

If there's to be a hope of combatting the left-ward swing of our nation's youth, our efforts on college campuses have to look beyond the party and be about the whole center-right movement. To that end we need to work to get our organizations working together rather than all fighting for our causes separately.

how much of this is astroturf

like the Objectivists?

Absolutely!

Great point, these groups definitely contribute a ton to the conservative movement.  Our chapter, in particular, has had previous involvement with both ISI and LI, and we hope to continue to reach out to similar groups with similar goals.