Reaching Young People

The Boomers spawned and their progeny distilled their pot-tootin’, free-lovin’ parents’ belief system to this: community, environment, activism. This from a Detroit News editorial:

In the 2010 off-year election, half of millennials will be eligible to vote, representing about a fifth of the overall electorate. By 2012, 60 percent will be eligible to vote, and they could make up about a quarter of the American electorate when Obama runs for re-election. By 2020, when virtually all millennials will be over 18, they will represent 36 percent of the electorate and will completely dominate elections and the political agenda of America.

And it seems likely that this civic generation, like its “Greatest Generation” great-grandparents, will vote in big numbers. Turnout among voters under 30 has been rising steadily since millennials began to replace the alienated and more cynical Gen-Xers in this age group. From a low of 37 percent in 1996, turnout increased to 53 percent of all eligible millennials, and 59 percent in the key battleground states in 2008.

Their unity of opinion and their numbers will make millennials’ preferences for economic activism, a nonintrusive approach to social issues by government at any level and a multilateral interventionism by America in foreign affairs the policy paths to political success during the next decade.

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Some of the data is derived from a Kos poll and is obviously skewed. Still, these young people supported Barack Obama 2:1 and they don’t have jobs. So, unless they become employed here soon, and not by the government, their notion of the government being a benign and noble force in their sad sack lives will prevail. That will steer them toward voting for Democrats.

Additionally, the Republican Party MUST have a cohesive, positive position about what I call the “Softer Side Of Sears” issues: health care, the environment, education etc. Since the younger people are all about doing their own thang while paradoxically being smothered by hovering helicopter parents, they want the government to butt out on social issues and help out on economic ones. That is, they want to be able to do socially irresponsible things and have someone else pay for the consequences.

So, free sex is okay and people shouldn’t be judged for the STDs, pregnancies, etc. they create. And also, for the poor unfortunate folks who get themselves in a bad way, the government should help out. Remember, these are the 22 year olds living at home where mom is still doing their laundry, but they have no problem telling you to turn down your thermostat and stop driving your Suburban.

The authors of the editorial take a shot at Twitter and the conservatives there. Meh. The conservatives there aren’t trying to reach the Millenials. That social group isn’t primarily on Twitter. They’re on Facebook–the social media platform that Facebook Founder Chris Hughs is personally helping Barack Obama to own. And, he does own FB.


Reaching young people will require showing them in emotional ways how liberal orthodoxy is harmful and how conservative orthodoxy is caring and loving. I happen to believe this is the case, in fact. The recent D.C. school choice, magnate school voucher program protest demonstrate the harsh reality of government controlled education. Students with hope were FORCED to go to a school AGAINST their will that HARMED them and their futures. Many of these students were DISADVANTAGED, MINORITY and the children of SINGLE MOMS. All of this is the truth. It’s an outrageous situation and evokes my emotions, that’s for damn skippy sure. These stories need to be told.

Now, find stories about someone who has an environment-saving technology (you know they’re out there) that’s received the ax because it ticks off another of Obama’s greedy constituencies. Then craft a positive message about how the conservative way promotes freedom, individuality and cares for the planet.

Find health care stories. There are plenty of them…where people on government run health care suffer. This shouldn’t be difficult to do either. More government run anything isn’t the answer.

Now, craft a message about Smart Government being lean, healthy and helpful. A big, fat, immobile government doesn’t help, it gets in the way. Showcase government programs that work and then contrast them with government programs that are a disaster. Again, that shouldn’t be difficult.

A “no government” message won’t work with these kids. Freedom and holistic government health will, though.

Does it sound like I’m going soft? Every time I talk about message to conservative readers, that’s the accusation. Well, I am small-government to the core. I also want to win. Promising lower taxes, lower spending, and better government is how Barack Obama won. That’s how a Republican will win, too. And in the Republican’s case, it will be the truth.

Cross-posted at

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