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Saturday, August 10, 2013

The GOP And Reaching Youth

Now, we will hear a panel discussion on reaching today's youth by the Conservative movement. On hand is new President of College Republicans Alex Smith, Conservative Blogger and Activist Tabitha Hale, Bethany Bowra, and Brittany Morrett.
  Reaching today's youth should be priority number 1 for Conservatives. Most young people today when they hear the word "conservative" think of their own fathers and grandfathers. They are not seen as compassionate. They need to hear the message that Conservatism is empowering for young people. Messaging has come up again and again this weekend. Young people are the most affected by pop culture, and that may be the way to reach them. It must be more than stale dry political messaging. TV shows like "Will and Grace", and "Sex and The City" are very influential to today's teenagers and twenty somethings. Terms like "big government" tends to make young people's eyes glaze over and they don't pay attention. Not everyone is a political nerd, so terms like "end the fed" and "sequestration" need to be taken to another level so that people who are not as tuned in politically can understand it.
  Tabitha Hale asked why don't conservatives have a Chelsea Handler or Jon Stewart? Conservative radio talk show host Tony Katz once said, "instead of the punch line being Sarah Palin, why isn't it Barack Obama?"
  It was brought up that usually, negative campaigns don't work. When young people start to see and hear the mudslinging, they tune out. Brittany brought up that a lot of young Conservatives are clean cut types that some other young people just don't relate to. Conservatives come in all forms and we need to go find all Conservatives, not just the squeaky clean ones, not that we don't love them too!
 Conservatives need to break the mold of what people, especially young people, think Conservatives are. On the vast majority of Conservative websites, the people who write for them are between the age of 24 and 55 and are white males. Many young people are just not into politics, so sometimes Conservative writers have to break out of the mold and write about something that is not political.
  Young people will respond if you make it fun and personalize the message. It was brought up that if voting began at age 30, Mitt Romney would be President today. The demographics are changing every day. Go to different venues that maybe we wouldn't normally go.
  One of the most important things when trying to influence young people is trust. Barack Obama appeals to young people because they think he is cool. Bill Clinton was a hit on The Arsenio Hall show playing the saxophone because it made him cool and hip to younger voters.
 The Conservative message of personal responsibility and smaller government is a good message that young people will listen to, but it is important to stay on message.
  As Conservatives, we believe that Conservative principles lead to a better life for everyone.            

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