T Nation

Bringing Youth to the GOP?


How can it be done? My generation in enamored by the Democrats, mainly because they all hate Bush.

Seriously, no one will even pick up the conservative paper on my campus, even though it is HARDLY a radical Bush loving journal. In fact, I'd say the Progressive (the left wing paper) is FAR more divided and often, just plain retarded. They recently ran an article about how meat is killing America. In a political newspaper. I can't make this shit up.

I've considered writing for the Review (right wing paper) but I feel that no one will bother reading it. Hell, the Review almost got its named changed and funding cut because it used the words "ethnic ghettos" to describe a few of the program houses (Latino living center, African living center etc).

I think the first thing that has to go is the view that right wing is synonymous with racism and bigotry. It's hard though, to explain that to people who are so conditioned to think that if you don't want to give the poor free money, you MUST hate black people.

It's driving me mad! I can't talk to people without them assuming I'm some kind of bigoted, homophobic, poor hating, woman-hating jack ass.

Anyone have any ideas?


Wait for them to grow up.

If you are really feeling brave, get them to read some books on basic economics. I am hardly young, but I do send an email out to all of my friends when I come accross a good book on basic economics. I have also recommended a few on Libertarianism and early american history. Just a couple that anyone could pick up and read:

In our Hands - Charles Murray
What it means to be a Libertarian - Charles Murray
Libertarianism - David Boaz
Economics in One Lesson - Henry Haslett
Basic Economics - Thomas Sowell
Applied Eoncomics - Thomas Sowell
Economic Fact and Fallacy - Thomas Sowell
Free to Choose - Milton Friedman

These are off the top of my head and are very easy to read if remember correctly.

Education is the only path to conservatism. Either parental teachings, life lessons, or reading.

It's much easier for Liberalism to gain support of the uneducated and relatively uninterested. Their platitudes, and rhetoric just sound better.

Conservatism requires effort. It requires thought and reason, something most just don't have time for these days.


That's quite an obstacle you're battling here.

Most of those in my age group are vehemently anti-conservative (many don't even follow a school of thought, they just oppose conservatism) because their only exposure to conservatives has been recent. With so much bigotry exposed in media outlets, a failed POTUS, and possibly the worst presidential campaign ever (McCain 08), people assume that is what constitutes conservatism. Your biggest issue will be overcoming stereotypes, as you said.

I think introducing the economic ideology and shying away from the neocon bullshit will greatly help educate and inspire your peers. Give true conservatism a voice. Present the ideas and don't attack.


Do you go to Cornell?




Let them get jobs, pay some taxers and then it will happen.


The idea of government as the great and benign equalizer is far too entrenched. Not much to be done now. Perhaps, after a complete and total finacial meltdown of the government, but no sooner.

Edit: And why the GoP? They've pretty much tainted the Conservative and libertarian brand for good. Let them fade away. It'll be better for the right, in the end.


I meant conservatism in general. GOP is just shorter for a thread title.


You are sounding like a television evangelist , come to Satin:)


It's pretty simple, really: Two years of Democrats controlling Congress and the White House.

One month into this moron's administration and I see the democrats losing their majorities in 2010. Obama, even with aid from his co-conspiritors in the liberal media - will have a tough road in 2012. He's using this two year window to enact every liberal policy ever imagined, even as it plunges the nation into Depression.

We are witnessing the end of the democrats for the next 20 years. The best way to gain new Republicans is to let the democrats run things.


If the republicans still have an identity crisis then it will be anyone's election come 2 and 4 years from now.

Getting away from the religious right would be a step in the proper direction. You think Friedman or Buckley would have approved of Palin or even Limbaugh?


Why don't you try expressing the ideas of conservatism in clear terms that your peers can related to that does not use the standard GOP rhetoric?

For example, don't talk about the "right to life", talk about the importance of protecting life, liberty, and property and why these are necessary to a free society.

You can fit every other conservative pet issue into that idea. For example, the second amendment can be understood in terms of property rights.


I have some analysis on this but I am not up for it at this time. I'll make these brief points.

  • The GOP needs to step back reanalyze there basic tenets and reestablish what they stand for. Most importantly they need to mesh and adopt many principles of libertarians and independents.

  • The GOP needs to take a stand and rebel against the socialism of the day.

  • They need to distance themselves from the Christian Coalition.

  • They need youth, lots of it.

When young people have to do on there own, they will realize that nobody will do it for them. There are no free rides and you don't want one. Remember this, it was the old hippies who elected Reagan;all is not lost...


One problem is that GOP planning for how to expand has been based on gems such as:

"If we allow illegal aliens to stream into the country, don't in any way enforce the laws regarding employment or anything else, and even better yet say we will grant citizenship, why, this is just what Hispanic American citizens are looking for and they'll vote Republican just because we did this!

And then when we grant citizenship to the millions of illegal aliens we let in, they'll vote Republican in gratitude! This is how to win the Hispanic vote!"

And in the years 2000-2008:

"If we spend like Democrats have BUT EVEN MORE SO, exceeding Clinton's levels of social spending on everything, and even expanding 'entitlements,' why then Democrat voters will love us and vote Republican!"


Core GOP/conservative economic belief will be back in fashion, probably within the next few months. What Obama is doing is a recipe of disaster, and we're seeing evidence of that each day.

We have a man in the White House who has never run ANYTHING in his life. And don't tell me he ran his campaign. No candidate runs his campaign. He's gotten where he is because he talks pretty (when on teleprompter). And pretty talk does not sell stock or create jobs or instill confidence. Although, it seems to work in convincing other liberals that more pork is what the economy needs.

Obama's a fraud. A talking head. He would not be the first I've met from Harvard - especially Harvard Law. Let's hope he serves his four years and goes back to being a full-time socialist. Maybe he can write another book about his drug use? Yes he can.


I think kids my age are smitten with liberalism for a few main reasons.

  1. A knee-jerk reaction against Bush that involves a reaction against anything else he stood for. Kids in my generation hate him so much that all logic goes out the window. They think republican/conservatism = Bush.

  2. Idealism. We are in our "idealistic phase" at the moment and Obama tells us what we want to hear. And he does it better than any other politician in our short life times. And so much better than the previous guy.

  3. The religious right. College-educated kids think people like Palin and other "religious nutjobs" are stupid, and want nothing to do with them. They then equate consertavism/republicans with religious freaks. (Unfortunately, they have a point in some cases).

  4. Perceiving republicans/conservatism as having every stereotyped charactertistic : racist, sexist, selfish, religious freak, "right-wing nazi."

What conservatism needs is a charismatic, intelligent, attractive person to articulate its principles. A part of me feels if Obama was conservative, he would still be president given that a lot of people do not know what they want until they hear it.


Well said. But the GOP needs to change too. It needs to drop some ridiculous beliefs (Ex.:drug war) and support and encourage a strict constitutional interpretation and defend individual liberties. The must reclaim fiscal sanity and promote the shrinking the government. Further, they must drop compromise and work for the tenets on which this country was founded...They do this and I will join their ranks. They have behaved in defensively overthe past decade, and they have no excuse. People chose Obama because of the weakness of the Republicans. Now is their chance to rebuild something strong.

Obama is failing, I don't have to hope. It's happening, the Rep.s will have a great opportunity on which to cease very soon. They'd better come on strong.


The thing is someone has to emerge, nobody on the political landscape currently can be the republican flag bearer. Like I said if they try to run with a Jindal or even a Palin, even if Obama utterly fails, it will all be up in the air.


One thing at a time. The presidential election is four years off. In two years, the GOP take control of the congress. Someone will emerge. Who could have forseen Obama's rise? He was a nobody running for Senate when he spoke at the 2004 democrat convention, with nothing in his resume but a memoir or two. Of course he had a couple of kick-ass years in the Senate.

I mean, who can forget when he...well....when he....uh....when he.....uh...well...RAN FOR PRESIDENT! And...Now he's president. President. Pres....holy shit. He's president!..Sorry...I'm still not used to it. It's alternately astonishing and hilarious.


Being President of the Harvard Law Review surely counts for something.