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Younger Republicans want to save the Party

by Rodan ( 12 Comments › )
Filed under Conservatism, Headlines, Republican Party, The Political Right at February 14th, 2013 - 9:19 am

This is a follow up on the Republcian Party’s rebranding. This article talks about how younger Republicans are trying to get the Party to embrace new technology and adapt a new tone.

Back in August 2011, Jacobson wrote an op-ed in Forbes alerting Republicans to Obama’s lead on the digital front. His warnings were disregarded. Then last summer, he and Spencer approached the conservative super PAC American Crossroads with their digital-tool-building strategies and, they say, were politely ignored. It’s understandable, then, that a touch of schadenfreude is evident when Jacobson and Spencer receive the policy-group gurus and trade-association lobbyists who file into Red Edges’s office to receive a comeuppance.

“Business is booming for us,” Jacobson said. “We’ll double or triple our bottom line this year, easily. But this isn’t about getting new business. We need the entire right side of the aisle to get smart fast. And the only way they can do that is to appreciate how big the chasm was.”

Exhibit A is the performance of the Romney brain trust, which has suffered an unusually vigorous postelection thrashing for badly losing a winnable race. Criticism begins with the candidate — a self-described data-driven chief executive who put his trust in alarmingly off-the-mark internal polls and apparently did not think to ask his subordinates why, for example, they were operating on the assumption that fewer black voters would turn out for Obama than in 2008. Romney’s senior strategist, Stuart Stevens, may well be remembered by historians, as one House Republican senior staff member put it to me, “as the last guy to run a presidential campaign who never tweeted.” (“It was raised many times with him,” a senior Romney official told me, “and he was very categorical about not wanting to and not thinking it was worth it.”)

[....]

But the problem for the G.O.P. extends well beyond its flawed candidate and his flawed operation. The unnerving truth, which the Red Edge team and other younger conservatives worry that their leaders have yet to appreciate, is that the Republican Party’s technological deficiencies barely begin to explain why the G.O.P. has lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections. The party brand — which is to say, its message and its messengers — has become practically abhorrent to emerging demographic groups like Latinos and African-Americans, not to mention an entire generation of young voters. As one of the party’s most highly respected strategists told me: “It ought to concern people that the most Republican part of the electorate under Ronald Reagan were 18-to-29-year-olds. And today, people I know who are under 40 are embarrassed to say they’re Republicans. They’re embarrassed! They get harassed for it, the same way we used to give liberals a hard time.”

[....]

The all-female focus group began with a sobering assessment of the Obama economy. All of the women spoke gloomily about the prospect of paying off student loans, about what they believed to be Social Security’s likely insolvency and about their children’s schooling. A few of them bitterly opined that the Democrats care little about the working class but lavish the poor with federal aid. “You get more off welfare than you would at a minimum-wage job,” observed one of them. Another added, “And if you have a kid, you’re set up for life!”

About an hour into the session, Anderson walked up to a whiteboard and took out a magic marker. “I’m going to write down a word, and you guys free-associate with whatever comes to mind,” she said. The first word she wrote was “Democrat.”

“Young people,” one woman called out.

“Liberal,” another said. Followed by: “Diverse.” “Bill Clinton.”“Change.”“Open-minded.”“Spending.”“Handouts.”“Green.”“More science-based.”

When Anderson then wrote “Republican,” the outburst was immediate and vehement: “Corporate greed.”“Old.”“Middle-aged white men.” “Rich.” “Religious.” “Conservative.” “Hypocritical.” “Military retirees.” “Narrow-minded.” “Rigid.” “Not progressive.” “Polarizing.” “Stuck in their ways.” “Farmers.”

[....]

he session with the young men was equally jarring. None of them expressed great enthusiasm for Obama. But their depiction of Republicans was even more lacerating than the women’s had been. “Racist,” “out of touch” and “hateful” made the list — “and put ‘1950s’ on there too!” one called out.

[....]

Jacobson did not back down. “Even the Republican Party rejected Santorum,” he said. “He got some attention, and he certainly received votes. But he didn’t win.”

In a sense, however, Santorum and his fellow archconservatives did win, by tugging Mitt Romney and his pliable views rightward. Then Romney lost, and so did the Republicans.

I hope Republcian leaders listen to these younger voices.

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12 Responses to “Younger Republicans want to save the Party”
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  1. 1 | February 14, 2013 10:58 am

    About an hour into the session, Anderson walked up to a whiteboard and took out a magic marker. “I’m going to write down a word, and you guys free-associate with whatever comes to mind,” she said. The first word she wrote was “Democrat.”

    “Young people,” one woman called out.

    “Liberal,” another said. Followed by: “Diverse.” “Bill Clinton.”“Change.”“Open-minded.”“Spending.”“Handouts.”“Green.”“More science-based.”

    When Anderson then wrote “Republican,” the outburst was immediate and vehement: “Corporate greed.”“Old.”“Middle-aged white men.” “Rich.” “Religious.” “Conservative.” “Hypocritical.” “Military retirees.” “Narrow-minded.” “Rigid.” “Not progressive.” “Polarizing.” “Stuck in their ways.” “Farmers.”

    This is a result of the total domination of popular media by the Liberals. I don’t know what you do about that. PEople don’t watch Fox for their news, not these people. They watch Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert. That they are abyssmally uninformed doesn’t seem to occur to them, or trouble them in the slightest.


  2. Speranza
    2 | February 14, 2013 11:04 am

    In a sense, however, Santorum and his fellow archconservatives did win, by tugging Mitt Romney and his pliable views rightward. Then Romney lost, and so did the Republicans.

    Sad but true.


  3. 3 | February 14, 2013 11:29 am

    Iron Fist wrote:

    This is a result of the total domination of popular media by the Liberals. I don’t know what you do about that. PEople don’t watch Fox for their news, not these people. They watch Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert. That they are abyssmally uninformed doesn’t seem to occur to them, or trouble them in the slightest.

    I hear from contacts all over the place on account of my blogging and email efforts. Leftist media indoctrination isn’t merely an issue with young people in the US. It’s a worldwide issue.

    We must reach young people face to face, in person, one by one, not only in the US but everywhere in the world where we happen to be.

    That will be a Herculean effort. I’m ready.


  4. Tanker
    4 | February 14, 2013 12:01 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    In a sense, however, Santorum and his fellow archconservatives did win, by tugging Mitt Romney and his pliable views rightward. Then Romney lost, and so did the Republicans.
    Sad but true.

    Bullshit, Romney lost because he thought because he was somewhat hip, he didn’t have to f__king fight! He really didn’t lose, he gave up without really fighting! He took a coffee break at a time he should have been laying the wood to Obama!


  5. Bumr50
    5 | February 14, 2013 12:10 pm

    Dealing with young people requires patience.


  6. Tanker
    6 | February 14, 2013 12:12 pm

    Bumr50 wrote:

    Dealing with young people requires patience.

    And their twitter account data, so you can talk to them!


  7. Speranza
    7 | February 14, 2013 8:32 pm

    Tanker wrote:

    Speranza wrote:
    In a sense, however, Santorum and his fellow archconservatives did win, by tugging Mitt Romney and his pliable views rightward. Then Romney lost, and so did the Republicans.
    Sad but true.

    Bullshit, Romney lost because he thought because he was somewhat hip, he didn’t have to f__king fight! He really didn’t lose, he gave up without really fighting! He took a coffee break at a time he should have been laying the wood to Obama!

    Back at you. Santorum kept the race going long after it was obvious that Romney was going to get the nomination. This forced Romney to waste time and money and to make as if he was a hard core social con which he was not. Time in which he could have used to defend himself against Obama. Romney made a lot of mistakes but spending time going against Santorum was just a waste of energy.


  8. Tanker
    8 | February 14, 2013 8:43 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    Tanker wrote:
    Speranza wrote:
    In a sense, however, Santorum and his fellow archconservatives did win, by tugging Mitt Romney and his pliable views rightward. Then Romney lost, and so did the Republicans.
    Sad but true.
    Bullshit, Romney lost because he thought because he was somewhat hip, he didn’t have to f__king fight! He really didn’t lose, he gave up without really fighting! He took a coffee break at a time he should have been laying the wood to Obama!

    Back at you. Santorum kept the race going long after it was obvious that Romney was going to get the nomination. This forced Romney to waste time and money and to make as if he was a hard core social con which he was not. Time in which he could have used to defend himself against Obama. Romney made a lot of mistakes but spending time going against Santorum was just a waste of energy.

    Believe what you wish! Same for me. Still voted and wasted my vote for a Loser in the end!


  9. waldensianspirit
    9 | February 15, 2013 4:38 am

    It is funny how folks want to switch and blame a non-candidate. And blame social issues but don’t want social issues to be a part of our political fabric


  10. waldensianspirit
    10 | February 15, 2013 4:43 am

    If none of these glorious young republicans(i.e. abortion & debauchery lovers) can get close enough to punch Rove in the snoot, their savior efforts are moot


  11. Speranza
    11 | February 15, 2013 9:06 am

    What was damaging to Romney were the primary leeches who embarrassed the party and wouldn’t leave the stage such as Nine-nine-nine, Herman Cain. And then there were Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann, who never had a real shot at the nomination and certainly could never win a national election ever, yet they refused to surrender to the certain nominee. Did they have a right to persist in their own fantasies? Sure they did. But not if they were serious about getting a Republican in the White House. Thus, for months and months, Romney had to spend his energy and, as important, his money to prevail in the primaries against opponents who had no chance and who ultimately hurt him. During that same precious time, Obama’s campaign was busy pinpointing specific voters, practically learning the names of their dogs and favorite sports teams, and buying ads in niche markets.


  12. waldensianspirit
    12 | February 15, 2013 12:46 pm

    What damaged Romney was the MSM and Obama buying votes from day one of his first inauguration with you money both current and future


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