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Millennials & the Real Republican Problem

In a piece on the immigration bill, Stanley Kurtz offers a nutshell version of the real problem facing Republicans today:

Republicans have been in a funk ever since Obama’s re-election. I’m the first to agree that there’s a deeper problem, but it’s got more to do with under-thirties and what education and the culture are doing to them than with anything a path to citizenship will fix.

When I listen to my non-Republican twentysomething friends talking about the GOP, I hear an image of a party drawn from Democratic talking points and college professors’ prejudices. Few are aware of the ideals of liberty and civil society that have stood as the guideposts for the conservative and libertarian thinkers who have defined the basic philosophy of the Republican Party since Reagan.

Many, as Arthur Brooks sagely observed last month in the Wall Street Journal believe Republicans are indifferent to the poor.  Republicans need to change that faulty perception.  They have to show the “under-thirties”, as Kurtz described this demographic suffering the most under Obama’s policies, that conservatives are aware of — and sympathetic to — their plight and will, if elected, put into place policies which will make it easier for them to find jobs commensurate with their talents and their training, allowing them to prosper as did young people in the Reagan Era.

FROM THE COMMENTS:  Cactus Bill gets it:

There has been a bastardization of the language for some now. When compassion is defined by how much government can provide instead of what you can provide for yourself the notion of pursuing your own happiness is turned on it’s head. Real compassion is allowing an environment where a business of any type can actually HIRE someone. A real job is more compassionate and rewarding to the soul than all the government provided resources have ever been able to give. (Of course that is after it has been taken from someone else.)

True, conservatives and republicans have done a less than stellar job of communicating that basic information. But asking that the educational system to actually provide the real definition of the constituent parts of the language may have become a Bridge too Far for all of us.

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38 Comments

  1. I’m over the Republican Party. If they are intent on committing suicide by turning 11 Million illegals into 12 million Democrat votes, there’s no hope for them.

    Comment by V the K — April 23, 2013 @ 5:54 pm - April 23, 2013

  2. There has been a bastardization of the language for some now. When compassion is defined by how much government can provide instead of what you can provide for yourself the notion of pursuing your own happiness is turned on it’s head. Real compassion is allowing an environment where a business of any type can actually HIRE someone. A real job is more compassionate and rewarding to the soul than all the government provided resources have ever been able to give. (Of course that is after it has been taken from someone else.)

    True, conservatives and republicans have done a less than stellar job of communicating that basic information. But asking that the educational system to actually provide the real definition of the constituent parts of the language may have become a Bridge too Far for all of us.

    Comment by Cactus Bill — April 23, 2013 @ 5:55 pm - April 23, 2013

  3. IMHO, and as one metaphor mixing pundit put it, the White Elephant in the GOP Room is race. The Republicans –hapless and feckless as always– are The White Party.

    90% of Romney’s votes came from Whites. 60% of Whites votes for him. If only Whites had voted, Obama would have won only a half-dozen states.

    As Whites head toward being a minority in our own country, who will speak for us? Every other group but us has advocates and institutions for their interest. Bring it up and the cries of “racist!” arise on all sides, Whites often the loudest. “Racism!”, the contemporary version of “Witchcraft!”

    That’s the Republican dilemma: being our party but terrified of admitting it (Although the other side is more than clear about it.) Whites: the race that dare not speak its name. (Except to apologize),

    As a “shrink”, I think that the very fact that this cannot be talked about points out how explosively important it is.

    Comment by EssEm — April 23, 2013 @ 6:00 pm - April 23, 2013

  4. EssEm – Indeed. But I think that your point and Dan’s overlap. The issue is educational-cultural. Kids and immigrants are no longer seriously educated in Constitutional ideas/history/values, the “American civic religion”, as they were 30+ years ago. The ideas/values are receding at different rates, perhaps, among different demographics. Whites (umm, European-Americans?) may be losing them a bit less quickly than other demographics. But if immigrants & kids of all demographics were properly being educated (by the culture, as well as by school directly), there would be much less of a problem. Demographic differences (such as racial) might not matter at all. Anti-American[1] leftists have “won” by taking over schools, Hollywood, media.

    ([1] “anti” in the sense of, unsupportive of Constitutional ideas/history/values – and possibly some other senses.)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 23, 2013 @ 6:17 pm - April 23, 2013

  5. ….believe Republicans are indifferent to the poor. Republicans need to change that faulty perception.

    This is the age-old, tried and true demagoguing of the divide between the haves and the have-nots by playing on the fears of supposed inequities said to be created by the establishment as the cause of all misery.

    The Demonizingrats give these people entitlements (other people’s money heisted from them through compulsory taxation) and that sets the bar for the “perception” of what “real” politicians do for the poor.

    Therefore, if the Republicans don’t match the Demonizingrats in the handouts department, the Republicans are “indifferent” to the poor.

    Republicans stand for education and personal responsibility and a strong economy so that the “poor” can pull themselves out of poverty. But, the Communists learned long ago that if you offer a peasant hope and change and part of the pot of stolen goodies the peasant will take it over a training program every time.

    The Demonizingrats have created an enormous plantation of people dependent on the state for all manner or entitlements. Naturally, those takers are easily riled up when the Demonizingrats bombard them with crisis level screams about Republicans trying to take away their benefits and locking them out in the cold.

    Tell me again about how the “sequester” caused the White House to be closed to tourists and the layoff of air traffic controllers. The cynicism of this form of demagogic activism is steeped in the philosophy that any means available is totally fair in justifying the ends of retaining power and the pulpit for further demagoguery.

    So, how do the Republicans play this “game” the Demonizingrats created and have controlled for so many years? Everything the Demonizingrats do in the name of “social justice” is a tacit slap at the Republicans who are automatically cast as the villains who prefer social injustice in order to keep what they have and to get even more.

    Every troll who comes here has been introduced to the concept of personal responsibility and self-reliance. How many of them have gotten even a scintilla of the point? Takers have no interest in how the pump is primed; they just want what they can get today and they expect it to be there tomorrow. Everything else is hot air.

    Comment by heliotrope — April 23, 2013 @ 6:20 pm - April 23, 2013

  6. Many, as Arthur Brooks sagely observed last month in the Wall Street Journal believe Republicans are indifferent to the poor.

    This is a sage observation? Many have believed Republicans are indifferent to the poor since I was a kid. Have we all forgotten how badly Reagan was portrayed, i.e. to the poor, to the AIDS problem, to women, world peace, etc.? Such a caricature goes back to the 19th century. At times, it’s even true.

    Comment by Ignatius — April 23, 2013 @ 6:29 pm - April 23, 2013

  7. I would disagree. You are dealing with a population I don’t see changing their views until they evolve on things like gay marriage.

    On the other hand, you’ve seen huge numbers of traditionally baby-boomer voters, who outnumber millenials by almost 3 to 1, just stop voting. When the GOP doesn’t follow through on their fiscal promises to cut spending and taxes, they don’t show up anymore. Turnout is DOWN from ’04 in ’08 and ’12. GOP should work on reaching out to those disillusioned voters who gave up on them and no longer vote. Then they could just let the course of maturity and having to get a job to see where their taxes actually go turn most of those millenials into conservatives 🙂

    Comment by Tim in MT — April 23, 2013 @ 6:35 pm - April 23, 2013

  8. Here’s a couple of facts from the 2012 elections.

    – Hispanics were 7% of the electorate and went Demoncrat by 3 to 1.
    – Evangelicals were 28% of the electorate and went Republican by 4 to 1.

    So, getting the Republicans to shaft Evangelicals AND make undocumented Democrats into a voting bloc is a total win-win for the left.

    Comment by V the K — April 23, 2013 @ 6:56 pm - April 23, 2013

  9. The real task for the GOP is not to figure out whom to pander to, but to convince Americans to stop destroying the country.

    Big-government, big-spending, Constitution-busting, heavy-taxing insanity is driving this nation to its knees. As young people feel the brunt of this — they’re being screwed more than anybody else is — they sure as hell ought to be listened to when they’ve got something to say about it.

    Comment by Lori Heine — April 23, 2013 @ 7:20 pm - April 23, 2013

  10. Republicans stand for education and personal responsibility and a strong economy so that the “poor” can pull themselves out of poverty.

    Comment by heliotrope — April 23, 2013 @ 6:20 pm – April 23, 2013

    Unfortunately, heliotrope, your comment is incorrect. True conservatives stand for these things, but Republicans certainly do not.

    Comment by Jman1961 — April 23, 2013 @ 7:45 pm - April 23, 2013

  11. Few are aware of the ideals of liberty and civil society that have stood as the guideposts for the conservative and libertarian thinkers

    If Republican politicians actually stood up for those ideals, that would solve the awareness problem, as well as the PR-image issue. But, it’s just easier to blame it all on the colleges. They’re 100% of the problem.

    Comment by Regards, Vince S. — April 23, 2013 @ 7:50 pm - April 23, 2013

  12. Every time a Republican sells us out, like Pat Toomey on gun control or Marco Rubio on Amnesty, more of the base decides “F— it, I’m out.”

    The GOP should consider this a problem, but they are too busy chasing the delusion that millions of liberals will suddenly vote for them if they agree to go along with the Demoncrats on Amnesty, Gun Control, Tax Increases, Abortion-on-demand, free contraception, government run health care ….

    Comment by V the K — April 23, 2013 @ 8:05 pm - April 23, 2013

  13. I have the hope that when Obamacare fully kicks in next year and the “under thirty” crowd have to buy this overly expensive insurance at inflated rates that maybe, just maybe, the light bulb will click on in their uninformed heads. When their pocketbook is hurting, maybe they will finally understand that TANSTAAFL, there aint no such thing as a free lunch! And they will be the ones paying for covering those with pre existing conditions and paying for all those expensive tests the over fifty crowd will be getting “free”. Young healthy people will bear the cost of this legislation because they didn’t bother to pay attention to what older people were trying to tell them. They bought Obama’s snake oil and now they are going to pay. I would think it is justice except my kids are going to pay too.

    Comment by Texann — April 23, 2013 @ 8:07 pm - April 23, 2013

  14. The GOP should consider this a problem, but they…”

    And jwho is this “they?”

    As if the GOP, or any other large organization, was something in which everyone thought and acted alike, and were all pointed in the same direction. Most of the party is still opposed to amnesty and background checks – check the vote on the Manchin-Toomey bill if you don’t believe me.

    And this leads to my next observation; that for some people unless every single Republican tows the “correct” line, the entire party is going to hell (and of course the offenders are RINOs or worse).

    And my final observation is that both parties are moving away from each other. The Democrats are far more off to the left, and the Republicans far more off to the right, than ever before. Gone is the (true)liberal Republican and (true) conservative Democrat.

    The leading cause for this I think is the gerrymandering of congressional districts. Only about 60-70 House seats are competitive, with the rest being safe Democrat or Republican. When a seat is safe for one party, then the real race for that seat is in the primary. And in a primary you play almost exclusively to the party base, which is always far more liberal/conservative than the public at large. This then pulls Democrats to the left and Republicans to the right.

    I’m sure none of this will go over well here, but there it is.

    Comment by Tom the Redhunter — April 23, 2013 @ 8:22 pm - April 23, 2013

  15. Jman,

    I stand rightfully corrected. Hopefully, most conservative Republicans still fit the standards I applied without taking McCain, Grahamnesty, Collins, the RINOs and the Republican Establishment chameleons into account.

    The professional politicians, Republican or Demonizingrats are panderers all and have all the integrity of a whore bellowing hymns while tip-toeing past the confessional.

    Comment by heliotrope — April 23, 2013 @ 8:22 pm - April 23, 2013

  16. The Demoncrats don’t seem to have any problem with party discipline; you don’t see any of them breaking ranks to propose tax cuts, border security, or pro-gun legislation.

    Comment by V the K — April 23, 2013 @ 8:31 pm - April 23, 2013

  17. Given: Demoncrats always want to increase spending.
    Given: Republicans claim they want to cut spending.

    So, why is it that whenever there is bipartisan “compromise,” it always involves spending more, but not quite as much, as Demoncrats want, and never cutting spending, but not as much as Republicans claim they want?

    Comment by V the K — April 23, 2013 @ 8:34 pm - April 23, 2013

  18. I’m always stunned when people tell me they believe liberals are the party for the poor. Conservatives give twice as much to charity. When liberals give money to charity, it isn’t to the poor, it’s to the arts. The issue is branding. It’s never ending media that hates conservatives that is causing it. If liberal media had to be honest for five seconds, they’d have to admit that if we’re talking about charity in deeds rather than in words, Obama wasn’t fit to polish Romney’s shoes.

    Comment by Carolynp — April 23, 2013 @ 8:38 pm - April 23, 2013

  19. I am also sick and tired of people sneering that those of us who actually would like to get something out of the Republicans are “purists.” I’d be delighted if the GOP delivered even 50% of the time. But can anyone here name any conservative, limited Government, pro-freedom legislation to be proposed and passed by a GOP Congress since the Contract with America?

    I, frankly, cannot.

    Comment by V the K — April 23, 2013 @ 8:50 pm - April 23, 2013

  20. Need I remind everyone what became law under a Republican President and/or a Republican Congress?
    – The creation of the TSA
    – Medicare Part D
    – The Incandescent Lightbulb Ban
    – No Child Left Behind
    – McCain-Feingold
    – Sarbanes-Oxley

    Tell me again how I have no reason to complain about Republicans selling out every chance they get.

    Comment by V the K — April 23, 2013 @ 8:57 pm - April 23, 2013

  21. “Tell me again how I have no reason to complain about Republicans selling out every chance they get.”

    This is why we need divided gov.
    republicans hold their principles when in the minority. Dems seem to be willing to throw out their principles to pass bills.

    Comment by mike — April 24, 2013 @ 4:48 am - April 24, 2013

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  25. The twenty somethings haven´t been educated. They´ve been brainwashed by radical left teachers and professors. That the Republican party has not done a good job of communicating its message is only half of the problem. The other half is that the twenty somethings aren´t listening; ¨don´t confuse me with the facts, my mind is already made up.¨

    V the K is so right. We have been sold out by conservatives. Senator Enzi of Wyoming is the author of S 743, Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013. In other words paying state sales taxes on internet purchases. This is worthy of a Democrat. The GOP getting on board with amnesty for illegal persons will net us nothing. It was the Democrats that benefitted from the Reagan amnesty of 1986. The idea of pitching the message to the hispanic community shows a complete lack of understanding that one size does not fit all. To say that family values will bring newly minted American citizens from Mexico into the Republican fold is wishful thinking. Most have been brought up under the socialist Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI). In Mexico they had the tortilla subsidy, to keep prices artificially low, they had universal healthcare. Those that are here have family values and have small businesses. Go to East L.A., Center City around Belmont High School, during the political seson and in the windows of those businesses you will see yard signs, for candidates for congress governor or president,all for Democrats. I know because I walked it as part of my A.D. when I was on the Republican County Central Committee. The gang, Mara Salvatrucha, was founded in East L.A. by sons of, or youths, who came as political exiles who thought the communists couldn´t win the civil in El Salvador. Exiles who favored the government, those tend to be conservative. The same with Nicaraguans. So the pickings among hispanics, for the GOP, will be slim to say the least.

    I read that Howard Phillips died today. He had hopes of organizing a a third party that would be truly conservative. It is a shame that it never gathered much traction. The Libertarian Party is in the same boat, I don´t think they have elected anybody higher than a dog catcher. Libertarians to get elected have to run under the Republican banner.

    Comment by Roberto — April 24, 2013 @ 3:26 pm - April 24, 2013

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  35. The GOP’s anti-freedom positions on many social issues are also a problem in attracting my generation.

    And sometimes the GOP politicians who take center stage act irrational, another problem. The Senators who want to filibuster and attack the other side for “violating the 2nd amendment” rather than engaging and saying why the bill (which didn’t violate the second amendment) is bad. Those Senators would sometimes invoke conspiratorial language about how the government is trying to create a gun registry in order to take our guns and throw us in concentration camps if the bill passed. Michelle Bachmann is another example. She did get a lot of attention, as did the above mentioned Senators, so it’s easy for people to see them as the face or the party, or, at the very least, as an influential member of the party.

    Comment by Mitch — April 27, 2013 @ 7:51 am - April 27, 2013

  36. The GOP’s anti-freedom positions on many social issues are also a problem in attracting my generation.

    Really? Name one area in which they are trying to take away your freedom.

    If you can’t, then don’t say anything. As Livewire used to say: “Now hush – the adults are talking now.”

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — April 27, 2013 @ 3:48 pm - April 27, 2013

  37. “Freedom” to Mitch and his generation means they can force you to pay their bills for them and punish you for criticizing them while you can do neither to them, Peter.

    Mitch is just like the Boston bombers, a spoiled whiny brat who believes the wprld owes him a living and is throwing tantrums when he doesn’t get his way. That is the nature of the Obama Party, which is nothing more than a group of emotionally-immature teenagers abusing governmental power to get their way.

    When you consider how Mitch’s generation lionizes violent bigots like Bill Ayers and the FRC shooter, their shrieking about Tea Party “violence” is shown to be nothing more than the malicious lies a worthless child tells to manipulate spineless parents. Mitch is attempting to use on us the same behaviors that let him run the house when he was a child, and that’s why he screams that anyone who actually imposes adult rules on him is taking away his “freedoms”.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 28, 2013 @ 10:51 am - April 28, 2013

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