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To Win Young People, Face Forward, Not Backward

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Group of multi-ethnic young people having fun together outdoors

Republicans must do better among voters under thirty if they hope to capture the White House. In 2012, these young people comprised just 19% of the electorate, but provided Obama with his entire margin of victory. Among the 81% of voters over thirty, Mitt Romney won a majority, but with under-thirties Obama scored a decisive 23-point margin.

To avoid repeating this pattern, conservatives must drop slogans like “Take Our Country Back”—young people don’t want to go back, they want to go forward. We should emphasize future reforms, not issues of the past, like Obamacare and gay marriage. Let’s improve the health insurance for tomorrow, not just repeal a program that was imposed yesterday. On marriage, we should strengthen traditional man-woman marriages, not threaten to undo those same sex marriages that already exist.

To win young people, conservatives must face the future boldly, not to try to recapture the recent past.

The recent past, after all, wasn’t really that great in the first place–particularly as we recall the leadership of Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

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  1. Stuart Milbrad  •  Nov 6, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Michael,

    I agree –the established Republican Party has to get their minds out of the country club mode and communicate strongly with the younger folk as well as ” Joe six pack “–When John Carlson ran for Governor I did some pleading for spaghetti get togethers to no avail–we have to stop preaching to the choir!–We were on board the Argosy Elliot Bay 10th anniversary do with you–very impressive but when our head of the Republican Party said that all contributions are welcome but that she really paid attention to the $1000.00 or more it left me cold–there is no questioning that 80 to 90 % of the contributions come very few folks–it the votes we need!

  2. Linda  •  Nov 6, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    I have three kids in their 20s and you are absolutely correct! They all have gay friends from college and like you said they don’t want to “make America great again,” as they are not sure how great it was in the first place. They were raised in a very “conservative” home but they are thinking for themselves and asking good questions. You are right that we need another way to reach them and be able to understand and explain our history and politics, etc. Thank you for your history videos, I am hoping they will help me have good and engaging intellectual conversations with my adult children.

  3. Victor  •  Nov 6, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    Absolutely correct observation and recommendation. But it should be just another one not instead of slogan. The clear message should be made to major voting groups:
    – youth (why is described above)
    – legal immigrants (to show that Republicans are not against all immigrants, but illegals and that illegals hurt legal immigrants by taking their jobs and using their tax money – they should understand that now they are a part of us not of the countries they left and their former fellow citizens coming or staying here illegally hurt them and their families)
    – blacks (to show how Republicans can change their situation by providing effective education, jobs).
    – seniors (to show what Republicans will do to secure their calm and troubleless days)
    – democrats (to show that Republicans are not enemies, that we all are Americans)…
    Each voter should find something for him/herself.

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