Engaging Culture

Re-Branding the GOP: Where are the Under-30’s Republicans?

When you study the Millennial generation, you find a generation that’s remarkably independent.  They don’t like people looking over their shoulder – like the government.  In books like “Growing Up Digital” Don Tapscott describes how the Net Generation will use digital media to superimpose it’s culture on the rest of the world.  They are technologically savvy, and value customization, personalization, and freedom of choice above all.

So the question for incoming president Barack Obama is how he will balance the marvelous job he did reaching out to young people through technology with the need to pacify the old retro members of the Democratic party in Congress.  Which leads me to the question of why young people wouldn’t more naturally be leaning to the GOP?

For instance, the Left wants to being back the ancient and out of date “Fairness” Doctrine, limiting and controlling what could be broadcast on the air.  Can you imagine the outcry of the younger generation if congress passed a law limiting their expression on the web?  Actually, that’s what “net neutrality” is about.  The Wall Street Journal describes net neutrality as subjecting the web to the kinds of laws that used to regulate railroad traffic.   How will members of the Facebook and Myspace generation respond to politicians monitoring their access to online content?

If the GOP is serious about re-branding and re-thinking their party, then they should start by taking advantage of the issue of freedom of choice and expression – and position themselves in contrast to the restrictions of the Left.   There are plenty of other issues as well, but as they say, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step…


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  1. I'm an under 30 republican. It's an issue of morality, the younger generation lacks morality and Biblical grounding as a whole. The issue of abortion should be a MAJOR issue, but under 30 "Christians" don't care about it at all. They don't care about the constitution, or freedom of expression, they care about money and earthly pleasures…they don't care about serious issues.

    Obama probably would have won the under 30 vote in most churchs, which is alarming and distrurbing knowing what he believes and his stance on unborn life. Obama simply motivated the people that normally wouldn't have cared to vote..the minorities, the young people..people who normally aren't interested in politics he was able to reach due to his high tech online and media marketing…

     Their have been black candidates before-even good ones, but none of them had the money Obama did. This is a post racial society, but this was a racial election with 97 percent of minorities voting for Obama…they voted for him due to his race, not stance on issues.

  2. @yoyo,

    While you and I might agree on the issues, especially abortion, I don't know that I would boil it down to just more money and selfishness. I think young people took a greater interest in a greater variety of issues this year than before. And I think there was also more confusion about which issues were most valuable.

    If I understand Phil, I think the Republicans may have a window to brand themselves as the "progressive" party if the Democrats make the mistep of playing into some fears that they will move toward governmental control. 

    Personally, I think Obama gained a following by his affirmations of certain values (not always my values). he positively stated what he saw as the potential for change. I'm a Baptist, and we're often known more for what we're against than what we're for, which is kind of a branding issue. Republicans must make a shift to be affirmers of positive values.

  3. Whoooa – we need to be careful about making gross generalizations. That sort of logic is the foundation of racism, sexism and a lot of other "isms".

    I think the whole freedom issue is a good starting point. It frustrates me when governments "look after me" worse than I can look after myself.

    In Australia, the classic example is superannuation. We have 9% compulsory super, which works well for those who were going to spend that money on pizza and DVDs.

    However, in the current economic climate I'm paying fees to watch my super shrink! I'd much rather earn an effective return of 10% by reducing my mortgage.

    This is the downside of over regulation – it dumbs us down to the lowest common denominator and can actually create poverty.

    But then there are many more examples where too much freedom is like giving us enough rope to 'hang ourselves". So an intelligent debate is required – not an overly simplistic "see them from my window" debate. 




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