Becoming the Alternative Option
There has been a lot of talk since the reelection of President Obama by the Republican Party of how to move forward and gain a footing with the youth vote. I’ve read many articles that are well written and pretty on point. I do, however, have a different perspective of what the youth want in a political party.
The toughest thing about getting the youth vote is knowing who they are. Some may say that we need to embrace their culture (i.e. music, movies, etc.) and others that we need to learn how to talk to them. That’s fine, and it may give us some traction in the war to see which party is less nerdy that we have with the Democrats (which Republicans lose consistently as well). However, I believe that we need to focus more on the mentality of the youth. Music and fads change with each generation but the mentality of a young adult does not. As an example, the style of music that’s popular with the youth today won’t be the same in 5 years. One thing that does remain constant is the lyrics.
I like to think of music as a vessel that can be used to understand what people are thinking and where their heart is. That doesn’t mean that you have to embrace the style they are listening to, it means you have to read the lyrics and understand what the music is saying. Time after time, young adults have listened to music about two things: love and a longing for independence. That’s what you grab onto and run with. A majority of young adults are worried about very few things in life, so why are we going to bombard them with politics? That’s how nerds lose elections.
The way to win the youth vote is by making our message appeal to them, it doesn’t mean changing our core principles to gain their allegiance. As conservatives we have the opportunity to promote ideas that liberals can’t. We can tell young Americans that we believe that the government should leave us the hell alone (an appeal to that yearning for independence) and that we aren’t mainstream (hipsters love that). Our message can be the essence of what punk rock, indie rock, rap, pop, and alternative music is all about. The essence that says we want to be the ones that make the decision, without someone always looking over our shoulder and choosing for us or telling what is right and wrong.
Take for example the Dead Kennedys’ “California Über Alles” a song from 1979 that is considered one of the best Punk Rock songs ever:
Zen fascists will control you
A hundred percent natural
You will jog for the master race
And always wear the happy face
Close your eyes, can’t happen here
Big Bro’ on white horse is near
The hippies won’t come back you say
Mellow out or you will pay
They are clearly talking about when the federal government has total control; it will use it to their advantage and not yours. We have a message that says the federal government is not necessary in all aspects of our lives. It should only serve a limited purpose.
We all understand that some government is needed in order for society to function properly. It is necessary for us to have laws and some regulation. We must have laws against murder and corruption to maintain a balance in society. What we don’t need, is a government constantly picking at us and deciding what is best for us. That message plays extremely well with the youth.
It’s an uphill battle, because the Democrats figured out how to appeal to the youth… somewhat. They think they have that demographic locked up, but it’s nothing but surface politics. They are all brawn and no brain. They appeal to the simplistic idea of what the youth want in a political party, but fall very short of all their promises when they gain that power. What we have to do is appeal to the heart AND the mind of the next generation. You do this by making the message conform to them. Not changing the message for them. Those are two completely different things. You can sell out on principle, win an election, and be a loser regardless or you can be true to yourself, use proper messaging, and win a generation.
Let’s stop trying to play the short game by appealing to the here and now. Let’s appeal to the foundation of every generation of youth that has come before and will come after. Let’s be the party of rebellion and move away from the mainstream. For too long, the left has made us look like boring jackasses and we’ve let them because of our twisted desire to be prude.
We shouldn’t waste our time and energy on outrage of what they say about us, it only makes us look more petty and old. Let’s not be worried about offending a few people in the process and if we say something stupid, own it. The left and their lapdog media are going to beat us up, so we’re going to need to take it in stride and with humor. Rebels don’t wallow in self-pity. Rebels fight for what they believe is right and don’t mind getting beat up in the process. It’s time to show the youth that conservatives are the real trailblazers and that liberals are the ones who believe in stale ideas reliant on government assistance.