Young liberals of the world, what's your problem with the GOP's most conservative factions? Is it the determination to deny women the right to manage their own bodies? Perhaps it's the staunch anti-gay propaganda? No, no. It's that all those old guys just aren't funny enough. Unlike Obama, who is basically the Steve Martin of presidency, with his laugh-a-minute speeches on the IRS and knee-slapper interviews on NSA security scandals (although, to be fair, Joe Biden actually is the Steve Martin of presidency).
At yesterday's Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference in D.C., conservatives met to discuss a variety of things, namely, how to market the GOP brand to Millennial voters. The party is in a bit of a crisis, and have basically been hemorrhaging young voters year after year, due in large part to Millennials' heavily liberal social leanings and reluctance to associate even indirectly with conservative rhetoric on those issues (even if they would otherwise vote more conservatively). And since Girls doesn't air commercials, it seems the GOP is going for the next best thing and attempting to harness social media virality.
It's common knowledge that in the 2012 election, the Romney campaign did very little investing in digital media, compared to what was arguably the driving force of Obama's campaign. In retrospect, most Republicans seem to agree that that can't happen again, so it's no surprise the party is looking for the right way to position what many people view as an aging and backwards-thinking viewpoint on a decidedly youthful platform. This doesn't mean changing party lines, only repackaging them in a way that — it must be said — feels liberal. Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life explains: “You can engage with sarcasm —it’s hard with the abortion issue, but you have to. Unfortunately, we have to, because this is the generation that we’ve been dealt.” (Hard? What do you mean hard? Abortion is obviously hilarious!) According to further analysis presented at the conference by the College Republican National Committee, Republicans need to learn to talk about their issues in a smarter, even snarkier, way (though some panelists did recommend that the GOP also give up the crusade against gay marriage).
As this New York Times article makes quite clear, the GOP brand strategy has become a laughing matter among many young people, conservative and liberal alike — but the problem is, people are laughing at them, not with them, and we all know that's the wrong kind of funny. Politics aside, observation has led us to believe that social issues are top priority for many Millennials, and — like the party itself — they're not willing to compromise, no matter how good the stand-up is. What do you think? Is it simply a matter of repositioning conservative values as smart, funny, and fresh? Or does the divide run deeper than that? (Salon)
Photo: Courtesy of The Republican Party.