Jun 7, 2013

College GOP: Wrong medium, wrong message, wrong messenger; But we can move the around the Titanic's deck chairs!

This week the College Republicans (CRNC) released a report regarding the failures in persuading voters under the age of 30, and possible remedies. Regards to the medium, College Republicans after 6 focus groups around the nation of attainable voters, that social media should be top priority in reaching younger voters but the issue that is ignored that social media is easily challenged so that creating a new meme like a chain letter that can be debunked by the crowd of friends. Unlike traditional media broadcasting the message that can never be refuted, social media is made to be interacted and if dubious will be called out on. So assuming that the right's agenda will be accepted if only there some very share-able picture associated with it, fails to accept the inherent counter-authoritarian nature of the Internet. Traditionalists believe that traditional authority whether "well breed" aristocrats, successful businessmen, or church leaders, should always be deferential to the authority. The culture of the Internet is in dire opposition to this supplication, due to anonymity and pseudo-meritocracy that exists on the Internet, and any self proclaimed authority is constantly challenged (best scenario) or demeaned (worst and most frequent scenario). So how the College Republicans hope to persuade netizens and young voters to capitulate to corporate or religious authority is not just implausible but impossible.

The College Republicans (CRNC) discovered the typical under-30 voter strongly objects to the conservative's social views, and wants public policy to make their day-to-day life easier. From both the survey and multiple focus groups the conclusion drawn is that if the Republican party avoids social issues and focus on positive solution based policy these voters could be won. The report also acknowledges "perhaps most troubling for Republicans is the finding from the March 2013 CRNC survey that showed 54% of young voters saying 'taxes should go up on the wealthy,' versus 31% who say 'taxes should be cut for everyone'.” While taking as a silver lining, the same survey showed young voters are resistant to more government spending; what type of spending are these voters opposed to is omitted from the CRNC's report. So it would be difficult for Republicans to persuade this segment of voters to only cut government spending that do not help big business given the opinion of the general electorate is mistrust of both Big Business and the Big Government that according to "one respondent in {the report's} Orlando group of young Latino voters noted, people in the higher tax brackets “have a lot of tax breaks and loopholes” that allow them to avoid “paying their share” and can be inferred that Big Government that is not confrontational towards Big Business will be perceived as in collusion with Big Business. Within the report it states that 93% of survey respondents agreed with the following statement "We need leaders who aren't afraid to fight existing interests like big companies or big unions in order to reform outdated and unsustainable programs." The conclusion of the report is moderate the message to associate all business with that of small business and keep social issues to the minimum.

As far as who should be delivering this message, the report concluded with the following:
To shed the brand of being old-fashioned, the GOP need not just find young candidates who can make pop culture references with ease. Instead, candidates need to be able to show that they understand the problems young people face when it comes to economic opportunity and have a plan to break down the barriers that are standing in their way
The most significant aspect about this conclusion is that through CRNC's own focus groups attributed their perception that the GOP was considered old and old-fashioned because of their policies and stated values and not their relate-ability nor understanding the problems they faced. Republicans' solutions and public policies is contrary to what these young allegedly "attainable" voters state within focus groups and the March 2013 survey. That the advice for GOP candidates to accentuate "caring" aspect of an economic program and how it would help the downtrodden; also that the party doesn't believe itself to be "the leave me alone" party. I have some bad news to the authors of this report, the Republican Party is "the leave me alone" party that doesn't want to change their ways just to win over votes from "the other". The report's solution to how celebrity-centric and seemingly cool President Obama is with Sara Jessica Parker inviting people over for a fundraiser and the President posting a picture of himself drinking a beer in a college dive bar that spread like wildfire across social media is to advertise towards the audience of Family Guy reruns. The focus groups participants responded to question of the most prominent Democratic leaders being former and current Democratic elected officials, while Republican leaders were listed of the media stars like Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and Family Guy guest star Rush Limbaugh. If the starting point that CRNC acknowledges is that the wrong medium is being used to deliver the wrong message being delivered by the wrong messenger but there is no need to admit the policies and values of the Republican party need to be adjusted, just how and who delivers the message can be fixed to lead the party back into salvation of successful general elections.

My advice to my own Democratic party, challenge every entrenched interest and upend the status quo where ever it benefits the individual employee or student and every small business owner. Opposition to those that have already made it economically who will use any and all of their machinations to disparage this, but the electorate will recognize and reward the effort made and being the gladiator for the little guy against the behemoth of the powerful speaks to a truly American trope that is as old as ragamuffins of Lexington and Concord taking on and winning against the most powerful military the world has ever known the British Empire.



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