A Day in the Life of a College Republican
A Day in the Life of a College Republican
Every conservative young person faces the most trying years of there life in one place: college. The truth is, when you are surrounded by students and professors that have a liberal agenda woven fluently into their everyday speech, it becomes hard to wean out any sort of truth. And it also doesn’t help that you feel like the only person alive who believes its okay to kill a deer and not okay to kill your unborn child. When you see a large group of students on the lawn “occupying” your campus it’s easy to think, “should I be doing that too?”…. and then you realize that they’re holding Starbucks cups (down with big corporations?) and obviously don’t really know what they’re talking about.
Of course, I am generalizing. I did, a couple weeks ago, spot a Rubio water bottle on one of my classmate’s desks, which made me feel a bit better about my fellow History majors. But historically, young people have barely turned out to vote and when they do, they usually identify as liberal. Obama certainly capitalized on the youth vote, winning 60% against Romney and an even greater percentage in 2008. Just take a look at this video of conservative comedian Steven Crowder interviewing college students that, as a lover of United States history, makes me want to cry:
Why is this? Why is college the time when people disregard their middle-class upbringings supported by their right-wing parents and decide that Birkenstocks are okay and that war “doesn’t fix anything”? While it is true that many factors influence student’s liberal tendencies (many are not yet finically independent for example) the fault also lies with the members of the Republican Party who have, in many cases given up on cultivating the youth vote, a vote that the Democratic Party capitalizes on. The Democratic Party has made it easy and cool for young people to be liberal while the Republican Party has made complicated and stigmatized for young people to be conservative.
First, Democrats make an effort to simplify issues. Complicated issues of domestic and international politics are hard to understand. Complicated questions require complicated answers and most college students don’t want to hear complicated answers. So democrats provide them with easy ones. For example, surrounding the issue of immigration, it is easy for democrats to present one side of the issue (usually a testimonial) and claim it reflects its complexity. The greatest example of this is the Obama’s executive order known as the DREAM Act. It is extremely hard to argue against a law that seems to let people achieve the American dream, that is, after all, ultimately what we want for our country (and you can hardly imagine a button that reads “Down with the DREAM Act”). But the way supporters of Obama’s actions argue emphasizes the individual and claims they represent everything (and everyone) the DREAM Act effects. Take this editorial:
“Last year, I met Maria (not her real name). She was her high school senior class president and is now enrolled at the University of Washington. I know Guadalupe, who had no government loans and recently graduated from Gonzaga University. Just last month Jose was in the office. He completed his architecture degree at Washington State University — again, without a nickel of government help.”
You can read the rest here.
So basically, if you don’t support Obama’s DREAM Act you hate Maria, Guadalupe and Jose. Look at all the opportunities the DREAM Act provided them! But notice the flaws in his argument. “Without a nickel of government help”? I’m sorry. I guess Jose has never been to the DMV or a public school. What these arguments ignore is the effect that undocumented immigrants as a whole have on society. I’m not saying that they are lazy. I’m not saying they don’t love America. I’m saying they exist and they affect society. Not to mention, students can ALREADY go to college in most states if they are illegal (the DREAM act did not effect that). Democrats make it impossible to discuss real issues because they paint over the complexities with interesting and emotional stories. They make it simple. And college students love simple.
Not only is it easy for young people to identify as liberal, it is also cool while being a young Republican identifies you as close minded. This is because of continuous media coverage of Republican politicians making remarks that brand them either racist or sexist in the public eye. Staying with the theme of immigration, Jeb Bush calling saying immigrants are “more fertile” caused quite a flurry of media attention. To young people, who don’t care to educate themselves on the issue Bush was responding to, the media’s portrayal of this remark meant one thing: Another white, republican man who is a racist and, on top of it, is making comments about fertility. But if they would pause and think, Bush’s comment was actually in support of comprehensive immigration reform that would ease the burden of the federal deficit by allowing more young immigrants into the workforce to support entitlement programs. But it’s much easier to say he’s just a racist, isn’t it? The continuous picture of Republicans as old, racist, white men makes it harder for the young republican to find a leg to stand on.
The truth is, I actually think Republicans would have the support of young people if they would give it a good try. All it takes is being more precise with their word choice and starting to use the Internet a little more. I believe college students and young voters are completely able to understand that the Republican Party is the compassionate and common-sense party that will protect their money and individual rights. In the end, defending the right-wing point of view for college students (and young people in general) might become a whole lot easier.