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On Monday, the RNC released a 100 page “autopsy” on the 2012 election. Despite the fact that hardly anyone, especially young people, are going to actually sit down and read a 100 page document about the Republican Party, it appears that the RNC is beginning to understand some of the problems it faces.
It is encouraging to hear RNC Chair Reince Priebus state that the GOP is “totally on board with Rand Paul.” Rand, of course, is a very popular leader in the GOP, especially among the youth. The 100 page “autopsy” also recognizes the need to reach out to other demographics including women and minorities. This is certainly true; however, the solutions stated in the RNC report are not going to bring about the desperately needed fresh blood the GOP is looking for.
Solutions from the RNC “autopsy” on reaching out to the youth:
Liberty is fun; it’s a sexy message. That’s why tens of thousands of students across the country join Young Americans for Liberty and Students for Liberty and work tirelessly to promote liberty on their college campuses. On the other hand, if you are having quarterly meetings with RNC Chair Reince Priebus- you’re doing it wrong. That sounds like punishment.
One of the recommendations is to create a "Celebrity Taskforce." Creating such a thing will do nothing but get you trolled on the shows you want to be part of, like Colbert. I find it hard to believe a popular celebrity will want to be on an “RNC Celebrity Taskforce.” If that doesn’t sound like a top-down bland approach to attract young people, I’m not sure what does. Vince Vaughn is a popular celebrity, and he was influenced toward libertarianism because of ideas, like ending the Fed, not being part of the RNC. Ideas will win out over stale party brands every day.
Furthermore, most “Republican Leaders” are the problem. When Speaker Boehner removed popular Republicans like Representatives Amash and Schweikert from their committees, it infuriated young libertarians who are trying to change the GOP for the better. That’s exactly what “Republican Leaders” shouldn’t do. To make sure this doesn’t happen in the future, the GOP needs to embrace the libertarian leaning Republicans like Amash, Massie, Schweikert, Paul, and others and allow them to become the leaders that they are.
FreedomWorks understands that changing the GOP will come from fresh ideas outside of the party and having a larger impact in the cultural space. That is why we held a Spring Break Youth Summit on March 9th - 12th. Over 70 students from more than 30 states gathered in Washington DC for the weekend to attend the very first FreedomWorks event of its kind. Instead of lecturing to the students about the Republican Party, the RNC, or divisive social issues; participants talked about ideas, culture and how we can influence young people who are not yet part of our movement. Messaging and reaching out to the un-tapped youth who are politically homeless is key to winning the future. It was a learning experience from both sides of the aisle.
If the RNC wants to reach out to women, minorities, and the youth, they need to make it less about being a Republican or part of the RNC, and more about ideas. Ideas are what inspire people, hint-hint- Ron Paul. When young people are empowered and energized by ideas, they'll run for office or become part of this movement at some level. The RNC and the GOP are not going to change by themselves, we need to actively work to restore the values and ideas that once were the guiding princples of our party: Individual Liberty and Limited Government.