Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What now for the Party of Hope and Ideas?

"Hopefully, in the future, another crazy, independent child of a politician will also draw back the curtain on a journey that so few people get the chance to see up close, and not adhere to an image that is long overdue for change."

Megan McCain wrote these words in her latest blog entry, which remains her final post on The Blogette. The 24 year old was the
face of young Republicans for her father, Senator McCain's, campaign. Her blog chronicled the campaign through pictures, video, and stories (and of course a song of the day), showing McCain not as a seasoned politician, but a father and war hero.

Despite this attempt to connect with young people, Barack Obama overwhelmingly won the youth vote, 66% to McCain's 33%. Considering Bush's
approval rating is hovering around 27%, we can probably assume most American kids and teens, highly influenced by their parents and peers, probably don't hold the highest opinion of the current president either and will likely lean Democratic when they turn 18.

So what will become of the Republican Party? Where are all the Young Republicans? They are going online! A group of under 40 Republicans have built a site called Rebuild the Party in response to the lack of youth support in the Republican party and to the grassroots efforts of the Obama campaign that led to his victory.

"The time is now to set in motion the changes needed to rebuild our party from the grassroots up, modernize the way we run campaigns, and attract different, energetic, and younger candidates at all levels," the site says.

Rebuild the Party is attempting to start a dialogue with young Republicans, requesting their opinions and ideas through a Feedback Forum like this one: This tool allows you to submit ideas for the direction of the Republican National Committee and vote on the ideas others have posted. The suggestion currently in the lead? Reach Out to Ron Paul and the Campaign for Freedom.

"The younger generation is overwhelmingly turning away from the social conservative platform perpetuated by what they see as "old, grumpy, white guys" Instead they are turning by the thousands to people such as Ron Paul and his Campaign for Freedom to give them fresh perspective and a new outlook on the way a government should be run."

The Republican National Committee has also launched a new website that they are terming grassroots called Republican For a Reason. While the site is less of a conversation than Rebuild the Party, although it is yet to be fully developed, they have released this video. The video is meant to inspire young Republicans and remind them that the Republican Party is the Party of hope and the Party of ideas.

So where do you think the Republican Party will be in 4 years? 8 years? How did this video affect you?