Friday, March 01, 2013

Republicans Going For Image Makeover?

By Taryn

The 2012 election sure taught the Republican Party a lot. Lessons such as learning that voter suppression doesn't work (because even the Democratic party is full of awesome patriots) the demographics of the country are really changing (unlike that crazy hippie myth known as global warming), and that the Republican Party needs a serious generation makeover. In other words in terms of the Millennial vote, the Republicans got there butts kicked by the Democrats faster than Lindsey Graham could scream "YOLO!" The GOP finally realized that Mitt Romney was not the hip and swagful candidate that they thought he was. In other words they've got their work cut out for them.

As I was meandering through the Santa Barbara Independent website looking for blog post ideas I came across an article entitled, "SB County Republican Party Embraces Youth, Appoints Four College Students to Committee." Now that caught my eye. I have heard the reports of the GOP trying revamp their image from old white guys fighting over taxes and trying to fight gay marriage until their dentures fall out. Now they want to paint a picture of young(ish) adults fighting over taxes and trying to fight gay marriage, but instead of the Senate being a backdrop, this new GOP (which I like to call the GOP 2.0) will be featured at a frat house and debating over beer pong. I knew about this idea for the GOP 2.0, I just never thought that it would actually happen, until now. The notion that GOP 2.0 plan may already be playing out occurred to me as I read the article.

To summarize the Independent article, back in January the Central Committee voted four local college students into its ranks. Members of the Committee believe that college students are the ideal representatives to help the party modernize it's image. The way that I interpret this is that the Committee is trying to bring conservatism back. They're trying to make being a Republican "cool" again.

This concerns me. If a political party has to put on whole campaigns and image makeovers to attract a younger, more influential base, then I don't think that they really are creating "change." It is basically a mask that they are putting on. The GOP is trying to encourage young people to come and join their party by trying to seem cool and current. I really don't think that the GOP 2.0 plan is going to turn out how they think that it will. Not unless they are willing to change their whole view on a lot of issues, such as gay marriage, abortion, and immigration, I highly doubt that this will happen. If it were to happen I think that John Boehner may throw a fit, and FOX News may just explode from the mixed signals that they would be getting. I could be wrong, and I'm willing to take that risk. However, I wouldn't be drawing up Urban Outfitters t-shirt designs with the the phrase "I live to drink and filibuster. YOLO!" quite so soon. I also wouldn't start planning any beer pong fundraisers for the Marco Rubio 2016 campaign.

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