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The GOP Has a Youth Problem and It's Costing Them

(Leah Hogsten/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP, Pool)

Since I entered into the socio-political commentary game, one thing I’ve constantly heard from “experts” and Twitter commenters is that the youth, while energetic, is largely unimportant in the grand scheme of politics. While they’re loud and active, what they don’t do is take the time to go vote.

This was, for a time, largely true. The likelihood of college student-aged adults who actually got out and voted was lower than all other age groups, almost to the point of insignificance.

But the way the right viewed the youth never sat well with me. It always felt like playing with fire, and a sudden shift in the wind could set everything ablaze if the GOP wasn’t careful. All it would take is an advancement of technology that makes voting easier for the GOP to suddenly find themselves facing down a tsunami of youth votes. Or, the left could somehow find a way to finally make the youth see how important voting is and the political landscape would shift, even in areas once thought safe for Republicans.

And wouldn’t you know it, the latter happened.

As Ben Kew reported on Wednesday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court flipped blue after an extremist Democrat beat her conservative opponent, marking the end of an era of Republican control in the state. Justice Janet Protasiewicz will now spend the next 10 years in a swing state’s Supreme Court.

As RedState’s Scott Presler wrote in March, the timing of this is awful because now an election integrity issue has arisen and Wisconsin’s current voter ID Law is going to be struck down by the court:

If we do not elect Justice Daniel Kelly on April 4th, the newly flipped liberal Court will strike down Wisconsin’s current voter ID law. Additionally, proof of residency – which is required to register to vote – will be nullified. Furthermore, unmanned drop boxes, which were deemed illegal by the current conservative Court, will become legal. There will be drop boxes on every street corner in Madison and Milwaukee.

While everyone is loudly debating President Trump versus Governor DeSantis, they should be prioritizing this Wisconsin Supreme Court election. The White House runs through Wisconsin. If liberals flip the Court, it will be that much more difficult to win the White House in 2024. Therefore, it would behoove any conservatives with intentions of making Joe Biden a one-term president to support Justice Daniel Kelly.

Former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker looked into the data and saw that the Wisconsin youth had taken a pretty big interest in state politics as of late and posted it to Twitter along with a warning.

“Younger voters may be the behind the stinging loss for conservatives in WI this week. In Nov, 18- to 29-year-old voters in WI went with the radical candidate by 40 points. Digital ads. Student coalitions. None of these will do it. We have to undo years of liberal indoctrination.”

He’s not wrong. The GOP isn’t exciting the youth and it’s showing in various states.

Organizations like TPUSA and YAF are great and absolutely do excite young conservatives, but as Walker points out, the problem goes deeper. It’s a cultural issue. Organizations like TPUSA aren’t going to turn the tide by themselves.

The issue is rooted much deeper in our culture.

When you’re young, you’re far more susceptible to leftist indoctrination, and not just due to ignorance. Youth is attracted to dynamism. Leftism always couches itself in terms of revolutionary thought, equality, and acceptance. They not only make themselves look like the good guys, but they make themselves look like brave freedom fighters when they do.

Moreover, they always frame the GOP as being backward, old, corrupt, and bigoted.

Present this to a person who doesn’t know any better and lacks the necessary experience to understand a lie when they see one and boom, you’ve got yourself an ally. Perhaps even worse, you’ve got yourself an activist.

The fact is, the American way is the revolutionary and dynamic idea. It is the defiance of the natural order of humanity to submit to authority. It is the continued quest for equity. It’s the idea that an individual can be whatever they want if they work for it. It’s the continued rebellion against authoritative people and organizations.

The GOP doesn’t know how to communicate this fact because it just assumes everyone already understands that, but they don’t, and that especially includes the youth. The GOP hasn’t really tried to speak to the youth until relatively recently, and due to this, it is decades behind the left.

It’s imperative that the GOP take the youth seriously. No more dismissing them as unimportant. It must learn how to talk with them, not at them. It also has to learn how to listen to them. If it doesn’t, then the Democrat Party will overrun state after state as it learns to galvanize and weaponize the youth.

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