GOP: Grumpy Old People Compassion, compromise needed to capture youth vote

By Shay Castle
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The “Great Recession” is the GOP’s ‘golden opportunity.’
Not the opportunity to bash and blame the president for every ill from hurricanes to the housing market collapse.
We’re talking the opportunity to capture the most available, most potentially potent, and most under-courted group of voters out there; the youth.
Between 22 and 24 million Americans ages 18-29 turned out for the historic election of 2008, representing over 50 percent of eligible voters in that demographic. This was the second best turn-out for that group since the voting age was lowered to 18 in 1972.
The Republican line-up might not have a candidate as exciting and ground-breaking as Obama, but they do have one thing that Barack didn’t; a distraction.
Right now, it’s all economy, all the time. Social issues have taken a backseat to fiscal ones, and the candidates are capitalizing on this.
But not as they should be.
The Republicans are sticking to their guns on environmental and social issues, turning away many potential young voters. The crowds at recent straw polls aren’t helping the candidate’s images, either.
Booing a homosexual solider who is currently serving in Iraq isn’t going to stir up voter sympathy among the generation most sympathetic to gay rights. Cheering about the death of a man without health insurance is not a good rallying cry when 20 percent of young Americans are un-insured. And while abolishing the EPA might sound good to Grandpa, our generation places a higher value on protecting the world we live in.
We as a generation are concerned about the economy, but not at the cost of human rights and environmental integrity. We want candidates who are socially progressive and fiscally responsible.
Now is the perfect time for the GOP to shift ever-so-slightly towards the compassionate, reasonable middle ground. The grass is greener when you have the support of America’s youth standing with you.