Monday, August 13, 2007

Dinosaurs vs the Party of Young People

I usually don’t read David Brooks, but decided to scan his column, The Straw Poll Man, because I was curious about his views on Mitt Romney. Although written as a critique of Romney’s seemingly superficial, ideologically-driven campaign, it’s really Brooks’ way of touting Romney’s competence (even though Romney has shown little of it during his campaign so far!)

What got my attention, however, was this section:
This electorate has changed, even in the past 10 years. As a study by Fabrizio, McLaughlin and Associates demonstrates, Republicans are more conservative than even a decade ago. Seventy-one percent are self-declared conservatives, compared to 55 percent in 1997. Republicans are much older. Forty-one percent of Republicans are over 55, compared to 28 percent a decade ago.
This reminded me that I promised to expand on the theme of Howard Dean’s keynote speech at Yearly Kos, where he forcefully asserted that “Every election is about young people!”

You can watch the highlights of his speech above, but I’ll add one more thing that was a highlight for me: Dean’s contention that if young people vote Democratic in their first two or three election cycles, it is highly likely that they will vote Democratic for the rest of their lives.

This is why the Democrats need to make it crystal clear that they are the party that promotes policies intended to benefit future generations as well as the current generation in power.

The Republicans are, increasingly, becoming the party of old people who are willing to sacrifice future generations in order to hang on to their own wealth.

Instead of being the party of fiscal restraint, the Republicans are now the party of cutting taxes while running up huge deficits and ignoring infrastructure.

Instead of being the party of building a better future for young Americans, the Republicans are now the party of using fear of terrorists, immigrants, and gays to justify a reduction of civil rights, and the looting of the public coffers by other Republicans.

This is why the Republican party is slowly dying off like a dinosaur (albeit a very wealthy, corrupt dinosaur!), as young people are moving predominantly in a Democratic direction.

With the exception, I guess, of the only young demographic apparently still finding a home in the Republican party - rapists and closeted homosexual sex offenders!

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