NASHVILLE, August 13, 2015– It is often said that the GOP has a millennial problem. Take Nashville for example. Vibrant, young, savvy, hip, fresh, cultured, growing, etc. are all words that come to mind when discussing Music City. Nashville’s Republican Party is quite literally the antithesis of Nashville. A quick visit to the stale Davidson County (Nashville) GOP headquarters certainly warrants the claim that the GOP is out of sync with millennials.
I spent the better part of last Summer running Republican campaigns for a State Senate and State House seat with districts found inside of Nashville city limits. We spent countless hours on streets which housed families that had never even met a Republican candidate. The Nashville GOP was virtually absent. Even today, on social media, the party is no where to be found. Since last winter, the Nashville GOP has posted less than 10 times on Facebook. Meanwhile, the Nashville Democratic Party is on Facebook advertising their grassroots movement to push a far-left, liberal mayoral candidate to defeat a far more sensible moderate. Nowhere to be found, with no organization and virtually zero digital presence, the party might as well not exist. I suppose it’s because they have simply given up.
Is the GOP’s millennial problem a self-inflicted wound, or does the GOP even have a millennial problem?
Establishment talking heads contend that for the GOP to win millennials, the party must “moderate”. Wrong. In fact, to win us over, no need to moderate exists.
To win millennials, the GOP need only stick to its roots of true small government principles. At the core of every young person, you will find someone who values privacy and liberty.
If the GOP wants to talk about cutting welfare, good for them. They can start with corporate welfare first. True small government doesn’t pick winners and losers in a market that is supposedly free. Speaking of picking the winners and losers, quit targeting job-creating companies like Lyft, Uber, AirBnB, and others that we use every single day to improve our lives because their competitors have better lobbyists. Oh, you’re targeting these companies because they aren’t regulated, which could be unsafe? Does that mean you also support President Obama’s EPA regulations? A little ideological consistency would behoove the party.
Speaking of welfare, if the GOP actually wants to build roads with youth and minorities, they should recall that true small government doesn’t damn generations of youth and minorities, making them forever wards of the welfare state, through the criminal ‘in’justice system. Want fewer people on welfare? Take a lesson from Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and team up in a bipartisan effort to reform the criminal justice system. How can we call ourselves Christians if we are not going to allow our fellow citizens the opportunity to redeem themselves and become productive members of society? Oh, by the way, Paul performs better with millennials than any other GOP presidential candidate. Something worth noting.
Speaking of our faith, true small government doesn’t stalk you in your bedroom. Of course, we have an innate need and responsibility to share our values. But we must ask ourselves if the heavy hand of government force is the proper vehicle to deliver our values. Is government to be limited, or limitless (like our values)? Government is not the solution for a world devoid of values. If it is, we have made government, a false idol, our God and Church.
Although we are in our mid-twenties, our parents still try to control our lives, and it often drives us nuts. If we don’t want our own parents dictating our lives, why would we want politicians dictating them? NEWSFLASH: We don’t.
You see, the GOP doesn’t have a millennial problem. The GOP has a problem actually being the ideologically consistent party of small government. If the party were to be ideologically consistent, do a little re-marketing and actually hit the pavement in neighborhoods they have refused to acknowledge even exist, Hillary Clinton and Nashville mayoral candidate Megan Barry, Clinton’s protege, wouldn’t stand a chance at the polls.