GOP Needs More Meghan McCains

Party forgetting youth

Meghan McCain, the great GOP hope.

BY Marko Knezic

When it comes to the political spectrum, I sit as far left as one can before falling off into communist territory. But it hasn’t always been that way. I was a card-carrying, registered member of the Republican Party from 2002 to about 2004. Over those years I slowly grew tired of the same old conservative rhetoric. Everything seemed to be in black and white, regardless of the circumstances. And as every “Star Wars” fan knows, “Only the Sith deal in absolutes.”

The Republicans’ staunch stances on issues with minimal willingness to compromise was the first domino to fall in a set of circumstances that pushed me to the far left of the political spectrum and at this point the best word that I would use to describe my feeling towards the GOP: disdain.

Is there any hope for the GOP to gain back swing voters if even an ex-republican wants nothing to do with them? In a word, yes.

The Republicans should recapture some seats in congress in the upcoming midterm elections thanks to a slacking economy and failed attempts by Democrats to pass meaningful healthcare legislation. However if they want any chance to win the White House in the next presidential election they will need to win over a piece of a key Obama demographic: the youth vote.

In order to capture the youth vote republicans need to abandon their focus on the Tea Party movement and invest in a fresh-faced republican who appeals to young people. For example, Meghan McCain.

The latest conservative attempt to rally support for their collective goals is the Tea Party movement. Yawn. The Tea Party movement lacks anything new or progressive. It carries the same old rhetoric and agenda as the current Republican Party: fewer taxes, more guns, smaller government.  If the republicans hope to win back the White House, they cannot count on a movement that does nothing but cement the current stances of the party. Instead of gaining new supporters, they are splitting their party in two. They also decided to put a large amount of stock in Sarah Palin. That is a large mistake. When Palin gave the keynote speech at the Tea Party convention on February 4, she ridiculed Obama for being a “professor of law” and “lecturing crowds” and reading all of his speeches from a teleprompter. In contrast, Palin thought it would be more appropriate to jot notes on the palm of her hand in marker to remember key points. That hardly qualifies for change that I want to believe in. Also, could someone please tell me why it is bad have an intellectual as the president? Why would we want somebody that is not smarter than “Joe Six-pack” running our country?

Young people are attracted to Obama because he has a sense of sincerity. He is believable. In addition to Palin, the Tea Party movement chooses to focus more on propaganda spouting talking heads like Glenn Beck rather than someone that will be straight forward. When speaking at the CPAC conference on February 18, Beck complained about taxes and then claimed that he educates himself on issues by reading about them in books from the public library. Sigh. Where does he think the money comes to fund that public library? These tactics are not going to gain the support of young voters. Neither will referring to members of the party as “tea baggers” as Tea Party members often do.

The Republicans need a fresh face with fresh ideas if they want to cut into a percentage of the youth vote during the next presidential election. Enter: Meghan McCain. McCain is the daughter of Arizona Senator John McCain. McCain is a fiscal conservative that leans left on social issues. She is young (26), smart (Columbia Graduate), attractive, relatable to young people, and is not a slave to conservative rhetoric. The fact that she has the ability to analyze each situation and weigh in on issues accordingly makes her believable. For example, when asked to comment on Tom Tancredo’s Tea Party convention speech in which he said, people "who could not spell the word vote or say it in English" elected a "committed socialist ideologue" because the country does not require a "civics literacy test."            (Much to my disgust, this line was delivered to thunderous applause)   

McCain answered, “It's innate racism, and I think it's why young people are turned off by this movement," McCain said. "And I'm sorry -- revolutions start with young people, not with 65-year-old people talking about literacy tests and people who can't say the word vote in English." 

Ah! Now that’s refreshing! Not only is that an educated response but it’s also candid, a quality that is desperately lacking with most the majority of conservative politicians. Perhaps more importantly for the GOP, it shows that McCain already realizes that the GOP needs to earn the youth vote if they want to compete with Obama in the next election.

If the Republicans appoint McCain as the ambassador to America’s youth, she has the potential to lead them right into the Oval Office, and I may be inclined to follow.


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