Photo credit: Gage Skidmore
Millennials overwhelmingly favored Bernie Sanders’ campaign for president.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

We live in an absolutely absurd age. Wrong is right, right is wrong, boys are girls, girls are boys, facts are pointless, and emotion is king. Some of the biggest proponents of this age of absurdity are those making up my generation, the Millennials.

On the right, Millennials are commonly written off. The stereotypical Millennial is a left leaning, truth denying, promoter of absurdity; why bother with them? Many within the Republican Party and the conservative movement seem to think that it’s pointless to fight for Millennial support, and that if they want to join the party or faction, they will when they are older.

I would argue, and statistics like this back it up, that if we want to win elections and change American politics around, the voting bloc that is vital to reach is young people, college students-the Millennials. See, if Millennials are so effective in perpetuating these absurd ideas and untruths, just think of how effective they would be if they would go out and fight for conservative and Republican principles on the front lines! With such a huge generation at stake, we can no longer sit back and assume that they will join us later, because that is unlikely as long as the left continues to reach out. Thankfully, there are some things we can change or begin doing in order to reach Millennials.

Messaging

Messaging changes perception. It is the very reason why people view the left as representatives of youth and diversity, and the right as representative of the old and hateful. These stigmas are not true, but messaging has made people think this. Merriam-Webster defines message as ‘a piece of information that is sent or given to someone’. The right must learn how to present a  message of freedom and limited government in a way that effectively reaches a younger generation.

I believe that the conservative group Turning Point USA sets an amazing example of how to present a message so that it resonates with Millennials. Using pop culture references, amazing graphics, and the two catchy and caustic phrases ‘Big Government Sucks’ and ‘Socialism Sucks’, they have effectively reached this and even older generations across the country on hundreds of high school and college campuses. The right must take notes from TPUSA, because messaging makes or breaks outreach to Millennials.

Issues

Personally, I am firmly pro-life and believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. However, these are NOT the issues that the right should focus on when attempting to reach out to Millennials, because frankly, many of my generation firmly believe that all the Republican Party cares about are social issues. We have to start talking about the student loan problem, government overreach, the benefits of capitalism, the United States debt, removal of freedoms, and other similar issues. There are still many socially conservative Millennials like myself, but we have to start reaching out to those who are economically conservative and love freedom but are socially liberal/libertarian, and the way to do that is to start discussing the issues listed above.

Attitude

Finally, if the right wants to reach Millennials, the disdain and condescension shown toward the generation must stop. I truly think that one of the reasons why so many Millennials flock toward the left is because there they find people willing to listen to their ideas and act like they truly do matter to society. If we want Millennials to realize how wonderful conservative principles and freedom are, we can’t treat them like idiots. Separate those with the loudest voices and the dumbest choices from the rest of the generation.

I love conservatism, but as a Millennial, watching the right’s attempt at outreach to this generation can make me cringe. We have to change our message, the issues that are most discussed, and our attitude on the right if we want to effectively reach Millennials. They are the future, and we can’t change this country without them.

4 comments
  1. I constantly hear the claim “Republicans have to de-emphasize abortion to reach Millennials”. However, polls show that 18-29 year olds are actually more pro-life than their parents generation.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/126581/Generational-Differences-Abortion-Narrow.aspx

    Abortion seems to be the only issue where young people are trending conservative. Why de-empasize it? We certainly are not going to win converts by empasizing “tax cuts for the rich”.

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