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Young Republicans Steering GOP Toward Social Progress, Slowly And Only Sometimes

BabyelephantThe New York Times today offers another look at how young Republicans are slowly but surely pulling the GOP away from the social issues that have for so long defined the party:

In a break from generations past and with an eye toward the future, many of the youngest leaders of the Republican Party are embracing views on some social issues that are at odds with traditional conservative ideology — if they mention such issues at all, according to interviews, experts and some polling.

What has become the norm, some experts say, is for young Republicans to take a cafeteria-style approach to issues that are important to them. And some established leaders see that as a boon to their party.

“My theory is that, just as young people don’t have to buy a whole album on iTunes and can pick and choose just the songs they like, they can customize their political views — and they do,” said Kristen Soltis, a Republican pollster who is the communications adviser to Crossroads Generation, a new pro-Romney “super PAC” aimed at young voters.

Crossroads Generation is one of long-time Republican strategist Karl Rove's shadowy projects.

The article goes on to note, as many have, that the Republican Party must evolve to the changing times or go the way of the dodo.  John Della Volpe, polling director at the Harvard Institute of Politics, told journalist Susan Saulny, "There has to be room for [young, pro-choice, pro-equality Republicans] or the Republican Party won’t exist, at the pace this generation is evolving."

Not all young Republicans are catching up with the times, however. Many, like North Carolina-based Eddie Souther, still oppose abortion and marriage equality; they just don't talk about it for fear of losing traction.

"I’m not for gay marriage or abortion," he said. "But those are not issues that we feel are going to be moved or dramatically changed in any way." Not with that attitude.

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Comments

  1. Once upon a time, within this writer's lifetime, there were such animals as Liberal Republicans and Conservative Democrats. It sounds like their ilk may be rising again.

    "What has become the norm, some experts say, is for young Republicans to take a cafeteria-style approach to issues that are important to them."

    This sounds to me like too many American Catholics in response to the Vatican. I can only hope that the Republicans will take their apparent diversity seriously.

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Aug 9, 2012 9:05:11 AM


  2. Once upon a time, within this writer's lifetime, there were such animals as Liberal Republicans and Conservative Democrats. It sounds like their ilk may be rising again.

    "What has become the norm, some experts say, is for young Republicans to take a cafeteria-style approach to issues that are important to them."

    This sounds to me like too many American Catholics in response to the Vatican. I can only hope that the Republicans will take their apparent diversity seriously.

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Aug 9, 2012 9:05:12 AM


  3. It's funny how I can tell when it's an AB day just by the headline. If I fall asleep halfway through reading the headline, it's an AB day. If the story is a mile long, it's a BTK day. Sigh...

    Posted by: AJ | Aug 9, 2012 9:12:04 AM


  4. Every little bit helps I guess

    Posted by: GeorgeM | Aug 9, 2012 9:16:15 AM


  5. OMG, baby elephant!

    Posted by: CHAD | Aug 9, 2012 9:17:38 AM


  6. "...at the pace this generation is evolving."

    They actually mean:

    "...at the pace the old guard is dying."

    Posted by: johnny | Aug 9, 2012 9:21:33 AM


  7. Eh, The GOP doesn't really count as a real party until they have a real commitment to the American people. They can only show this by being consistent and reasonable. They need to keep those crazies they let in to the party down and they need to find better ways of making crazy profit for companies.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Aug 9, 2012 9:23:55 AM


  8. what wonderful news! a few republicans have chosen to be passive on gay issues, as opposed to virulently bigoted, and yet haven't yet learned to be intellectually honest about the GOP's fiscal stances, and historically prejudicial attempts to win votes.


    yay! congrats, young republicans! you're on your way to one day passing for merely mediocre!

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Aug 9, 2012 10:03:22 AM


  9. AJ - got that right, BTK is verbose, AB is boring... perfect pitch belongs to AT alone.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Aug 9, 2012 10:09:25 AM


  10. Unfortunately, idealistic young people have always existed and have somehow always evolved to become entrenched in the two party system. Why? Because as they get older, they become more and more self-interested and less socially conscious. Nearly all my friends used to self-describe as moderates, independents, libertarians, etc. Now, almost all are simply republican or democrat (or, more often, conservative or liberal). And for every new liberal republican, you have a new conservative democrat. Honestly, we just need to focus our energy on fighting for gay rights as federal civil rights and skip the political efforts.

    Posted by: Stefan | Aug 9, 2012 10:13:30 AM


  11. Eh, if it helps in the long run go for it. I, however, will still be voting Independent for awhile until both parties pull their heads out of their collective keisters.

    Posted by: JohnAGJ | Aug 9, 2012 10:39:17 AM


  12. Hey, Republican conservatives! You don't have to put up with this milksoppy, "let's all get along" watered-down so-called Republicanism! Keep those divisive social issues alive, and vote the Constitution Party--it's on the ballot in 40 states. Why should you support that flip-flopping weathervane Mitt Romney, when you deserve a REAL conservative--one that will outlaw all abortion and any sorts of gay rights, give everyone free semi-automatic weapons (even felons and the mentally ill!), rape the environment to line their own pocket, cut their own taxes at the expense of 90% of Americans, and then go on TV and make pious proclamations about "the Lord's Will"?

    Make a statement! Give your vote to the Constitution Party!! And tell all your conservative friends to vote with you!

    (This pitch paid for by Obama 2012.)

    Posted by: Dback | Aug 9, 2012 1:34:32 PM


  13. AMEN DBACK! Hopefully millions will follow your advice. That may make up for the millions who will be unable to vote in Nov 2012 because of republican laws designed to dampen democratic turn out.

    Posted by: andrew | Aug 9, 2012 10:49:11 PM


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