3 reasons why young voters might make a right turn (and how we missed an opportunity with them)

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How many new voters has the tea party movement created?  There’s reason to hope that first time voters will begin shifting to the right in 2010. There’s also reason for us on the right to worry.

About 8 million people turned 18 since the 2008 election.  While the left undoubtedly brainwashed many of them before they reached voting age, many others avoided indoctrination through good parenting, good thinking, or simply not paying attention to the left’s message.

1.  The latest batch of voters heard a competing message for the past 2 years.  The Tea Party message, unlike traditional Republican messages, presents first-time voters with a choice, not an echo.  The GOP, on the other hand, tried to inspire people by holding up whatever Democrats advanced and announcing, “We’ll do it slower and cheaper.”

2.  At the same time, young people have become more skeptical than ever about government promises.  Six in ten Americans doubt they’ll ever see a penny from Social Security. These skeptics align well with the Tea Party movement, assuming we spoke to them in the right channels with the right language at the right times.

3.  Still on the positive side, the left’s message has become stale and flat since 2008. Barack Obama’s failure as a leader has opened young people’s eyes to the limitations of the person who occupies the White House and of government to solve problems. 

But did they vote? And how?

The Tea Party movement spent its first year talking to people who had dropped out of the political arena. Most of the people I met at early events leaned conservative—they simply hadn’t been roused to action until Stimulus.  For these folks—and there are many—tri-cornered hats and fife-and-drum teams stir passion.

Do archaic symbols of the 18th century inspire young adults?  I’d be surprised.  They simply haven’t received cultural or educational exposure to American history.  College students get a collective F in their knowledge of US History.  They were as young as nine-years-old when Muslim terrorists attacked America on September 12, 2001.  They get their news over game chat channels and cable networks that specialize in entertainment, not news.

So what has the Tea Party done to engage the kids?

When we talk to people who were in middle school when Americans landed in Afghanistan, our message should be consistent and honest:

“Look, we all know that Social Security likely won’t be there when you retire.  We all know that, in addition to student loans, the government has saddled you with $50,000 in debt.  And we know that federal regulations make it more difficult for you to choose your own career. Face it: your options in life are limited . 

“But there’s a solution. Some of us want to give you back your fundamental rights to pursue happiness.  We need your help. If it sounds like we’re saying, ‘Hey, we effed it all up—can you fix it?’ we are.” 

Despite our gains on November 2, we have work to do.  We need to open channels that reach young voters. Those channels will change all the time, so this won’t be a one-time effort.

A progressive blog claims that youth vote was down 60 percent in 2010 from 2008. The reason? Millennials are disenchanted with Barack Obama. (Join the club, kids.)   

Now, we can bloviate about young people needing to “get it,” or we can design effective and entertaining education strategies. 

What you do you think?

Thank You!

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Hennessy’s View is now 255 on Wikio’s Political Blog rankings.  I know that’s nothing compared to Gateway Pundit. After  10 years of blogging, though, it’s nice to crack some list somewhere. 

If you’d like to see me move higher on this list, please use the social buttons below. 

Also, please tell me why you read Hennessy’s View in the comments.

Thanks, again, for a great Christmas present.

Sometimes a Morris is Just a Morris

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Dana Loesch invited Dick Morris onto her radio show today. Dana expected to discuss START with Mr. Morris.  But Dick has a mind of his own.

Morris decided, about a minute and a half into a five-minute segment, that he wanted to talk about the 2012 US Senate race in Missouri instead. Specifically, he wanted spend the segment campaigning for Sarah Steelman for the the Republican nomination.

Decide for yourself:  here’s the link to Dana’s show.

I honestly don’t know much about Steelman. Frankly, I’m a little burned out on electoral politics after 2010.  But I do know it’s rude to hijack a talk show to endorse a candidate in a primary two years away. 

I also know that Dick Morris has  a history of abusing his celebrity status to campaign for candidates outside of federal election laws.  On September 12, Dick violated protocols by dragging Roy Blunt onto the stage of the “Gateway to November” Tea Party in St. Louis. Seems to be a pattern of abusing gracious hosts, don’t you think? 

The question is, does Dick do it for money?

What do you think? Please leave your comments below.

Generational Change

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A man lost in thought is liable to say anything.  Anything at all. 

A guy sitting behind me at a restaurant in Lambert airport began singing along with the background music.  “Burning down the house (do do).” 


November 2, American voters burned down the U.S. House.  Before the vote, estimates ranged from 45 to 70 seats switching from Democrats to Republicans. Burning down the house, indeed.  The final number was 63.

Among the states, the GOP took control of a majority of state legislatures and governorships.  That means that Republicans will determine (with help from interventionist federal judges) how Congressional districts will look for 2012 and beyond.

While Republican U.S. House and Senate candidates are, on average, slightly more conservative than usual, at the state level, candidates skew even further right.  Moreover, the state candidates tend to be young, intelligent, and determined. And the decline of the Democrat party has some of its state legislators jumping over the GOP.

Combined, this could position GOP conservatives to dominate legislative politics in America for a generation or more. Paul Curtman, a Marine who dressed down Senator Claire McCaskill in July 2009 won Missouri’s 105th House seat—a rare feat for a Republican.  Paul is just one of hundreds of highly qualified new faces in government. 

When the Tea Party movement started in February 2009, we said we’d make a difference—quickly if we could, gradually if we must.  While some of us are more patient than others, it seems we might score both short-term and long-term gains in 2010.  That would be a remarkable gift from the Tea Party to America. 

Get Good Candidates. Start Now.

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Conservatives (tea party, et al) and Republicans better learn to get along. Quickly. Just as quickly, the two need to recruit, vet, and prep some A-list candidates. Candidates for offices from President down to school boards.

That’s because the winners in 2012 will either belong to a conservative coalition or the most radical elements of the Democrat Party.  Here’s why.

Pollster Frank Luntz points out in today’s Washington Post that the largest ideological faction in the United States is the combination of GOP plus tea partiers:

[W]hen asked "which best represents your views?," about a third of registered voters, 36 percent, chose Democrats, while 25 percent chose the GOP and 22 percent opted for the tea party. Together, Republicans and the tea party movement represent 47 percent of America to the Democrats’ 36 percent. That’s a recipe for massive electoral success in 2012 if they stay united, but unprecedented failure if they pull apart.

That means that the American electorate thinks the way it did in 1980 and 1994: conservative, not Republican.  We expect elected officials to be likewise.  The reason some “tea party” candidates lost had more to do with their personas and less to do with their politics.  Voters in Nevada and Delaware saw Sharon Angle and Christine O’Donnell as less than serious. 

Peggy Noonan explains beautifully (as always) in a recent Wall Street Journal column:

Even in a perfect political environment, those candidates who were conservative but seemed strange, or unprofessional, or not fully qualified, or like empty bags skittering along the street, did not fare well. The tea party provided the fire and passion of the election, and helped produce major wins—Marco Rubio by 19 points! But in the future the tea party is going to have to ask itself: Is this candidate electable? Will he pass muster with those who may not themselves be deeply political but who hold certain expectations as to the dignity and stature required of those who hold office? [emphasis added]

There are many in the tea party movement who need to understand that last sentence.  Supporting candidates who believe 100 percent what you believe but have zero percent chance of winning is a “principled” decision if there is a reasonable alternative who can win. 

All-American Alternative to Leftist Omaha Steaks

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Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit exposed Omaha Steak’s leftism yesterday.  Omaha pulled its ads from Glenn Beck for ideological reasons. 

We took your comments regarding the Glenn Beck Program to heart. After further review and careful consideration, we have decided to pull all advertising from Glenn Beck programming effective December 20th, 2010.

Then the president of the company, Bruce Simon, tried to deny his political motives

If you want to order top quality meats at great prices, you don’t have to put money in a lefty’s pocket. Instead, order from Pat Boone’s AllAmerican Meat company.

Pat Boone isn’t just a 50s singing star and father of Debbie Boone. He’s also a Tea Partier and pro-military American.

His company donates 5 percent to alleviate world hunger.  So Pat’s not just all-American, pro-Tea Party, and pro-troops, he’s a humanitarian!

Support America. Support humanity.  Hit a liberal in the pocketbook.  Buy All-American Meats.