Why is it so appealing to be “progressive”? I think this question deserves further scrutiny. Our nation is manifested in a multi religious, multi racial, multi ethnic demographics, which will only be changing further as our nation progresses to its next centennial. In fact, within our next centennial, this country will become a majority minority nation, much like several states in the south have already become. The “progressive” movement has already embraced this reality.
To elucidate, the progressives have captured the youth vote to the tune of 66% turning out for Obama in 2008. The votes by race resulted in similar statistics with African Americans at 95%, Latinos at 67%, and Asians at 62%. In short, the conservative movement struggled with both youth and minority vote. It can be argued that McCain is not indicative of the conservative movement; however, even with the most visceral of assessments, these statistics serve as wakeup call for the future of the conservative movement. So the question remains: How do we create a dynamic conservative movement that is inclusive?
Garrett Sweitzer, Bryce Bender and Heath Mayo are the newly selected leaders of Students for Mitt and are working to engage youth within the Romney 2012 campaign. When I posited the question (asked of other young conservatives twice before in this series), they responded:
“The conservative movement needs to articulate a message that promotes inclusiveness. Increasing levels of immigration make it imperative the conservative movement maintain flexibility so not to alienate large population segments.”
“In particular, I would like to see the conservative movement, and its accompanying ideology, focus on the destructiveness of a large federal government that positions itself as the prevailing authority in every aspect of society. We need to constrain the growth of government so not to lose our fundamental freedoms.”
“I fear that some citizens fail to recognize that a dependency on the federal government slowly erodes free–will as a crucial determinant of one’s life decisions. I believe that an ideology that stresses the importance of maintaining personal autonomy as independent of an overbearing central government will attract adherents for foreseeable future.”
This concludes our three–part series on building a dynamic conservative movement on the 21st century. We will have one more summary and lessons–learned blog to capture the trends in our series.
Garrett Sweitzer, Bryce Bender, and Heath Mayo are the student leaders of Students for Mitt and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org , Heath.Mayo@responsibleyouth.org , email@example.com.