OP-EDS

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November 11, 2003

Republican support growing among youth

We're not in the minority anymore. Our generation is now waking up to the fact the liberal baby-boom politics and the Democratic Party are not necessarily the right way to go.

A recent Harvard University poll showed that 31 percent of college students nationwide are Republicans, and 27 percent are Democrats. President Bush's job approval rating among college students? Sixty-one percent—eight points higher than that of the general populace.

Consider that a poll of Ivy League professors found that of those who voted in the 2000 election, 84 percent voted for Al Gore, 6 percent voted for Ralph Nader, and 9 percent voted for George W. Bush. There must be some reason for this political generation gap.

It seems that when people see posters for the Sparticist Youth League claiming that anti-immigration policies are inherently "anti-black," they simply don't buy it. We aren't afraid to question whether affirmative action works. Young people are tired of the Democratic Party "improving" by pandering to teacher unions and throwing them money. Republicans want to embrace fresh ideas, such as expanding parental choice, encouraging competition and change by making public schools accountable to parents, and by increasing the number of innovative charter schools. Could a conservative party really have more progressive ideas than a liberal party?

Yes, we can. This might be shocking to all you aging boomers out there, but we are here to stay. Maybe we are the product of rebellion against our liberal parents, just as they were to their parents. Maybe we are sick of being politically correct and would rather focus on being actually correct and working to improve our society.

The growth of conservatism on campus is really hard work. There are more stereotypes about us than you could possibly imagine—that we hate blacks, gays, or Jews, to name a few of the ones that really offend me.

Sure, the Republican Party has its share of reprehensible characters. We're sort of like the Democrats! They've got Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV), who was a member of the Klan when he was a young man. (Strom Thurmond, anyone?) They've also got Representative Jim Moran (D-VA), who said that the only reason we are fighting in Iraq is because of the Jewish influence in the White House. And yet the Republicans are still the party of the Christian coalition, not the party that includes them in their tent of ideas. When you try to have a big tent, crazies often do slip in. College students are realizing that this should not preclude them from being conservative, despite what many people say.

But this is one pro gay rights, pro-education and fiscal reform, pro-civil rights Jewish Republican who is here to stay. You might be surprised to know that there are lots more like me. We are not going to let liberal media, teachers, or parents define us any more than we will let fringe elements of our party hijack our agenda. We are well organized and unafraid.

I bet we'll do some great things in the future. However, there is just one problem: our kids will probably be Democrats.