In an election year swept by Mr. Donald Trump...
Unpredicted, though, was the drove of young adults—millennials, as the group of 20/30-somethings has been coined—present to participate in an unashamedly conservative weekend.
Sadly, I believe that the draw for millennials to engage in conservative politics ended there.
Many folks believe that to identify with a millennial it takes nothing more than sending them your Snapchat Story, and a great deal of the population is probably unaware that conservative young voters are even a demographic.
With this in mind, I can’t entirely blame the Summit for turning to a giant Twitter feed as its action to reach out to young people. Many were impressed by such a “tech-savvy” feature and I’m sure that a great deal of my peers appreciated the gesture.
Labels such as “shallow” and “unfocused” are easy characterizations, though. Millennials are more than mindless menu-gazers, and I would have liked my party to have recognized and capitalized on that.
Although there are exceptions to any rule, my generation is also comprised of some of the most ambitious, gracious young people that I could have the pleasure of calling peers. The same kids playing Pokemon Go might be developing the next app to take the tech world by storm, or could be the next House representative in the Statehouse.
A catch-phrase that I’ve noticed popping up lately is that “the GOP of today is not the GOP of old," claiming that the party of our grandparents is surely becoming more hip and 25-year old friendly.
To convince me, though, I need to see events such as the Western Conservative Summit take greater strides in discussing a platform that the majority of millennials can actually identify with; in employing more than just a large social media display to appeal to the young masses; in recognizing that many “party issues” wrestled with by our parents and grandparents are actually more of generational issues, and that those my age don’t necessarily agree with our older counterparts running to the extremely conservative end of the spectrum is always the way to highlight the most beautiful aspects of the freedom party.
I truly enjoyed my time at this year’s Summit, but am hopeful that next year’s showcases a party that has payed attention to, and has been shaped by, the next generation.
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