Event with some young voters in MI

I was at an event (not at liberty to say exactly where) discussing the presidential election with some (about 20) young voters a few hours ago, some Muslim (Shiite and Sunni), some atheist, most White, some Black, all, I think, under the age of 30. All the general election Clinton supporters were for Bernie in the primary. Even the Black ones. There was one formerly Christian (now atheist) Arab Trump supporter who once lived in a Muslim country and supported the Muslim ban. This sounds like something Fox News might make up, but I’m not making this up; I was there myself. Not one (except a particularly naive Black woman) approved of Clinton’s foreign policy, and at least one White male undecided voter was scared of Her NFZ proposal as risking WWIII (without me bringing it up first). The general tenor was pro-BLM, anti-Brexit, pro-progressive taxes, and, with few exceptions (me included) anti-Trump. One Black guy was an actual Weisbrot-style Chavista.

Conclusions: the way for the GOP to winning young voters lies not through friggin’ tax cuts. The “growth and opportunity party” message may fool some, but most will ignore it or laugh at it. Muslims in America generally (though by no means entirely) rapidly tend toward progressivism. They are about as much “natural Republicans” as Hispanics, i.e., they’re not, and Bush 2000 in Dearborn, much like Bush 2004 among Hispanics, must be viewed as a historical anomaly. The best way of converting young people to Trump is to portray Clinton as an unacceptable choice (not that hard to do given Her bottom-of-the-barrel vote margins among them during the primary) based on foreign policy and corruption, and portraying Trump as the best of the lot in the GOP primary and one who has introduced genuinely good ideas into the party, mostly (again) on foreign policy and corruption. Many can’t really understand Trump due to his lack of an ideology.

“Bigotry” is especially unpopular among young people to an extent it isn’t among old, so it should be kept to a minimum. My suspicion is that “generic Republican” would get somewhat higher numbers than Trump among young people simply due to his lack of association with “bigotry” and having a more relevant message to young people than “trade” (young people, as a rule, have lived their whole lives without ever having a job affected by “trade”) and “illegal immigration” (there are lots of places in the U.S. where it’s not that easy to find illegal Mexican immigrants).

Author: pithom

An atheist with an interest in the history of the ancient Near East. Author of the Against Jebel al-Lawz Wordpress blog.

5 thoughts on “Event with some young voters in MI”

  1. – Curious why you were at an event like that. Were you more of a participant or a moderator?

    – I do think a significant portion of Hispanic immigrants could be “natural Republicans,” at least the ones who are married and work for a living. A lot of the Hispanics I’ve known (especially while living in the Southwest) were Hank Hill types, married guys with kids who worked hard full time. They liked societal order and opposed illegal immigration and lawbreaking in general. Also high rates of church attendance among that set. The mariachi radio stations are pretty wholesome too, very similar to old-school country. Those cliches about Hispanics having strong family values don’t come from nowhere.

    The problem seems to be that the Jeb Bush types drastically oversold the idea, as if every guy hopping over a border fence was ready to go around quoting Reagan and bragging about his lawn mower.

    Overall, my view is that the GOP can attract Hispanics the same way a guy attracts a girl: be confident in yourself, don’t look desperate, and don’t go out of your way. And keep your expectations realistic.

    – Attracting young people works the same way, though there the expectations have to be even lower. Young people are DEFINITELY not natural Republicans. As far as “bigotry” goes, that has more to do with how the narrative is framed than with anyone’s actual views. I think bigotry is probably just about equally distributed between Dem and GOP voters/messages, but it only gets framed as bigotry on one side. The GOP could fight back by doing a better job of talking about the bigotry in Dem messages, even claiming that word and all its synonyms. This is one thing that social media is actually capable of being used for.

    But the GOP also needs to dissociate itself with the trolling class (just as the Dems should dissociate themselves from BLM thugs and SJWs), which for the time being they can’t because right now, at least in the eyes of anyone on the outside (e.g. young voters), GOP = Trump = 4Chan trolls.

      1. Well, you said “‘Bigotry’ is especially unpopular among young people to an extent it isn’t among old, so it should be kept to a minimum.”

        You can’t “keep it to a minimum,” you can only reframe it in the public eye so it looks like it’s at a minimum.

    1. BTW, I was there because the actual moderator politely asked me to attend, as I was the only Trump supporter he knew, and I didn’t decline.

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