Engaging Young America: Rand Paul And His Big Tent

By Brittany Pounders
Clash Daily Guest Contributor

Rand Paul has become an expert at walking a tightrope.  He has had to distance himself from his dad’s far more radical ideas and opinions so as not to put off mainstream Republicans and he has had to do that without losing his own conservative/libertarian stances that are far heavier on social justice than the more mainstream topics we are used to debating within our party.

The more I hear about Rand Paul and his ideas the more they excite me.  His ideas make sense and the Republican party would do well to begin listening.  He has come out recently stating that Republicans need a “bigger tent” and I wholeheartedly agree.  He isn’t referring to it in the same way that many moderate Republicans have stated in the past, by abandoning conservative principles to get people to “like you,” an argument that we have seen results in a loss every single time.  But he’s making a case for moving other important issues to the front lines.  There are other topics that younger generations are concerned with these days, and it’s a mistake to ignore them.  From the Washington Post:

“We need to have people with ties and without ties, with tattoos and  without  tattoos, with earrings without earrings,” he said, CNN reported.  “We need a more diverse party. We need a  party that looks like  America.”

Getting the attention of the younger demographics, those that lean libertarian, by recognizing the issues that are important to them, rather than selling out on our principles, is a strategy that I’m on board with.  This liberal administration is overstepping their constitutional boundaries over and over again.  They want to be involved in every aspect of your life.  A free internet is at stake.  Privacy is being loss.  We are losing the war on drugs.

Young people, as Rand Paul stated, aren’t as concerned as much with the economy because they aren’t making much money yet.  They don’t understand taxes because they really aren’t paying much, if any.  But they understand privacy.  They have cell phones, they live in a digital age, and they understand a free internet.

He’s saying that we need to begin focusing on issues that the GOP previously hasn’t concerned itself with.  This was proven last summer when the NSA surveillance news broke.  Support for Obama with people younger than 30 tumbled 17 points in a CNN poll in June.

These are the issues that are on the forefront of the minds of young America.  They are ripe for the picking and the opportunities for us to reach them, if we can evolve and broaden our messaging, our endless.

Has the NSA overstepped its constitutional boundaries?  Yes.  Do we want unwarranted surveillance?  No.  What happens to a man and his family when he is in jail due to minimum sentencing laws for a pot charge?  How is he supposed to get a job afterward and support his family?  Is this contributing to the decline of families, the rise of children born out of wedlock?  These are pressing matters, important questions that are being asked and we have he opportunity to sweep in and provide the answers and win over hearts and minds to our party.

Middle class, middle age, tax paying Americans are a dwindling minority.  Everyone can agree on that.  If that’s all the Republicans consist of than we are not going to win elections moving forward.

It is time for us to put the old talking points on hold for a little bit and get our hands dirty engaging voters who we typically ignore.  We’ve had a long standing struggle with young people and whether you agree with him on every point that he is making, you have to concede that he is willing to do what not many other Republican leaders have made an effort to do.

Originally published on Liberty Juice

britBrittany Pounders is Co-Founder of www.LibertyJuice.com and has been an active proponent for the conservative movement in Fort Bend County and the State of Texas. She was a delegate to the Texas Republican Convention in 2010 and in 2012. More recently, she attended the GOP National Convention and worked with some of the most talented people involved with the Romney/Ryan campaign.

* You can follow Brittany Pounders on Twitter at @LibertyBritt.

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