Does the GOP know how to communicate with today's generations?
The economy is a mess, crime is soaring, cost of living is at record levels, and people are hurting. Yet the GOP is struggling to retake Congress — some even predict that the Democrats will expand their majorities in the House and Senate.
Blogs and articles are full of rants about how Democrats are wrecking America and that the GOP doesn't stop them. Leftist causes advance, and conservative causes retreat. Twice in the last 50 years, Democrats had 60-seat Senate supermajorities. We have Obamacare, COVID lockdowns, open borders, drug legalization, diminished election integrity. It's fashionable to blame McConnell, the NRSC, and the RNC for this mess; however, we can't absolve individual GOP candidates for running ineffective campaigns.
What is the GOP is doing wrong? Answer: Leftists understand adjusting communications to reach new American generations; conservatives don't.
Conservative generations, the Greatest Generation and Baby Boomers, are dying. The youngest Greatest Generation are in their late 80s, and the youngest Boomers are in their 60s. Millennials and Zoomers are replacing them. Generation X is about half and half conservative vs. left. Millennials and Zoomers vote heavily for leftist policies. Why? Disaffected people are receptive to socialism, and the left's specialty is creating disaffected people.
Examine the world that GenX, Millennials, and Zoomers matured in.
Boomers matured in the 1970s — banana republics shook tiny fists in America's face and got away with it. Communism advanced; the economy tanked. Fed up Boomers elected Reagan in 1980. The economy improved. Communism collapsed.
But GenX matured in the late '80s, buffeted by the rise of street gangs, another drug crime wave, and the savings and loan collapse, which caused a recession in the early '90s. Many GenXers became disaffected.
Leftists developed communications to reach disaffected GenX — the 24-hour news cycle, which leaned left (CNN, followed by the major networks). They appropriated the entertainment industry. Remember Bill Clinton playing the sax on Arsenio Hall? MTV "Rock the Vote"? Conservatives countered with talk radio; leftists branded talk radio as "hate radio." The left's use of "hate" terminology was brilliant; it made its way into actual statutes (hate crimes, hate speech). Newspapers veered acutely left. Result: Clinton, with help from Ross Perot, got elected twice (neither time with 50% of the popular vote).
Millennials and Zoomers were raised in dystopian times. Millennials experienced 9/11, the mismanaged second Gulf War, and the 2008 Great Recession. Zoomers experienced COVID lockdowns, vaccine mandates, and the Obamacare welfare state. Many in these generations have no concept of property ownership, a full-time (40-hour week) lifetime career with one employer, a retirement plan, and health benefits provided by the employer. Many Millennials and Zoomers live with their parents or a communal arrangement with three to six people in an apartment, sharing rent, relying on government programs to survive. They are a disaffected people, and disaffected people are ripe for socialism.
The left pounced. Leftists developed social media and streaming services. Millennials and Zoomers consume news and current events from free streaming services via smart TV, a computer, or social media. The left added education and criminal justice systems to its conquests. Millennials and Zoomers have been indoctrinated to believe concepts like man-made climate change, the evils of fossil fuels, open borders, globalism, the welfare state, and denial of biological sex categories (actual human karyotype, not sexual preference).
Democrats understand communicating with later generations: frank crudeness, intensity and anger, social media and free streaming services, the blame game. It works. Results: Obama elected twice and Biden once.
Conservative campaigns are abysmal: cable TV, "knocking on doors," spam emails and texts, robocalls, mailers, and droning campaign ads without intensity. GOP campaigns rarely convey a direct cause-and-effect relationship between failed Democrat social and economic policies and the problems affecting Millennials and Zoomers: high rent, low wages, no job security, high cost of living, high crime, substandard health care, lockdowns.
The GOP must update its messaging to reach new generations, or the country could tip irrevocably away from a constitutional republic. It's terrifying that many Millennials and Zoomers are receptive to Biden's message.
Image via Pxhere.