Wednesday, December 10, 2008

An Important Moment For The G.O.P

Last night I was lucky enough to witness the first step in the effort to build an army of Young Republicans, strong and organized enough to stand up to the youth movement of Barack Obama .

The event was a meeting organized by several groups, all of which have web sites and principles, dedicated to the cause of bringing young conservatives together in the same efficient way that the Democrats have managed to over the last four years.

Held at the Capitol Club, nestled snugly against the Capitol building on the Hill, several things really struck me about the meeting.

First off the place was packed full of young people. There were at least two hundred of us who showed up, anxious to become involved in the movement on the ground floor.

Next, the energy in the room was incredible. There were no glum faces or pity parties being thrown by those who were near suicidal because of the incoming administration. To the contrary, these Republicans seemed incredibly optimistic and excited about having the opportunity to rebuild the party from the ground up while at the same time leaving their own unique mark on the party machinery to aid future generations.

There was no hateful rhetoric against Obama or the Democrats, no talk about how we can destroy the other guys and not a single mention of Rod Blagojevich. The talk at the meeting was limited to pro-growth ideas on how we as young people can use our energy and passion for politics to make our party competitive again in all fifty states.

Finally, what shocked me the most was the high number of young African Americans who attended the meeting. Barack Obama got nearly 70% of the youth vote, and 96% of the black vote. Basic math would lead one to believe that the number of Republicans who fit into both of those groups would be limited.

Not so. Not only was there a high percentage of African Americans in the audience, but two members of the panel were black as was the individual who organized the event, American Solution’s Princilla Smith who deserves a great big “thank you” from everyone who cares about the future of the G.O.P.

At the end of the meeting one of the events organizers, Arlington’s Kenneth Ryan James, introduced a motion, which would have sent a unanimous resolution to the RNC, asking them to add a delegation of Republicans under 40 to the group that would be voting on the next RNC chairman.

Instead of just shouting out “Yes We Can!” in unison the group thoughtfully and raised concerns and asked questions about the amendment and in the end decided to table it in order to discuss it further.

This is the kind of levelheaded pragmatism that our party needs going forward. Of course, we young Republicans have never been the type to give our unquestioning allegiance to an idea or an individual who sounds good but has little to offer in the way of substance.

So spread the word. A movement is being built.

Here are the websites that are leading the charge. These are our versions of so sign up with them and keep an eye on their event listings. Next time one is happening, get of the couch and go.

Thanks to everyone who attended. Let’s get this thing started.

I'm the guy on the right side in the middle who is staring off into space.

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