For the longest time, I thought that the conservative moment was alienating to young people because of its embarrassingly antiquated stance on social issues. Turns out, that's not it — it's because conservatives aren't good enough at Twitter and YouTube! You know how those millennials are: one well-worded snarky Facebook update with a cool infographic and they lose sense of all their sham values.
At least this is the thinking of Students for Life president Kristan Hawkins. At a panel at the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference in Washington today, Hawkins argued that the best way to win over millennial voters is through humor:
You can engage with sarcasm, it’s hard with the abortion issue, but you have to... Unfortunately we have to, because this is the generation that we’ve been dealt.
You're probably wondering, "What the hell is an engaging abortion joke that would make you more likely to vote for a pro-life candidate?" Well, here are some cool and fun social media suggestions for a savvy youth outreach coordinator:
Start some joke hashtags so the kids know you're being witty. Sample tweets:
"every woman should have the right to choose.... NOT!! #AbortionSarcasm #LOL"
"god is down with abortion #justkidding #Heisnot #AbortionSarcasm"
"You Choose, You Lose #abortionjoke #antichoice"
"British fashion, Microsoft Works, and 'safe' sex outside of marriage #FunnyOxymorons #AbstinenceIsCool"
Make a listicle called "41 Cats Who Believe in Sanctity of Life At Conception."
Make another listicle called "13 Unborn Fetuses Who Look Like Ryan Gosling."
Make a "Harlem Shake" video inside of a womb.
Another potential strategy proposed by the Young Conservatives Coalition is to rebrand gay marriage opposition, seeing as 70 percent of young voters support marriage equality. Chris Malagasi, the president of the Young Conservatives Coalition, argues that it's possible for politicians to oppose gay marriage and appeal to young people as long as they frame the issue in a "smart" way. (Quick brainstorming session: you could make a listicle called "13 Ryan Goslings Who Are Not Gay Married").
Another panel member, Liberty University senior class president Chelsea Patterson, noted that "a lot of my peers see the GOP as kind of old school" and argued that a new GOP brand that's more in touch with popular culture could court more youth votes (appropriate listicle: "20 Reasons Everyone On Glee Should Just Find a Life Partner of the Opposite Gender, Regardless of His or Her Sexual Orientation").
All of this begs the question: how long will Republicans be able to blame the packaging when it's fairly clear that it's their beliefs themselves that are causing them to lose influence? This is one party that's in serious need of a Plan B (not the morning after pill) (that should be illegal) (#ContraceptionJoke).
Image via Franck Boston/Shutterstock.