Iannelli: Republicans need to commit to young voters

Iannelli offers advice to youth-courting conservatives.

Jerry Iannelli

Jerry IannelliDear Republican Party,

So I hear you guys are looking to “re-brand” after getting trounced at the polls last November. I hear that you’re looking to hook young kids like myself into some sort of “New Conservatism,” a term that you guys haven’t had the foresight or decency to iron out and define yet. One of your own party members, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, went so far as to refer to your constituents as the “stupid party” in January. In fact, some talking heads have been claiming since the presidential election that if your ragtag team can’t move anyone besides the wonkiest and oldest of white males to vote for you, you’ll all but go extinct within the next few election cycles.

If these statements are true, then I guess I’m the perfect candidate for experimentation, seeing as I’ve always been a bit of a skeptic that abjectly refuses to align himself with a concrete party and agenda. You have my attention for the moment, but you should know that Information Age children like myself don’t respond well to rhetoric like, “Young voters have always been a part of our plan for America, and we have a vibrant future in kids like you and we need to secure your life in order to keep on blaaaaah.”

The only thing that will work on us is a real, marked commitment to new people and new ideologies.

So in short, you need my vote, and these are the things that I need from you.

I need a commitment to science. And not just a verbal one. I need to trust that your new leaders, like Marco Rubio, will finally stop telling me things like, “Our government can’t control the weather,” when referencing global warming. That’s like dynamiting the side of a cliff and claiming no responsibility for which houses the ensuing rockslide destroys. I need the chairman that you appoint to head the House Science Committee to have some background in real science, not just in practicing Christian Science on his off days, like Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) does currently. He has every right in the world to believe what he believes, but Christianity and science are not some sort of surprisingly delicious, chocolate-and-peanut butter-style combination. If you guys plan on sticking with that “strict constructionist” Constitution bag, then you must cede that a man that believes that all sickness can be treated with prayer has no place deciding which experimental procedures can be legally administered to cure my grandmother’s sarcoidosis.

You get one or the other. Young people need rational, objective studies and thought about the future of everything in this nation, from health care to gun control. We’ll rally behind the party that gives it to us.

I need a commitment that you aren’t going to keep making reproductive decisions for the women in my life. I have countless female friends that I care deeply about, not to mention a beautiful little sister that is about to enter her freshman year of college. I am deeply worried by the sexual and gender issues that unfold in front of me whilst spending the weekends on a college campus, from mild molestation to flat-out, Rohypnol-induced date-rape, and I am supposed to willfully allow my only sibling to walk alone into the wilderness that will be her own collegiate experience this fall.

As such, the bill that your party passed in the Alabama state house of representatives on Feb. 19 to cripple abortion clinics in the state is not a step that brought more women and young people on board. I cannot let your party control this country if it means that my sister cannot control her own body.

Most importantly, I need to know that a gaffe like the Hurricane Sandy aid package is never, ever going to happen again. I am still sickened by John Boehner’s steadfast refusal to even vote to aid those that merely were in the way of an inordinate amount of rain. You cannot politicize rain. If a massive meteor strikes the epicenter of Seattle, am I supposed to withhold sending them care packages because they believe in flannel and I don’t? If I cannot rally around your party in a disaster, I cannot rally around you at all.

Kids of the 21st Century are a multifaceted, thriving, interconnected organism that crosses all genders, races and sexual orientations. I’m sure it seems like we want a lot of things. In reality, we just want facts from someone, somewhere.

Your Pal,

Jerry Iannelli

Jerry Iannelli can be reached at gerald.iannelli@temple.edu or on Twitter @jerryiannelli.

1 Comment

  1. To be honest with you, I don’t think you are exactly who the Republican party was planning on approaching for support. I think they are after open minded, independent thinkers.

    Anyone can pull ridiculous or out-of-context quotes from either political party and use them to rationalize their point of view but it takes bipolar genius to turn around and self-identify as part of the “Information Age”.

    Hopefully it is the Republican party’s intent to make a reasoned approach to young voters based common sense and mutual respect.

    Let’s try some common sense, like when “Man-Made Global Warming” exposes peat bogs (see Siberia) that have been frozen for over 10,000 years.
    How did they get there genius? Oh yeah, it used to be warmer. How old is the internal combustion engine again? I know you guys will believe anything as long as it comes with clever graphics, but honestly… Al Gore is laughing all the way to the bank.

    Oh, and I’ve got news for you – the government really can’t control the weather. Who’s politicizing rain now?

    How about respect, like not forcing people who believe that abortion is morally wrong to pay for it anyway.
    Not making it illegal … just not making it state-sponsored.

    How about getting the government out of the business of making moral judgments for everyone?
    How is it one woman’s right to chose abortion, but NOT another woman’s right to choose NOT to pay for it? Choice only works one way?

    If only your mother had chosen abortion.
    Too harsh?
    Explain to me why without reversing every argument you have.
    Her choice right?
    How about that beautiful little sister of yours?
    Just the result of another reproductive decision right?

    How is it possible for such an enlightened individual as you to be unable to distinguish between something that is illegal, and something that is just not state sponsored?
    So much easier to simply adopt a party line then it is to actually have to develop a coherent position.

    Face it. You’ve been programmed. It’s not entirely your fault. It has been baked into your education since you were directed to turn to the State for thinking instructions. Now you are going to have to try to match the rhetoric with the real world.

    You state that you are interested in facts.
    Here’s some… the U.S. government spent about $2.2 billion last year to provide phones to low-income Americans and pays carriers $9.25 a customer per month toward free or discounted wireless service.

    OK so $2.2 Billion / ($9.25/month * 12 months) = 19.8 Million people with free phones.

    Popular Vote in the last election was O’Bama 65.5 M to Romney’s 60.8 M.
    A difference of 4.7M.
    If only half of the free phones went to registered voters, and only half of the registered voters with free phones could be compelled to vote, that still gives you 4.95M voters.

    The FCC until last year allowed consumers to self-certify, without requiring documentation, that they met federal poverty guidelines. Subscribers didn’t have to recertify once they were enrolled in the program, and there were few checks on whether households signed up for more than one cell phone.

    If you want a party that buys votes I guess you know where to go.

    Unfortunately, at your age, you are going to be around when they run out of other people’s money to spend. Good luck with that one.

    If it is your generation’s identity to be an interconnected organism then I guess you can just wallow around while the “organism” decides the direction of least resistance.
    Maybe it explains why everything has to be portrayed as a crisis before members of your generation can be motivated to actually DO anything, even if it is just to regurgitate the liberal party line.

    Just please drop the false pretense of independent thought and an open mind.

    I don’t think lanyone was buying it anyway.

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