Conservative Millennial Says Paul Ryan, GOP Establishment Won’t Win Young Voters


On the heels of GOP Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s appearance before an audience of college students where he asked millennials to give the GOP a chance, a conservative millennial author says Ryan and the rest of the party establishment are the wrong messengers to make the case for freedom and prosperity to young people.

Speaker Ryan spoke before an audience of students at Georgetown University this week and asked for students to consider the message of the Republican Party.

“I am going to assume that the thought has not been occurring to most of you recently,” Ryan told his audience. “The America you want is the America we want — open, diverse, dynamic.”

Ryan went on to insist that the GOP offers an “inclusive” and “aspirational” brand of conservatism, and he hopes students will understand this and think about voting for the Grand Old Party in the future.

But conservative columnist Kristin Tate, herself a millennial, says the messengers, not the message, are the GOP’s problem. Tate said:

If Paul Ryan wants millennials to give the GOP a chance, he — along with all of the other GOP establishment bureaucrats — need to remove themselves from the scene,” Tate said. “If there’s one thing that’s clear in this election, it’s this: it’s advantageous to be both an outsider and authentic. These GOP establishment wonks like Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, and Lindsey Graham are the antithesis of that. Their stuffy, written-out speeches will never spread the conservative message to the millennial generation effectively.

Tate, a journalist whose work has been featured by Breitbart News, National Review, The Washington Times, and Fox News, is the author of the new book Government Gone Wild: How D.C. Politicians Are Taking You for a Ride — and What You Can Do About It. The millennial author continued saying that a fresh approach is needed if the GOP expects to get the support of young Americans.

When it comes to appealing to millennials, packaging is just as important as the message itself. Fresh, authentic spokespeople from a variety of backgrounds and professions — from politicians like Mia Love and Joni Ernst, to entertainers like Vince Vaughn, Stacey Dash, and Adam Sandler — will be most effective at spreading the GOP’s message of prosperity to young people. And they need to do it in an uplifting, exciting way.

The author added:

The current GOP candidates have a lot of work to do if they want to tap into the massive millennial generation.Obama connected with young people in 2008 because he spoke to them in a language they understood. Over the years, he’s given interviews on hip blogs like Vox and Buzzfeed. He even went on MTV at one point. These are the kinds of things conservatives should be doing if they want to get the attention of the millennial generation. Simply using Twitter and Facebook isn’t enough.

In terms of the message itself, Tate said the GOP should stay away from social issues when trying to attract young people.

“The millennial generation tends to be more accepting of diverse lifestyles than the older generation,” Tate said. “They don’t care about abortion. They don’t care about gay wedding cakes. They don’t care about transgenders using the bathroom.

She concluded saying, “Millennials care about prosperity and jobs. It’s up to conservatives to show these young voters how Republican policies will bring about a brighter future for everyone. And they need to do it in snappy, easy-to-understand soundbites on media platforms that millennials already visit regularly. Meet them where they are.”

In her new book, the 24-year-old author worries that her fellow millennials, and even older, 40-something Americans, have become politically ambivalent and brainwashed. Instead of thinking for themselves, they have come to believe in big government and left wing ideologies. But Tate feels a new generation of voters is emerging who, like her, are irked that they will be paying for out-of-control government their entire working lives. They know that if America is to retain stability and liberty, it’s going to be up to them to make sure government works properly again.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.