As many of us look ahead to the 2012 elections and ponder the future of American politics, in general, one optimistic young teenage girl sees a solution to alleviating apathy among the next generation’s outlook toward affairs of state.
There is hope for the future of the Republican Party according to Elise Kostial, a fifteen year old home schooled student of St. Louis County, but they really need to understand a few basic truths about where they are missing the mark as far as relating to the next generation of conservatives. Kostial spoke to a seasoned republican crowd at a First Capital Republican Women’s Club meeting in November and outlined a well thought out strategy to help the Republican Party strengthen its membership and platform for future generations.
This young conservative is quick to point out, it disappoints her that she is only one of a very few young people at any political events she attends, and attributes this to apathy of young people toward government.
“Sadly, many young people simply don’t care about government, and those that do are often at the other end of the political spectrum. However, this can and must change, but in order for this to happen young people must be able to easily participate in the political process.”
“Politics matters to me not despite my age, but in part, because of it. I want a part in shaping the world I live in for the rest of my life. Sadly, many young people are willingly allowing others to shape their future. This apathy may be due in large part to of a lack of understanding. Many young people simply don’t understand that the policies enacted today will affect them for the rest of their lives. They need to be reached with an alternative to this apathy, an opportunity to determine their future.”
She noted, according to CNN exit polls, 68% of voters, between the age of 18 and 24, supported President Obama in the 2008 election. These stats demonstrate the urgency in reaching out to younger voters. And republicans should and can learn from the success of the democrats according to Miss Kostial. She lays out her strategy in five simple points.
- Promote ideological fairness and freedom in the educational system, buy doing things such as supporting organizations like Alliance Defense Fund, the ACLJ and David Horowitz’s Freedom Center, as well as participate on school boards, in public and private schools, on all levels of education.
- Present policies in an exciting and passionate manner that will be accepted as “cool” to younger audiences.
- Promote cultural commonality of conservative views by providing balanced alternatives in entertainment venues for younger people.
- Expand opportunities for participation for young people. She noted, that as a young republican of fifteen, she is still too young to participate in the Young Republicans program. Organizing and funding camps, scholarships and events directed toward youth would promote initiatives for young people to make a difference.
- Ensure that the republican message reaches young people through the use of new social media, and ensure that the messages are targeted toward youth in interesting ways.
As an enthusiastic, young political activist, Miss Kostial has been interested in the political scene since she was ten years old. Now, as she looks toward college, she hopes to study political science and eventually enter law school to be a constitutional scholar. Her present involvement in local political groups includes membership in her local republican township club as a junior member, a board member of National Tea Party Youth, she is the founder of Concerned Young Women of America, and is a member of St. Louis’ Federated Republican Women’s organization.