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We must find more young Republicans

Posted: November 13, 2008 5:49 p.m.
Updated: November 14, 2008 4:59 a.m.
Face it, Republicans, we lost.

This is, however, no time to bury our collective heads in the sand. Our wake-up call should be the fact that the only voter demographic we won overwhelmingly was the religious, white male, over-50 category.

Sen. Barack Obama is the next president of the United States. As Republicans, we need to congratulate our new president and respectfully allow him to present his plan of action.

He has been duly elected and on Jan. 20, 2009, he will be leading our nation.

That being said, it is time for our party to enlist new members if we intend to remain a viable political force. The Republican message about free enterprise, free agency and capitalistic democracy needs to be clearly redefined in appealing terms to Americans.

Republicans must find a way to reconnect with minorities and young voters. "Young Republicans" is not an oxymoron, but unfortunately the liberal press considers it so.

Election results frighteningly show that two-thirds of an approximately 3 million newly registered 18-29-year-olds voted for Obama.

Minority voters (African Americans, Asians and Latinos) jumped almost 4 percent in the total vote count in just four years; meanwhile, the white vote dropped by 4 percent. Two-thirds of Latinos gave Obama their vote, as did 60 percent of Asians and a whopping 95 percent of African-Americans.

Granted, it is difficult to compete against a brilliant orator who promises 95 percent of our citizens a tax cut and at the same time wants to revamp our economy by using a bottom-up approach that stresses more jobs and government-funded education programs.

Did I mention health care for all and more individual stimulus gifts? By the way, none of these entitlements seems to exclude the 12-20 million people living here illegally. If you are young or a member of a minority group the presidential choice was like, "duh."

How can Republicans credibly challenge the expense of the promised Obama handouts when our current president, a Republican, demands that taxpayers immediately fork over $700 billion to Wall Street financiers or face unknown disasters?

As it turns out, there are few mandated strings attached to our Wall Street gifts, and much of the money may actually go to shareholders and executives.

Suddenly, there seems to be an abundance of money everywhere for everything - except to assist those unfortunate families facing foreclosure and bankruptcy because lending institutions, including Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, encouraged them to become homeowners.

I certainly recall the "stated income, stated assets" loans with four payment options that many banks were freely marketing, and not just by greedy loan officers.

Once again, the average Joe gets left alone in the cold to suffer through foreclosures and bankruptcies, made even more punitive through recent legislation.

The growing list of potential big-boy bailouts by taxpayers not only includes financial institutions and automakers, but also state and local governments.

When will it end? If Main Street is forced to go bankrupt, so should Wall Street.

Where is all this money coming from, anyway? Is the government just printing it as needed?

Being a cost-conscious Republican, I was cognizant of the financial cost of the war in Iraq. In the pre-primary days of 2007, when the war was the main political issue of the presidential campaign, I went to an
Internet site called for ongoing cost statistics of the war.

The Web site said the dollar amount spent by the United States in the Iraq war was equivalent to giving each Iraqi citizen $121,000.

While I doubt those numbers, the total cost was still far less than a $700 billion Wall Street bailout.

Obama was touting his bottom-up strategy as early as June 19, 2008. He told a group of union leaders in a Washington, D.C. Capitol Hotel: "The economy is not working the way it should be, and that's going to be the goal of an Obama presidency - to make sure we've got bottom-up economic growth instead of the kind of tired, worn-out, trickle-down ideologies we've been seeing for so many years."

So it's bottom-up versus trickle-down. President-Elect Obama's approach to the economy features saving and creating jobs, as opposed to President Bush's bailing out the financial sector.

Unfortunately, too many people have waited too long for that trickle to arrive to mainstream Americans.

In this election, voters have chosen a protector nanny-state government. They just don't realize that the protector needs more and more money, which ultimately means higher taxes. Time is on the side of the Republicans.

While the bottom-up plan materializes, I suggest we Republicans shore up our troops with new recruits. A massive voter registration drive is needed.

We must seek out new leaders who espouse the Republican values of lower taxes, more individual freedom and less government. We need to adhere to our principles and promote our values as they relate to the current economic and social conditions. We must practice what we preach.

Speaking as a religious white male over 50, I say we do all we can to support our newly elected president.

Remember, he is our president, too!

As Republican candidate John McCain's campaign slogan states: "Country first."

Paul B. Strickland Sr. is a resident of Santa Clarita. His column reflects his own views, not necessarily those of The Signal. "Right About Now" runs Friday in The Signal and rotates among local Republican writers.


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