This morning I had the chance to walk and talk with Matt Schlapp, Chairman of the American Conservative Union, before the events of the final day of CPAC 2016 officially kicked off. As a college student trying to persuade my moderate and leftist peers to consider the conservative view of policy, I had one burning question:
What is the biggest piece of advice Matt Schlapp could give me on trying to attract young voters to the right side of the election?
His answer was twofold, touching on the failures of Obamanomics as well as the botched involvement of the United States in global entanglements. Read his full answer below.
My biggest piece of advice [to young voters] is to ask themselves what they want to do when they get out of college; do they want to get a job? There are not a lot of jobs out there. There are a lot of people who voted for Obama who you know, they’re working at Starbucks and they went to college, and there’s nothing wrong with working at Starbucks but some people have higher ambitions than that. And these Obamanomics is not working out so well for them. So life is not just about your job, but your job is pretty important.
The secondary thing I would say is that a lot of people feel like Obama was going to get in there and just kind of get us out of these kind of global entanglements. I think we’re going to get in more entanglements. I think we’re less safe. I think we’re going t0 have to use the military more. I think we’re going to get dragged into more places…so if you’re a young person who doesn’t like the prospect of going to war, I think you’ve got a greater likelihood of going to war after this. So those would be the two issues I would think about.
Agreed on both fronts. President Obama campaigned on a promise of hope and change for the future, yet college students like myself still worry about our job prospects upon graduation. In a time where young people should be prospering, we find ourselves constantly worried about unemployment rates. We ask ourselves, “Do our college degrees even mean anything?”
Secondly, our world is in certain chaos. Part of this is due to the confusion and instability in the Middle East after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but President Obama utterly failed in handling foreign policy during his eight years by drawing red lines that could be crossed and making backroom deals with Russia. Young voters need to ask themselves which candidate they believe will truly be able to lead the United States with integrity, diplomacy, and ferocity when necessary in the coming years.
Young voters, our time is now. Let us choose wisely.