At the state Republican convention in Savannah, national party chairman Michael Steele asked the young to stand.
About 50 did. No further invitation is needed, he told them. You are here and now given license to work actively to expand the party.
The gesture was as much for the elders as for the young.
Just as the GOP has to demonstrate seriousness about attracting minorities who share the party’s core beliefs, it’s vital, too, to educate the next generation.
There’s Ronald Reagan. And then … Nobody comes to mind.
Generations of young environmental activists started out as first graders who were taught that recycling is a moral imperative. Environmentalism and “Kodak diversity,” both important certainly, have become foundational beliefs primarily because the media and educators gave them moral primacy — just as they once did to love of country and a belief in American exceptionalism.
When environmental indoctrination conditions a nation to passively accept global warming as real and as a license for government to dictate how we live and work, the school-day lessons of responsible stewardship have morphed into left wing political action.
Diversity, too, is magnificent, an aspirational virtue of a multi-cultural society. When, however, it becomes a license to discriminate against individuals or entire states as Congress has done, it likewise has morphed into something a democratic society never intended.
Conservatives really do need to focus on the young and what they are taught. Every effort to reform schools should be to put parents in charge.
It’s why, too, conservatives under the Gold Dome should schedule sessions for interns and aides when policy experts are invited to educate legislators. That should be an active, ongoing effort to build a durable majority.
Essential to success is mutual trust. Politicians have to trust voters and stop playing “no is yes” and “tax is fee” and “crisis is our chance to control your life” games.
Two gubernatorial candidate speeches from Savannah go to the issue of trust.
One is from State Rep. Austin Scott of Tifton, a long-shot vowed to be a “servant leader” and declared:
“I have never done business with the state or any political subdivision. . . I have never participated in a government retirement plan … I will not appoint anyone to the Board of Regents [of the University System of Georgia] who contributes more than $1,000 to my campaign … those seats are not for sale.” He promised, too, to expand transparency in government. State Sen. Eric Johnson of Savannah promised a campaign built on trust: “Who do you trust with our principles … Who do you trust to do the right thing when nobody is looking?”
He expounded on his beliefs and promised “to focus on the next generation — not the next headline or the next election.” Continuing: “As a person, I serve a higher God. I am accountable to Him.
“As a public servant, I serve the Constitution. That holds me accountable to you.”
Core principles. Trust. Teach and outreach. That wins Georgia — and the country.