Thursday, August 09, 2012

Are the Christianists Losing the Young Republicans?

An article in the New York Times must be disturbing to the hate merchants at Family Research Council, American Family Association, the National Organization for Marriage, etc., who seek to make their stridently anti-gay, anti-abortion and anti-modernity issues to top GOP priority.   Based on the article young Republicans are increasingly rejecting the Christofascists efforts to keep the GOP a quasi-religious party.  Added to the mass exit of members of the millennial generation from organized religion entirety, with these changes in the views of young Republicans the future doesn't bode well for the Tony Perkins and Maggie Gallaghers of the world.    While their message of hate, bigotry and ignorance still plays well with older voters, their audience is literally dying off.  And at some point the GOP will have to either swing back to modern reality or begin to die.  Here are some article highlights:

“Social issues are far down the priorities list, and I think that’s the trend,” Mr. Hoagland, 27, said. “That’s where it needs to go if the Republican Party is going to be successful.” 

Zoey Kotzambasis, vice president of the College Republicans at the University of Arizona, considers herself a conservative. But she supports both same-sex marriage and abortion rights. Those are not just her opinions. 

“A lot of the College Republicans I know share the same liberal-to-moderate social views,” she added. “And I think that’s changing the face of the party.” 

In a break from generations past and with an eye toward the future, many of the youngest leaders of the Republican Party are embracing views on some social issues that are at odds with traditional conservative ideology — if they mention such issues at all, according to interviews, experts and some polling. 

 Polls show that Americans under 30 are the least likely to identify as Republican, and those in the millennial generation support President Obama by a wide margin. But in an effort to win votes by capitalizing on disenchantment with the recession and its slow recovery, Republicans are placing a renewed emphasis on fiscal issues, with hopes of energizing their young people  .   .  .  

A poll this year by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that the percentage of Republicans ages 18 through 29 who favor same-sex marriage has grown to 37 percent, up from 28 percent eight years ago. 

“The students I know who are conservative are far less so on social issues than our parents,” Ms. Kotzambasis, 19, said. “People are more accepting of different lifestyles.” 

Younger Republicans are also the most likely members of the party to say that “more people of different races marrying each other” and “more women in the work force” have been changes for the better, according to a separate Pew study conducted last year. 

All of their characteristics taken together, young Republicans present a nuanced mix of political ideals that may well change the face of the party over time, experts say. “There has to be room for them or the Republican Party won’t exist, at the pace this generation is evolving,” said John Della Volpe, polling director at the Harvard Institute of Politics

At least two members of her College Republican group, one of whom is a lifelong friend, recently revealed that they are gay, she said. And the open discussions that ensued greatly influenced the entire club, and solidified Ms. Kotzambasis’s own view. 

“I think people have become much more at ease and comfortable about it,” she said. “Honestly, there’s about zero judgment from the people in our club, and I think that reflects the direction my generation wants to take the party in.” 

Personally, I continue to view being gay  and involved in today's GOP as something akin to being Jewish and supporting the Nazi Party or being black and supporting the KKK.  But I hope that in  time the Christofascists find themselves without a viable home in the GOP.  They need to be driven back into the political wilderness where they belong.

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