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October 25, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


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An Old Problem For the Republican Party
Jimmy Moore
March 29, 2004

The 2004 South Carolina Republican Party State Convention is now history and what a weekend it was!

On Friday night, Virginia Sen. George Allen spoke at the annual Silver Elephant Banquet encouraging those in attendance to elect another U.S. Senator from the South Carolina to help push through important legislation that Democrats have blocked for the past three years.

A touching tribute to former Republican President Ronald Reagan followed Allen's remarks. Humorous and poignant footage from Reagan was spliced together to help those in attendance reminisce on the best president this country has ever had. It was the highlight of the evening.

Then on Saturday, more than 1,100 delegates gathered together in Columbia to hold party elections and hear from Republican officeholders and candidates in this year's elections.

The mainstream media has certainly made a big deal over comments made by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who called Republicans to action to bring more minorities into the party, including African-Americans and Hispanics.

While I could not agree more with Sen. Graham's assessment, I believe the Republican Party has a much, much bigger problem on its hands that will surely manifest itself over the next decade or two.

Even more shocking to me than the lack of African-Americans and Hispanics in the crowd at the convention was the overwhelming number of senior citizens who make up the activists in the Republican Party. And I'm sure this is prevalent all across the United States of America.

Please do not misunderstand what I am saying.

I am NOT asserting that I believe older Republicans should not be allowed to actively participate in the political process. On the contrary, senior citizens tend to have more time to conduct party activities than those of us who still work for a living. In addition, their many years of wisdom should be handed down to the next generation of conservative Republican soldiers.

My primary concern is what is going to happen when the inevitable happens. You know what I'm talking about. One by one over the next 5, 10 and definitely within 20 years or so, these longtime Republican activists will be gone, leaving behind some incredibly large shoes to fill with no apparent successors! Where is the next generation in the Republican Party?

I have been openly concerned about this trend for several years now.

When I first moved to Spartanburg County in 2000, one of the first Republican Party meetings I attended was in the back room at Bronco's Mexican Restaurant. There were about 100 people in attendance at the event, an impressive showing for a Tuesday night event.

But, I could literally count on two hands the number of people under the age of 65 in the room. I couldn't help but ask the following question to Spartanburg County Republican Party Chairman Rick Beltram at the time.

"Where are all the young people in the Republican Party?" I inquired.

His answer at the time is that there is a vibrant group of Young Republicans and various college Republican groups that could not attend the event, but are active in the party.

And these groups are doing a super job of spreading the conservative message on college campuses all across South Carolina and the United States. I have seen them in action and admire their dedication to the Republican Party.

Nevertheless, the activists in the Republican Party seem to be getting older rather than younger. This is not good for the long term success of the GOP.

Does the Democratic Party have this same problem? I don't know because I've never been to one of their meetings.

But something tells me they are doing a much better job of reaching out to young people and, of course, minorities.

Why is this?

Do their ideas of higher taxes, pro-abortion, pro-homosexuality, bigger government and such really resonate with younger voters? Perhaps.

But how many young and minority voters do you think live their lives closer to the conservative ideals of the Republican Party than the failed liberal policies of the Democratic Party? I would say a large majority.


That's right. They're out there right now just waiting for you to convince them why they should join the ranks of the conservatives in the Republican Party. Too often we become complacent and expect young and minority voters to come to us. Fat chance of that ever happening!

We need to get out there and let these voters (and non-voters!) know that there is a political party they can be proud of who will represent their values and beliefs more than the Democrats ever will!

But the Republican Party must continue to grow with young people as well as minorities if it expects to remain viable throughout the 21st century!

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It's Bob. How ya doin? I didn't get the opportunity to attend the meeting this past weekend, but I'm glad it went well. I wanted to take some time out and let you know some interesting things that happened with the Young Republincans this weekend.
Our very own Josh Marthers was elected Vice-Chair for the YR's in Charleston. . . .

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