Dole's Secret Youth Strategy Revealed!

As a stunned America reels from the shock of pre-selected Republican nominee Bob Dole's emergence as the Republican nominee, patriotic citizens should read the following secret memo-faxed to me by a Dole mole. As a dutiful public service, I have opted to relinquish my normal weekly column space. Instead, I am releasing this explosive internal strategy paper, for the good of the country and to improve my lagging sales:INTERNAL MEMORANDUMPERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL-EYES ONLYTo: Bob Dolecc: xxx xxxxxxxxxxFrom: Cxxxsxx xxinxxx Dole '96 National Youth CoordinatorDate: 3-19-96Re: Youth Strategy for General Election___________________________________________________________Dear Bob:As you know, voters under 35 years of age have emerged as a potent political force. They were single-handedly responsible for Clinton's 1992 win, but the Democrats have failed to address their concerns, leaving them wide open to an appeal by our side.Not only are young voters (aka Generation Xers, twentysomethings, twentynothings, posties, Baby Busters, slackers, scum) the determinative demographic group this year-they are also the least concerned about your age. February's New York Times/CBS News poll revealed that 41 percent of respondents aged 65 and older believe your age would be an obstacle to being an effective president, compared to 39 percent of those aged 45 to 64, or 31 percent of those 30 to 34, and 29 percent of those aged 18 to 29.Says typical voter Mary Laurent, a Republican from Hollywood, Florida: "I'll be 74. He's 72. I think he looks pretty good but sometimes he looks tired. It all depends on who he picks as his vice presidential candidate."Moreover, you have managed to alienate older people with your support of a plan to gut Medicare spending by $275 billion over seven years. Two-thirds of these selfish seniors oppose you on Medicare.The data is clear: Appealing to geezers is a losing game. If a Dole candidacy is to be successful, it must concentrate on issues and images that appeal to voters under 35. Specifically:Baby Boomer Backlash. Difficult as it may be to believe, in light of the "generation gap" rhetoric of the '60s, Gen Xers have more in common with older Americans over 60 than they do with Boomers (now aged 35 to 50).Both the elderly and the young came of age during difficult economic times offering limited job opportunities. Young people, busy working several jobs to survive, do not empathize with their comparatively wealthy (middle-aged) Boomer seniors and their ceaseless search for personal self-fulfillment. Their disdain for a generation they blame for abandoning activism and embracing laissez-faire capitalism-often at their expense, by underpaying them-is boundless. More importantly, President Clinton hasn't done anything to draw younger voters into the Democratic fold. Let the GOP feeding frenzy begin!Issues for Youngsters. Our focus groups tell us that young voters feel particularly strongly about economic issues. I recommend that you embrace the following promises in your platform at San Diego:* Student Loan Forgiveness Plan: Your bland balanced-budget pitch ("Interest rates would drop 2 percent!") is dead in the water. With the federal student-loan program bleeding $20 billion in defaults, ex-students aren't paying them back anyway. The switch from grants to loans during the Reagan years saddled an entire generation of Americans with debt, preventing them from buying homes and stagnating the housing market. So let the Treasury repay old student loans. Recommended soundbite: "Let's get real and revive the American Dream."* Corporate Responsibility: You've already cashed in on Pat Buchanan's anti-corporate shtick. Go further by banning profit-enhancement layoffs. Support the SEC's proposal to force corporations-the biggest employer of young voters-to limit their top salaries to no more than 20 times that of their lowest-paid employee. Soundbite: "Baby Boomers already got theirs. Let's reward our future before it's too late."* Your Vice President: Since you will probably die in office, choose a vibrant, hip veep, like Al Pacino (a gifted Italian-American actor, see City Hall, now playing at Georgetown Multiplex). Obviously, this means you'll have to look outside the Republican party. Soundbite: "Two presidents for the price of one!"Hip Imagery. Drop the "Comeback Adult" comparison rhetoric. Twenty-year-old voters consider Clinton too old as it is. Most young voters are the products of divorce, so play the role of the wacky father figure they never had. Appear with Courtney Love (seedy rock singer, see attached cassette) on MTV (cable-TV music channel). Consider a nose ring (like an earring, but goes in nostril). Refer to lines from Tarantino movies (young actor/director, see attached VHS tape) to explain your position on issues (On the minimum wage: "What do you mean, you don't believe in tipping?"). Discuss your World War II experiences in terms appealing to young people ("Walking on someone's intestines is really cool!"). Cash in on their love of irony (reverse hip): After all, they think Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra and Pat Boone are cool. Why not you?As always, I'll be at (202) xxx-xxxx if you need me.Faithfully yours, Cxxxsxx xxinxxx

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