Along came a story yesterday, incited by Meghan McCain — daughter of losing candidate John McCain — zeroing in on the Republicans’ poor use of the internet. The first daughter hopeful penned a piece on the Daily Beast titled, “Why Republicans Don’t Get the Internet,” in which she castigates her dad’s campaign and the GOP for technological ineptness.

I wanted to ask some of the people who have been doing online work for the Republican party if they could somehow explain—or even admit—what has gone so wrong. But when I started calling around asking for people to comment, I discovered most did not want to talk to me. Instead, they told me that not having enough money was a huge factor in our loss—not our misuse of the Internet. Others were just plain angry, blaming the liberal media, and not the party’s shortcomings online. Of course, there is truth in some of this. But denial only amplifies the stereotypes about Republicans being disconnected.

[…]

…Although Rebuild the Party is an interesting attempt to reestablish the party’s image-and communicating the reasons why one should join-using the Internet, the website is about as provocative as a blue suit, white shirt, and red tie. At the time that I write this, the video on the homepage features various individuals, most of them I would guess between the ages of fifty and sixty, explaining why they consider themselves Republicans. Had I still been an independent, there is nothing about this website or video that would sway me as a twenty-four year old woman to join the GOP. (I was an Independent until I registered as a Republican for Father’s Day last May.)

Until the Republican party joins the twenty-first century and learns how to use the Internet, its members will keep getting older and the youth of America will just keep logging on to the other side.

McCain makes many good points in this piece, but I tend to agree with Sarah at Future Majority, who repeats what many young progressives have been saying about the technological development and the GOP for a while. The problem with developing sophisticated technology intending to reach and attract youth is the faulty message.

I would argue that technology is a big part of this because its where we spend our time, but I think having a message, political philosophy, and strong outreach in person as well as online is key to capturing the youth of America. That was the problem with STORM – its not enough to know that youth are on SN’s its about knowing them well enough to understand where they are.

Where they are does not include conservative philosophy. Take a peek:

Even if the Millennials do exhibit more family values — a conservative frame — there’s a large difference.  Millennials like family so much that they want as many people as possible — yes, even gay people — to experience it.  And so while abortion numbers have actually remained constant among Millennials, it’s not based on any moralistic, judgmental viewpoints.

It’d be a shame if the Republicans put buku bucks behind their grand technological redevelopment plan and then saw a tired message fall flat while reaching more people.

Advertisements