On Being Young, Republican & Sure About Life
There's an old line of reasoning that goes something like this: if you're not a liberal as a young person, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative as an older person, you haven't really lived. While I don't subscribe to all of this, there's nevertheless some underlying truth in it. I do know that the whole idea of a "young Republican" has always made me cringe in a way that being a Republican later in life, while not my cup of tea, never would.
When I lived in Washington D.C. during the Reagan presidency, the town was awash in this curious strain of humanity. Reagan's capture of the White House was something of a restoration for his party, and these young eager beavers flocked to Washington as if answering the distant call of some whistle pitched at a frequency only they could hear. But there were so damn many of them. The place was lousy with them, and they were easy to spot. The guys always wore a suit, or at least a sports coat, with the obligatory rep tie and tassled loafers. The women wore skirts and smiled a lot. We treated them as an oddly compelling form of local color, studying them mostly from afar. We took stock of these people not unlike we might have appraised a fascinating cult group or an ancient lost tribe we had stumbled upon in the outback. They seemed to have something to teach us about the world, however far from our experience they might be.
Anyway, I thought of all that when I came across this page of the Greater Cleveland Young Republicans' site. Four of the five officers have Jesuit educations, including three from my college alma mater, John Carroll. How sad, I thought, that their supposedly enriching educations had left these people with hardened attitudes about life and politics at such an early age. How much inquiry and exploration of a strange and invigorating world they're likely to miss by thinking they know most of the answers early.
Okay, so there they are: my political biases, on display for all to see. Have at me, Republican readers.