Generation Opportunity’s Julie Germany reminded everyone to think about what it is like to make friends in real life during this panel discussion. Cultivating friendships requires people to ask questions of each other and find mutual interests, to connect. Ms. Germany described it as a,
“…very subtle art, an art that has been mastered by progressives but is often missed by conservatives.”
Fellow panelist Emily Ekins, of the Reason Foundation has done extensive research on the ideological views and preferences of millennials, and further echoes the necessity for relationship-building in the conservative movement. As Ms. Ekins’ studies have shown, millennials identify more with individuals than parties and often consider themselves a mix of different ideologies, depending on the topic. With this sort of of blended perspective millennials in particular require more meaningful persuasion, often in the form of relationship-building on social media. Graphs and memes are simply not enough to win this generation over. A vested interest in people as individuals is what is necessary to gain the platform to share ideas among millennials.
Former CRNC Chairman and panelist, Alex Schriver, noted that one of the biggest problems with communication on the right is that their model of waiting for people to hit certain milestones no longer works with such an ideologically mixed generation,
“ Our standard package of values has always been applied to growing up, getting married, buying a house… etc. those values are changing and declining among the youth of America”
Millennial diversity requires conversations instead of lifestyle checkpoints in order to hear the conservative message.
The conservative movement needs to take note of the necessity to form relationships in order to reach the younger generation. Being persuasive on social media platforms requires a focus on relationship building rather than presenting facts and figures. The next step in the conservative movement in regards to social media should be to engage with the younger generation and take a vested interest in their wants and ideas.