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Life, Liberty & Levin: Here's why the Republican Party fails to attract young people

Conservative Review

On Sunday night, while the cable news media promoted an ABC interview with a disgruntled and attention-seeking former FBI employee trying to sell books, LevinTV host Mark Levin had a substantive conversation about the future of conservatism with two rising conservatives on his Fox News program, "Life, Liberty & Levin."

Levin interviewed Conservative Review senior editor Daniel Horowitz and Turning Point USA founder and executive director Charlie Kirk about how young people can be attracted to conservatism while the Left keeps its ideological stranglehold on college campuses.

"The suppression of free speech, the absolute attack on the idea of America, the outward neo-Marxist beliefs from the professors, the faculty, and the student activists — it makes you feel as if you're entering a different country," Kirk said.

"The college Left hates the idea that there are other ideas. They want a total monopoly on the conversation because they're threatened by the mere existence of a pro-free market, pro-conservative worldview because they know when that does actually happen, students hear both sides and they come somewhere in the middle."

Horowitz stated that an effective conservative movement and a competent political party to represent conservative ideas are crucial to winning over young people. But he believes the Republican Party does not represent conservatives.

"We often die on their hills, not on our hills, on our ideology," Horowitz said. He explained that many young people face crushing student loans and out-of-control health care costs, but the Republican Party does not offer alternative solutions to counter the Democratic Party's demand for free college tuition and free health care.

"Naturally, if they're not offered a competing set of ideas, the free stuff is going to be very enticing. But no one ever explains to them how the government has created an insurance health care conglomerate cartel, an education cartel that has basically inflated the costs of those services commensurate with those very subsidies. We don't offer it. Instead, the Republican Party tends to shy away from that, tends to agree with what the Democrats are offering."

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Kirk believes that conservatives will ultimately win the battle of ideas with the Left.

"We're going to win because ... the enemies of freedom always overshoot their target. Always, if history tells us anything. And because of that, decent-minded people in the middle will gravitate towards better ideas, better principles and freedoms."

Levin asked if these better ideas can be found in the two-party system. "What does the Republican Party stand for today?"

"It's been three decades since Reagan, and we've lost our way," Horowitz said. "We've really not found any home in the Republican Party," he continued, noting that the Republicans have drifted to the left in response to a perception that younger generations are more progressive than their elders.

"It's not so much that the young generation is irrevocably liberal; it's that they're attracted to the strongest players on the block. So you need to offer them new ideas."

Horowitz said these "new ideas" must come from outside the Republican Party, from the American people directly.

"Sadly, I don't think this duopoly of the Republican and Democrats is serving anyone correctly. And to the extent younger voters are more attracted to new ideas, I think it will be through a new movement, not a tainted Republican Party that comes with a lot of baggage."

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