Well, it’s 2014, and you know what that means: Washington’s attention is turning to the 2016 elections! I mean why not, right? It’s only two and a half years away, and it’s a lot more fun than creating policy or governing. So while the Democrats try to talk themselves into the idea that the cure for partisan paralysis is Hillary Clinton, of all people — maybe you were too young or too impaired to remember the ’90s, but she was the single most loathed Democrat of all time — the Republicans are trying to change things up a little.
It’s been apparent for several years that the Grand Old Party has a pretty serious demographic problem, and time is not on its side: The Caucasian wedge of the U.S. population pie graph is shrinking while all the other ones are getting bigger. That’s a problem for a party that’s 98% white.
So this week, they set out to rectify the situation by showing that it’s not just cigar-chomping, straight white men huddled around big long tables discussing tax loopholes that vote Republican — it’s those guys, AND cool young people just like you!
In a series of ads posted to YouTube over the last few days by the RNC, a series of earnest young Republicans, each representing at least one demographic quadrant, briefly explains why they vote with Jim DeMint, Mitch McConnell, and Michelle Bachmann. People like Emily Ku, a young barista who hates jumping through hoops, or something:
Emily’s right! There are so many question marks after graduation. There are even question marks in the middle of her sentences!
And how about Raquel Riley Thomas, a striking black woman in jogging gear, whose superficial resemblance to Michelle Obama is purely coincidental:
See, guys? She watches the news, she doesn’t read it on the Internet, on her newfangled phone, which both confounds and mildly irritates her, but also inspires her. Why can’t government be like cellphones? And why is she looking so far off camera? Government, like phones, needs new ideas and new limitations — like, what if you could get a cellphone that could fold your laundry, but it had to stay in your house? Government could be like that, too!
And I don’t know about you, but Scott Greenberg looks like exactly the kind of Williamsburg hipster I try to take all my advice from.
Seriously! Regulations are such a bummer! Memorizing your lines is also a bummer — but that’s why the Free Market invented cue cards.
Hold on, if you’re from Williamsburg, why do you have a car? Seems like more trouble than it’s worth. Not that I want to tell you how to live your life! (Unless you’re pregnant or gay.) And why are you wearing your sister’s clothes? But you’re right, we shouldn’t have to make sure we have enough money to buy things before we buy them, that’s a total drag. And when it comes to energy policy for THIS country? All of the above: oil, gas, wind, solar, shale gas, whale oil, homeless bones, Wheel of Pain, unobtainium, whatEVER! Don’t bother me with the details, just work it out and Instagram me whatever you decide.
Anyway, these are not professional actors — whatever else you might say about them, they’re clearly not professionals — and the videos don’t rely on a lot of Hollywood razzle-dazzle like “eyelines” or “different camera angles” or “actors who know their lines” — just a vague message, delivered unconvincingly, by people who just happen to fit squarely into certain demographics currently underrepresented within the party.
All I can say is, start warming up your veto hand, Mr. President, because the Republicans are re-taking the Senate!