Reince Priebus: Why Millennials Should Turn to the Republican Party


Editor's Note: On Thursday, May 9, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus published an op-ed on PolicyMic telling millennials why President Obama is failing young people. Chairman Priebus agreed to write short follow-up responses to the top questions in the discussion on his article. Read his responses below.

1. Zach Fulkerson — 25 Mics

Zack, first let me commend you for your work on behalf of the Republican Party. Like you, I started volunteering for Republican candidates and causes in my teens, so I can appreciate all you’ve done.

Now, let me say the Republican Party remains committed to our core principles — and to your generation. I agree that the "very rock" of the party must be fiscal responsibility and free markets — because that’s the foundation of a prosperous country.

If you look at our elected leaders, I think you’ll see those principles are being put into action. Consider our governors. A recent study found that the 10 best states for doing business are led by Republicans. (Twenty-three of the top 25 are too.) The bottom three — you guessed it — are led by Democrats: Illinois, New York, and California. Republican-led states aren’t in the lead by accident. Those governors, working with state legislatures, are implementing policies rooted in fiscal responsibility (balanced budgets, limited spending) and free markets (smart regulation, lower taxes). That means more jobs, more take-home pay, and more opportunity for young people.

At the RNC, our focus is on championing the values of freedom and equal opportunity for all. As we look toward future elections, we’re about taking that message to all voters in all communities, and we are making significant investments and setting ambitious goals toward that end. We recognize the problems of the last campaign, and we’re implementing a plan to fix them. We’re going to work to welcome back voters who have lost faith in us and to earn the trust of new voters.

2. Jack Lee — 15 Mics

Thanks for the question, Jack. Republicans’ message for millennials is that we want you to inherit a prosperous America that affords you every opportunity imaginable to chart your own course to success — and to better our country along the way.

Growth and opportunity don’t come from a big, slow, top-down federal government. Instead of relying on Washington bureaucrats to make decisions for us, we need to leave more power in the hands of the individual. You don’t need government telling you how to live your life. You need the freedom to make that path for yourself.

Government certainly has a role to play, but under President Obama, it has stood in the way of economic progress. We have to promote innovation, but that requires a smarter tax code and reasonable spending levels — and more competition and innovation in the marketplace.

For example, we want an approach to healthcare that lowers costs by increasing choice —not one that increases costs and sticks young people with the bill.

When it comes to government, Democrats think bigger is better. But in the 21st century the greatest breakthroughs — innovations that have revolutionized everything from communications to education — haven’t come from government office buildings; they come from garages and dorms rooms and labs. Why, then, should we trust more of our money and more of our power to the feds?

On the state level, you can see the impact of two differing policy prescriptions. States led by Republican governors are better for opportunity and job creation. A recent study found that the 10 best states for doing business are led by Republicans. (Twenty-three of the top 25 are too.) The bottom three are led by Democrats: Illinois, New York, and California.

That’s the difference that smart budgeting and lower taxes can make.

If we prioritize freedom and opportunity at the national level, as Republicans want to do, it will mean less debt for your generation to pay off and more jobs for those entering the workforce. It will also mean we can strengthen the social safety net (Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security) instead of watching those programs go bankrupt.