OPINION: Republicans can capture this demographic if they hold back on social issues

The Democratic Party no longer has an undeniable hold on millennial voters, with an increasing number shifting toward the right side of the political spectrum, according to a report issued by Pew Research Center.

A newly identified subset of young voters are now “skeptical of activist government,” and a “substantial majority” of this subset “view government as wasteful and inefficient,” according to the study, Beyond Red v. Blue: The Political Typology, released on June 26.

This group of fiscally conservative, small-government advocates is classified as “young outsiders” by the study, among eight political typology groups that include “steadfast conservatives,” “solid liberals” and “politically disengaged bystanders.”

While young outsiders aren’t entirely comprised of millennial voters, Pew says the category is collectively the youngest of all typology groups, with 30 percent under 30 and most under 50.

The findings of the study complicate the view of millennials from a mere two years ago, when many voters now classified as young outsiders supported the reelection of President Barack Obama.

Sixty-seven percent of voters ages 18 to 29 cast their ballots for Obama, to 30 percent for former Gov. Mitt Romney. Voters 30-44 years old supported Obama 52 percent to 45 percent in support of Romney.

The cause of the rightward shift? Take your pick from a long list of grievances: out-of-control government spending, the soaring costs of higher education, government corruption, staggering unemployment and the uncertain job market, among many other issues.

One of the topic issues in the typology study is entitlement and welfare spending.

As compared to 48 percent of the general public, 86 percent of young outsiders believe that “government aid to the poor does more harm than good,” said the report. Further, 76 percent of young outsiders believe the government cannot afford to further assist those in need.

Government over-involvement is another issue of top concern, with 66 percent of young outsiders indicating that they feel the government is doing too much to resolve the country’s issues and problems.

While millennials’ viewpoints on government spending and the scope of federal power are shifting toward the right, the demographic holds mostly liberal opinions on social issues, including environmental protection regulations and controversial social policies.

Young outsiders feel that society should accept homosexuality (78 percent) compared to 62 percent of the general population. The group favors the legalization of marijuana (67 percent), and 58 percent believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

Yet despite their general resistance to government spending, 68 percent of young outsiders believe that the costs of stricter environmental laws and regulations are worthwhile.

Curiously, young outsiders veer back to the right on the gun-control debate, with 63 percent stating that protecting the right to own firearms is important.

Despite mostly socially liberal viewpoints, Pew predicts young outsiders will still lean Republican when comes to casting a ballot, although the category does not favorably view either political party. This bodes well for the GOP in the approaching midterm elections, but only if they understand the opportunity the party is afforded by this realignment of youth political philosophies.

studentsforliberty.sflThe GOP needs the young outsider demographic almost as much as the group wants stringent, fiscally conservative leaders and representatives, presenting an opportunity for a mutually beneficial relationship that has the potential for a very large return.

Republicans have an opportunity to demonstrate that they are not just the party of stodgy old white men, but also appeal to a vast array of demographics in age and gender.

Young outsiders are largely comprised of two demographic groups that could vastly contribute to improving the GOP’s image problem – youth and women. Women comprise 52 percent of young outsiders, according to the report.

However, there is a large difference between ideological agreement and actual ballots being cast for conservative candidates on Election Day.

The best plan of attack for the GOP is to leave social issues for another day and focus on appealing to young voters with decisive, realistic plans for resolving the financial problems facing our country.

Jobs, the economy, deregulation, entitlement reform and legislation that lowers the cost of college tuition – not combating the social culture war of our elders – are the issues that this demographic wants to hear about.

College Fix contributor Julianne Stanford is a student at the University of Arizona.

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IMAGES: European Parliament/Flick, Students for Liberty

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Boise State University was sued recently for requiring prolife students to use warning signs when they protest abortion on campus with graphic images of aborted babies.

You know the ones – they are not easy to look at. They are real photos of murdered children, and they look like just that: blood, dismembered parts, lifeless faces.

Why would we use such images? We do so because those horrific photos so many prolifers use, including myself, are effective.

Women going into clinics have stopped in their tracks upon seeing the images and changed their minds. Many have later told pro-life workers that the disturbing pictures portraying the truth about abortion were the sole thing that convinced them to turn around and have their babies.

I have heard the argument (from people on both sides) that the graphic pictures are counterproductive because they make people angry at us and harden them even more.

Certainly, they make many people furious. One time a young college student even came up to my group and started crying and yelling at us, claiming that she had been raped and had had an abortion.

Many have heard of the feminist studies professor at UC Santa Barbara who stormed off with a teenage prolifer’s sign last semester. I was among that group of prolife protesters on campus that day, and we dared to hold graphic signs showing what abortion is, causing the professor to throw herself into, literally, a rage.

It is not the photos that upset them, though (after all, it is not a baby, remember?).

The hard truth of abortion thrust in front of them is what sets people off. The photos do not harden people against the pro-life cause; they only give them a run for their money…and deeply unsettle them.

That said, I do think that whenever possible children and post-abortive women should be spared seeing the images.

I am part of an independent group that operates similarly to Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, and often we just reach out and talk to women, give them a pamphlet, and tell them about nearby pregnancy centers.

This is a gentler way to approach these women and dispenses with a lot of the stress that inevitably accompanies seeing the pictures. If it works, great. If not, maybe they need to see a bit more.

As far as trigger warnings, if all they accomplish is helping to steel people before they see the photos, the warnings are acceptable. However, they may do more harm than good if they truly ward people off. The ones I have seen have not been particularly effective at deterring people. Do people really have that kind of self-control over their curiosity?

It really comes down to the bottom line that you usually just cannot predict who will happen to see the photos. The bad consequences of NOT shaking people awake in this way are so much scarier than any bad effects that showing the reality of abortion will have on those who are not ready to see it.

That is why the lawsuit against Boise State is important: it is about free speech. It is about our right to tell the truth, hard as that may be.

The suit was filed by the conservative law firm Alliance Defending Freedom, which stated in announcing its litigation that “university policies that suppress free speech are completely at odds with what a university is: a marketplace of ideas.”

“Free speech should not be limited to a tiny area on campus, nor should students be told their speech needs a warning sign simply because university officials think their views are ‘controversial.’”

Meanwhile, the law firm points out that “Boise State University has allowed other groups to host events without warning signs, including Planned Parenthood, which distributed condoms on campus, and the Secular Student Alliance, which distributed ‘Does God Exist?’ fliers in open spaces on campus.”

If ruled in favor of Boise State, the suit sets a looming precedent that could lead to more and more restrictions on free speech, especially that which aims to speak an extremely hard truth, as prolifers do.

It’s a dangerous and slippery slope when we allow campus administrators to decide what’s “controversial ” and what’s not, or what is protected free speech and what deserves qualifications.

My peers and I are fighting for the freedom to speak the truth, whether people like it or not. Freedom to be lied to and remain ignorant is not freedom. We are fighting for the heart and soul of this nation.

Mairead McArdle is a student at Thomas Aquinas College.

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IMAGE:  Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust screenshot/Facebook


Guide also warns readers about “misleading” crisis pregnancy centers

The University of Chicago has published what amounts to a how-to guide on getting an abortion, complete with referrals to local abortion providers, links to financial assistance programs and statements that it’s one of the “safest” procedures in America today.

The guide also tacitly warns readers not to trust crisis pregnancy centers, citing an 8-year-old study commissioned by a top Democratic lawmaker that claims the vast majority of centers provide false or misleading information claiming that abortion could “lead to suicide and ‘post-abortion stress disorder.’”

Its launch has come under fire by some Illinois pro-life groups. A campus official told The College Fix that while the guide is hosted by the university, it’s not meant for students. Titled “Accessing Abortion in Illinois,” the guide launched on June 6 as a project of the Section of Family Planning and Contraceptive Research, the Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health (Ci3), and the Urban Initiative of the National Institute for Reproductive Health.

While the university says it’s a guide for health and social service providers, the information is just as informative for students, providing links to multiple abortion providers in Illinois.

Area pro-life groups are upset with the university’s decision to collaborate on such a project.

The abortion guide is full of “inaccurate information, hypocrisies, inadequately researched studies, and attempts to dissuade women from seeking all healthcare options available,” Emily Zender, executive director of Illinois Right to Life, said on the group’s website.

Zender criticized the abortion guide for condemning crisis pregnancy centers, which she says provide a valuable service in providing clothing, counseling and pregnancy tests to women in need. There are at least five crisis pregnancy centers in Chicago, and more in the surrounding suburbs.

crisispregnancy.Brianne.FlickrThe guide says crisis pregnancy centers can cause “confusion” just by existing, and that going to such a place “can lead to delays in care for an individual who wants to consider abortion.” It cites a 2006 study commissioned by Rep. Henry Waxman, Democrat of California – at the time ranking member on the House Oversight Committee – that said such centers provide “false and misleading health information” about abortion.

A spokesperson for the university told The College Fix that the guide is not intended for patients, but rather for health and social service providers. Pregnant students, he said, would go to the university’s health center.

The spokesperson also said that despite the guide being hosted on the university’s website and using its logo, it’s actually a Ci3 project.

Lee Hasselbacher, policy coordinator for the Section of Family Planning and Contraceptive Research, told The College Fix the guide’s discussion of crisis pregnancy centers “is focused on assisting health and social service providers in offering referrals to abortion providers once a woman has already opted to seek abortion.”

The guide includes resources that providers could find useful in “providing unbiased, non-directive all-options counseling,” but that list “was meant as a starting point,” Hasselbacher said.

Asked what other resources the university makes available to pregnant students, such as adoption services, the university forwarded links to how a student could acquire birth control or emergency contraception.

Jack Nuelle, an executive board member for University of Chicago Students for Life, told The College Fix he does not believe a page presenting life-affirming options for students exists.

Nuelle said the university should clearly outline the options available to pregnant students so they are aware of options other than abortion.

A search of the university’s website for pregnancy resources produces scant results. There are no links to various crisis pregnancy centers in the area, such as the Southside Pregnancy Center in Oak Lawn or Aid for Women, which has locations across Chicago.

The top result is a “fact sheet” produced by the university’s family planning department, which criticizes pregnancy resource centers as being deceptive, misleading and providing inaccurate information.

The University of Chicago is also the only known university in the U.S. to perform abortions on campus.

In February 2013, Campus Reform reported that the university’s Ryan Center was performing abortions on campus. It’s not known how many abortions the Center performs each year.

CORRECTION: This article originally said that a congressional study claimed that crisis pregnancy centers “provide false or misleading information that ‘lead to suicide and ‘post-abortion stress disorder.’” The sentence should have read “information claiming that abortion could ‘lead to suicide…’” and has been updated to reflect this correction. 

College Fix contributor Matt Lamb is a student at Loyola University-Chicago.

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IMAGES: Chris Smith/Flickr, Internet screenshot, Brianne/Flickr


The Obamacare contraceptive mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a federal judge in Denver ruled in a closely watched case involving Colorado Christian University.

Details from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represented the school:

In a carefully reasoned opinion, the court ruled that the Health and Human Services Mandate, which would have forced CCU to include drugs like Plan B (the “morning after” pill) and ella (the “week after” pill) in its health care plan, infringes the University’s freedom of religion. The court noted that “[i]f CCU refused to provide health insurance coverage for its employees,” or “did not include the coverages required by the Mandate, CCU would be subject to significant – if not ruinous – financial penalties.” The court then concluded that this pressure on CCU to violate its religious beliefs violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The judge granted the school a preliminary injunction, meaning it “has shown a substantial likelihood that it will prevail on its RFRA claim.”

Read the whole article here.

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IMAGE: RoRi630/Wikimedia Commons

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Georgetown University, a Roman Catholic institution, played host to a series of pro-abortion events last week. Here’s a brief excerpt from the description of events:

H*yas for Choice is hosting its seventh annual Choice Week. This year’s theme, “My Choice, My Voice,” is about both women’s right to reproductive choice and free speech on campus.

“My Choice, My Voice” is a nod to the work H*yas for Choice has done this year in regards to the University’s speech and expression policy,” Laura Narefsky (COL ’14), President of H*yas for Choice, told Vox. “This issue has gone quiet in the last few weeks, and we want to remind both students and administrators that we are not done fighting for rights of expression on campus.”

The Catholic church teaches that abortion is an immoral form of killing. Yet last week’s events included various event designed to promote access to abortion and even a free university shuttle ride to a Planned Parenthood rally outside the Supreme Court.

Read more about Georgetown’s “Choice Week” here.


The College Fix previously reported the attack on a pro-life student at the University of California, Santa Barbara. A feminist professor attacked a teenage demonstrator, and the episode was caught on video.

Now, a statement released by UCSB vice-chancellor, Michael D. Young, shortly after the incident, has come to our attention. In the statement, which was released to students on March 19, Young ridicules pro-life demonstrators, calling them “evangelical types,” “self-proclaimed prophets,” and “anti-abortion crusaders.”

The peaceful pro-life demonstrators were subjected to an unprovoked attack by feminist studies professor, Mireille Miller-Young. But the vice chancellor insults the demonstrators as “proselytizers hawking intolerance” and peddlers of “fear,” “hate,” “intolerance,” and “discord” at UCSB.

Nowhere in the memo does vice-chancellor Young condemn the violent actions of his faculty member, Professor Miller-Young, which left the arms of a 16-year old girl covered with scars and abrasions.

Instead, the vice-chancellor praises himself as one known for fighting on behalf of “tolerance.” He touts his long record of speaking at “anti-hate events” and officiating at a “Queer wedding.” Contrast that to the pro-life demonstrators who, the vice-chancellor says, come “wrapped in intolerance and extremism.”

With no apparent sense of irony, vice-chancellor Young reiterates his strong commitment to free speech. He directs all his criticism toward the pro-life demonstrators, and none toward the intolerant, hateful and violent liberals who attacked them.

Apparently, “intolerance” at UCSB has a special meaning–and it covers any point of view that falls outside the extreme liberal groupthink of academia. If you are pro-life, you are considered intolerant. If you hold traditional religious views you are intolerant. On the other hand, if you physically attack a pro-life student, you are probably considered a noble and excellent person who simply took the struggle for good a little too far.

Is that about right, vice-chancellor?

Does the 16-year-old girl, Thorin Short, whom your professor injured and attacked, fall into the category of the the “peddlers of hate,” simply because she believes abortion ends and innocent life? And does your own feminist hit squad remain safely within your designation of the tolerant and good no matter whom they attack?

It sure looks that way.

Read vice-chancellor Young’s full statement and decide for yourself.

In contrast to the opinions of Mr. Young, we’d like to draw reader’s attention to the words of Catherine Short, mother of the girl who was attacked, and Legal Director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation. She had this to say about the attack on her daughter and the university’s response:

“In early March 2014, my daughters Joan and Thrin, along with several friends, went to the University of California at Santa Barbara to conduct a pro-life outreach. While there, they were accosted by UCSB professor Mireille Miller-Young.

We are confident that the legal process will establish, without room for doubt or equivocation, that Miller-Young was the aggressor throughout her encounter with the pro-lifers. The pro-life speakers did not taunt, provoke, or incite either Miller-Young or anyone else, as some have suggested. On the contrary, they made every effort to meet her provocations, taunts, mockery, and profanity with calm and reason, trying to move her into a more productive channel of discourse…

We encourage UCSB Vice-Chancellor Michael Young to observe a pro-life outreach, whether conducted by my daughters and their friends, a Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust campus team, Justice for All, Project Truth, or UCSB’s own pro-life organization. If he does, he will not see any pro-life person ‘provoking’, ‘taunting’, or ‘peddling hate and intolerance’, as he described in an e-mail to UCSB students following the incident. What he will see is individuals trying to reach the minds and win the hearts of others by employing facts, reason, discussion, and persuasion – exactly the type of ‘exchange of ideas’ that he said ‘is fundamental to the mission of [the] university.’”

Read Catherine Short’s complete statement here.

In view of all the events of the past few weeks, one can reasonably come away with no other conclusion but that the strongholds of intolerance at UCSB have little to do with so-called “evangelical types,” upon whom UCSB’s Michael D. Young seeks to place blame. Instead, at UCSB, intolerance thrives among feminist professors and senior administrators who believe that, ultimately, a liberal-progressive point of view and intent justifies any action, even, as in this case, a physical attack. Or, at least, it shields the liberal who carries out that attack from any criticism.

All the criticism, as usual, is reserved for those who dare to hold pro-life views, and who dare to utter those views aloud.

Nathan Harden is editor of The College Fix and author of the book SEX & GOD AT YALE: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad.

Follow Nathan on Twitter @NathanHarden

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