By Debra Tash
The Channel Islands Republican Women Federated, CIRWF, hosted a panel of young adults from 18-24, also known as Generation Z. They are local Ventura County residents who hold views that may be seen by some as atypical of their peers. Asked by the moderator, Port Hueneme’s Mayor Will Berg, what conservative values they support, each person in turn added to a solid list of bedrock standards. That list includes individualism, lower taxes, honesty, free market capitalism, limited government, a strong work ethic, and that family is the building block of society up to and most importantly including, “The right to life because without that there are no other rights,” said Noee Ortiz, a young man working towards a career in law enforcement.
When asked how Social Media helps shape their generation’s views and how it could be used, Taylor Chen, a senior at Westlake High School, said it’s a “…platform to convey opinions and could be used to further the truth.” He also noted the opposite is possible and that everyone should consider the source and not believe everything he or she reads or sees as the truth.
Hope Cottam, a student at Channel Islands (CSUCI) and president of the campus Turning Point USA chapter, said Twitter and Instagram, with its story feature, were the best platforms. She also was unapologetic about her pro-life stance believing it to be an essential part of Republicanism.
Matt Fennell, president of Dolphin Republicans at CSUCI and coordinator for Prager U, said Facebook is for the Boomer generation. Noee Ortiz noted their peers, the young people, are “headline readers”. They tend not to look at all sides and do not think beyond headlines and sound bites.
Zack Robinson is a student at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott Arizona. He stressed that Social Media’s censorship guidelines affect the Conservative message disproportionately, so the full story is not being told. He also emphasized the need to restore moral standards embodied in our founding documents regardless of one’s religious affiliation or not.
Mayor Berg asked the younger set to assess the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities of the Republican Party.
Jack Breuker, a graduate of California State University Chico, bonded earlier in the day with Mayor Berg who also graduated from Chico and who in 2011 was inducted into Chico’s Athletic Hall of Fame for football. Jack worked at the National Republican Congressional Committee after college and before moving to the central coast to work in public relations for the oil and gas industry. He talked about his work and how the notion that Republicans are anti-environment is categorically untrue. If anything, they are better for the environment noting it was Republican President Richard Nixon who formed the Environmental Protection Agency, the EPA, in December 1970 by signing an Executive Order.
Hannah Nandor, a biology major at California Lutheran University who is working to become a OB/GYN Physician’s Assistant, said the perception of the Party is that Republicans lack compassion. “We need to communicate better because my generation is prone to emotional tactics.” The Gen Z’s react to emotion more than to facts.
Taylor Chen, the high school senior, believes Republicans must do more community outreach. They must reach parents and students because the “Left is in the schools”. He knows public education is a problem because of his first-hand experience of censorship on his campus.
Matt Fennell made the point that, “Republicans have an identity crisis.” He believes the root of the crisis is too many Republicans have forgotten that our Nation’s Founders held Judeo-Christian values; that they practiced those values in their everyday lives; and that it is those values, embodied in our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution, that has given the world the greatest country in history.
In sum, the Channel Islands Republican Women Federated February program was an excellent afternoon spent with seven conservative, young Americans who love this country and want it and themselves to realize their full potential.
Photos Credits, Debra Tash
Debra Tash is Editor-in-Chief of Citizensjournal.us, past president for Citizens Alliance for Property Rights, business executive and award-winning author, residing in Somis.