Awakening the Obama zombies
In Jason Mattera’s view, President Obama was elected by a brainwashed mass of young voters who marched to the voting booths, their heads filled with campaign Twitter messages, YouTube videos and Facebook urgings. Mattera has a name for these Obama backers, which he makes clear in his new book “Obama Zombies: How the Liberal Machine Brainwashed My Generation.” Here, he explores how to awaken the unthinking youthful masses.
By Jason Mattera
Barack Obama rode to victory on the backs of the very young people whom his health-care plan punishes and whom his spending spree bankrupts. But yet, according to a recent Pew survey, nearly 57 percent of younger Americans still approve of this president. Why the lockstep support? It makes as much sense as letting Michael Vick watch your dog while you’re on vacation.
The answer is easy: In 2008, Barack Obama lobotomized my generation. For an entire year, otherwise clear-thinking members of the most affluent, over-educated, information-drenched generation in American history fell prey to the most expensive, hi-tech, laser-focused marketing assault in presidential campaign history.
Think I’m overselling Team Obama’s influence on people my age? Think again. On Election Day, 66 percent of younger Americans cast their ballot for Obama, whereas only 32 percent backed McCain. To put that in perspective, there has never been an age gap that wide in any modern-day presidential election. Moreover, key swing states including Florida, North Carolina, and Indiana swung in Obama’s direction exactly because McCain got walloped with those voters under 30.
But Obama’s influence didn’t materialize in a vacuum. Most certainly, the confluence of the Liberal Machine’s Hollywood tactics, the media’s collective wet kiss for Team Obama, and the professoriate’s unending love affair with Barack all helped to create a massive throng of Obama Zombies. But the root of the lobotomy goes much deeper.
Obama’s digital domination of McCain was staggering and helped create an online army marching to victory. Twitter messages were machine-gunned to cell phones at Mach speed. Facebook and MySpace groups spread across the Internet like digital fire. YouTube videos featuring celebrities ricocheted across the globe and into college students’ in-boxes with devastating regularity.
By the end of the campaign, Obama had nearly 2.5 million Facebook friends, while McCain barely scratched 600,000. In fact, Obama hired the co-creator of Facebook to run his new media operation. Yep, that’s right -- the co-creator of Facebook -- the most interactive, innovative, and popular community forum to date -- was part of Obama’s online operation. As a McCain-Palin online adviser self-deprecatingly observed, “Memo to self: next time get the co-founder of Facebook on your team.”
On the YouTube front, Obama hired an Emmy-winning CNN producer to flood YouTube with campaign videos. And flood she did. On Election Day, Obama’s online legions uploaded more than 1,800 videos while the McCain camp couldn’t get past 330.
In the end, Obama was meeting young people where they live: on the college campus and on the array of social networking sites that the Internet has to offer.
This is all bad news for the GOP. But all is not lost. The trance can be broken. The spell can be lifted.
Conservatives need a concentrated youth outreach program of their own, coupled with tech-savvy smart messaging. In fact, conservatives already share an intrinsic base of support with the values of Generation Y: a visceral distrust for government intervention.
Take music and the Internet, two subjects integral to the lives of young people. In these areas, the last thing they want is the federal government dictating what music they can listen to or which Web pages to view. That’s conservative intuition. And it’s intuition that the GOP can harness and apply to every issue affecting younger voters -- from Social Security to student loans to a confiscatory tax system.
If young people are suspicious of Uncle Sam legislating particular music preferences into law or setting parameters on Internet browsing, they should be similarly suspicious of government bureaucrats mandating health care plans, socializing student lending and denying personal investment of Social Security.
Young people crave choice and services that big government can never provide. Our bedrock conservative principles don’t change, but the way in which we deliver them must.
Moreover, the policies of this administration are a fiscal time bomb waiting to explode on the doorstep of my peers. Obama and the Democratic congress have piled up more debt in a year and a half than in all eight years of George W. Bush, combined. We will not grow up with the same prosperity our parents did; we are a generation shackled by Obama-driven spending sprees.
Admittedly, the GOP has an uphill battle on our hands. We conservatives are realists; we don’t live in the fantasy world of welfare unicorns and government sugar fairies like the Left does. Being a liberal is easy. Promising every constituency under the sun a smorgasbord of “free” goodies takes little effort.
Still, the GOP cannot ignore the youth vote any longer. We are in danger of not only just losing elections, but are in danger of losing an entire generation of voters who are uninformed about free markets, limited government, and personal responsibility. As the great Milton Friedman once said, “the battle for freedom must be won over and over again.”
Can we awaken our generation of Obama Zombies? It won’t be easy, but in the words of that immortal phrase, “Yes, we can!”
Steven E. Levingston
April 19, 2010; 5:30 AM ET
Categories: Guest Blogger | Tags: Jason Mattera, obama campaign, obama zombies, politics and technology
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