The Yaffers Get It

by Ryan on August 6, 2007

in Election 2008,Politics

Young America’s Foundation (YAF) members, affectionately known as “yaffers” back in the day, are a grassroots conservative movement that is breaking away from the Republican Party in Washington more and more, according to this Fox News article.  Ronald Reagan’s break-out 1964 speech on behalf of Barry Goldwater took place in front of a mostly yaffer audience.  Newt Gingrich and Fred Thompson were both yaffers in the past, and the two people that most conservatives really want to become Republican Presidential candidates!

The article makes the point that the grassroots is upset at the Republican Party in Washington and President Bush leading them like lemmings over the cliff on issues like spending and illegal aliens.  The conservative youth on college campuses are less likely to blindly follow the party line, if that party line breaks with conservatism.  It’s funny, but I’ve been hearing this sentiment for years from people like Annie C., Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, to every member of Axis of Right:  the mantra that “I’m an American first, then a conservative, then a Republican.”  Apparently, amongst college conservative groups this is the standard operating philosophy, as they don’t blindly follow their candidate’s bad ideas. 

Yet, how good can it be in the short term when your party is out of touch with the young grassroots movements and refuses to stand up for the principles that got them electoral majorities over the last decade?  Not good.  DC Republicans are making many decisions that will lead to their defeat next year:  ignoring principles and scolding the grassroots (especially in the illegals debate) who they’ll need to turn out next year if they want a chance.  This kind of discord in the context of Iraq, extreme media bias towards She Who Must Not Be Named, and a complete misread of the 2006 Election can’t bode well for our chances next year.  Yet, the yaffers and other groups are producing conservatives that will vote one day and maybe affect some sound pragmatic conservatism sometime in the future.  But, does America need another Jimmah Carter (aka SWMNBN) before we get our next Ronald Reagan?  I hope not, especially with a War on Terror going on that the opposition refuses to even recognize.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

BillT August 6, 2007 at 10:52 am

I think there are still candidates who hold to the conservative line. Sadly, though, the Gingrich revolution died quickly in a power grab. Imagine what might have been.

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Ryan August 6, 2007 at 12:05 pm

Yet, Newt influenced many young people at the time. November 1994 was the fall of my senior year of high school, as my political identity was still forming. I was heavily influenced by the concept of the Contract with America and the tough conservative stand that showed, like it did in 1980, that the American people will embrace a conservative message. Many conservatives still believe this to be true, but as you point out, power corrupts and complacency set in. Young conservatives today will grow up to believe in the simple idea that low taxes, limited government, and a proactive strong defense are winning issues.

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