This is a topic near and dear to my heart. So much of what I've done in my professional life is to raise and cultivate brand loyalty that it's not hard to recognize the Republicans' efforts to do the same with their own particular take of right-wing thinking.
Over the last few decades, the Republicans have been able to indoctrinate such brand loyalty that people vote against their own interests and demonize those who do. While there's no question that our short term goals should be to restore the balance in government in '06 and '08, we will only face these problems again unless we think long term as well.
For nearly 30 years, ultraconservatives have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in young people and built an infrastructure that initiates young people into the radical right movement through campus activism, leadership training and career development. Their investments have paid off. The radical right wing now controls the executive and legislative branches of government, and it's only one seat away from complete dominance of the Supreme Court.
If progressives want to achieve the same sort of political success that the radical right has enjoyed for the past two decades, we're going to have to do more than focus on the next round of elections and pay lip service to engaging young people. We must make a serious, long-term investment in our next generation of progressive leaders. Young people provide a vital infusion of ideas, energy and passion to the progressive movement right now, and their commitment to continued activism and leadership is critical to building a progressive future. Read on...