On Saturday at the California Republican Party’s fall convention, Tea Partiers gathered to discuss issues important to their cause. Among them, the need to appeal to younger voters. While discussing the subject, the speaker, Michael Emerson, was surprised by the crowd’s reaction to his message that the Tea Party needed to adapt its public image.
Emerson’s audience, like much of the California Republican Party, was mostly older and white. To improve its reach, Emerson suggested emphasizing positive messages over negative messages, and targeting the messages to specific audiences. “If you are trying to reach college students, and we need them,” he said, “you don’t have me do it, you have other college students do it.”
Emerson then stated:
When many people think of the tea party, they assume it is composed of “racist, homophobe, xenophobe, gun-toting radicals – that’s who we are.”
In response a woman shouted, “Yeah,” and the room broke into applause.
Emerson paused. “That was a response I didn’t expect. I got to tell you, I like the ‘gun-toting,’ but not the ‘radicals.'”
As Emerson discovered, there is no hope in trying to alter the image of the Tea Party. Its image is correct, because this is what they believe, and are proud to let others know.
For more on this, read the article from the Sacramento Bee titled: “Message at the California tea party: Find attractive college students to spread word.”
Watch our commentary on how hate talkers like Fox News are helping to misinform the public and create such hateful Tea Partiers: