John Nienstedt says Republicans should be “more like Jared.”
  • John Nienstedt says Republicans should be “more like Jared.”
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The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has brought renewed attention to the conservative legacy of Republican president Ronald Reagan, who appointed Scalia to the high court in 1986. In those days, Reagan was a hero to Republicans in California, where he had been elected to two terms as governor by large majorities. Lately, however, a pollster who is said to be a close friend and advisor to San Diego GOP mayor Kevin Faulconer (an ex–public relations man who aides are talking up as a candidate for the state’s highest office) is putting out a different message. “Shining Light into the GOP’s generational black hole,” is the title of an online presentation by Competitive Edge, run by John Nienstedt, whose clients also have included the big-money GOP Lincoln Club, which shuns discussion of social and ethical issues in favor of mainstream corporate lobbying.

In December 2009, Nienstedt joined the Republican Party, Lincoln Club, and builders lobby in a lawsuit to overturn city campaign contribution limits. To make his point about the need for a new GOP pitch, Nienstedt’s piece cites Jared Santos, a prototypical 33-year-old roofer with two years of college, who earns $48,000 a year. Jared has a two-year-old daughter and a girlfriend, Alisa, a hotel concierge, making $41,000. A condo owner, Jared plays Halo 4, uses Facebook, and watches football games. “I have no recollection of President Reagan, Grenada, tax reform, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty, or Morning in America,” sample lines from voters say. “In 2004, I flipped a coin in the voting booth and cast my vote for Bush. With the Iraq war, the Hurricane Katrina debacle and a flat-lining economy, I came to regret that vote over the next four years.” Says Jared, “I haven’t known a Republican president who has served as a good role model for me.”

So, what should California Republicans do? “Ronald Reagan may have been the greatest president since Lincoln, but Jared’s generation is not clued-in to that,” says the Competitive Edge analysis. “Cut the cord to the glory days and provide contemporary reasons for young voters to believe the GOP can bring back morning in America.” Oldsters in Reagan’s mold need not apply. The Grand Old Party should “Encourage and support articulate and passionate candidates who look, act and communicate less like the greatest generation and more like Jared.”

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Comments

AlexClarke Feb. 25, 2016 @ 10:49 a.m.

As long as politicians are bought-and-paid-for nothing will change. For 40 years the American worker has gotten the shaft. Immigration, legal or otherwise have allowed employers to keep wages low and benefits non existent. Companies have been allowed to move operations overseas with no regard to how it affects the worker. Free (not fair) trade has allowed employers to export jobs and import cheap products. The destruction of unions has taken away workers voice and pitted employee against employee. The middle class is shrinking and the working poor class is rising. Education is out of financial reach of many. The ACA has brought us affordable insurance that many can not afford to use. The Supreme Court has declared money speech. How much can you afford to spend on speech? In San Diego housing is out of reach for most workers and employers think that $12 an hour is a good wage. The political class is only interested in the next election and dance to the tune played by the monied class. Corporations have become traitors and politicians have become the new ruling class. All the pieces are falling in place for revolution. A two class system of the have's and have not's is insures revolution.

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monaghan Feb. 26, 2016 @ 9:19 p.m.

If Jared has forgotten 'morning in America" and the affable huckster who sold it to us, that is not all bad. But Jared may not be ready for the new crop of "passionate and articulate" GOP candidates of the Cruz, Trump and Christie variety. In this amusing election season, voter turnout from both political parties is dramatically less than it was in 2012 and voter registration shows more independents than partisan choice. If these facts portend non-participation in the process, we could be in more serious trouble than even Nienstedt imagines.

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