In a new post at the College Conservative, Elizabeth Marcello notes the “cool” factor which has become so pervasive in American politics.

Want the Youth Vote? Be Cool

As a young Republican in liberal academia, I find it quite difficult at times to make political progress with my peers, especially other women on campus. Typically, young conservative females are viewed as regressive and willing to submit to “old white men,” while young liberal females are given credit for being independent trailblazers. Sandra Fluke is praised for demanding government funded contraception while Sarah Palin is mocked for fighting fiscal irresponsibility.

My problem is not with the different policies and political beliefs of each individual; I respect autonomous thinkers. I object to the fact that society deems Fluke a feminist leader while Palin, among other conservative women, are seen as accommodating to men. Sarah Palin herself ran against fellow Republican Governor Frank Murkoswki and his cronies (aka, a group of “old white men”) because she thought the state of Alaska needed better administration. The reality is, she would have fought anyone who was poorly governing her home state no matter their gender, color, or age.

Why is a woman only considered empowered and independent if she takes up the political agenda involving contraception and abortion rather than a gun? Yes, contraception allows a woman to take greater control of her personal life, but so does a gun!  So what is the key difference here? Why can’t gun-toting girls be feminists, too?

You’re probably expecting an answer blaming cultural changes surrounding women. But that theory is tired, and is simply an excuse for not being able to capture the youth vote. As unsophisticated as it sounds, the reason the Republican Party isn’t resonating with young women is because the GOP just doesn’t seem cool. Do I think knowing how to shoot a range of weapons is cool? Absolutely. Do I enjoy seeing a fiscally responsible government? Of course! But even if these points resonate with other young people like myself, there is little marketing done to make those things trendy.