Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean revved up a crowd of Madison party faithfuls Tuesday, saying there is ?no future? for young people in the Republican Party.
In his speech to a group of Democratic leaders and volunteers that was thin on students, Dean stressed the power of voters younger than 30 to secure a future of Democratic government leadership.
Dean said his own generation, though active in civil rights, still has consistently demonstrated disparities between ethnic groups on voter turnout, which has shaped Democratic strategy for years.
?If you?re under 30 in this country, there is no difference, whether you are black, brown or white, in terms of the turnout percentage in your generation,? Dean said. ?That is, this generation sees themselves as a multicultural generation.?
He added this multicultural self-identification draws younger voters to the Democratic ballot.
?When you look at the candidates on our side who stood up and debated, people under 30 ? looked at that lineup of our candidates and said, ?That looks like us in 20 years,?? Dean said. He added when those young people looked at the Republican candidates, they saw ?1950s television.?
Dean said that the Republican Party has scapegoated every ethnic group and therefore can?t create a multicultural identity and reach younger voters.
?They can?t become more diverse,? Dean said. ?Who in their right mind, if they were African American or Hispanic or Asian American, if they were gay or lesbian, would join the Republican Party??
University of Wisconsin College Republicans Chair Sara Mikolajczak found Dean?s comments frustrating, ridiculous and offensive.
?It?s not true at all,? Mikolajczak said. ?To say the Republican Party has no grasp of multicultural society is complete and total BS, for lack of a better term. We have people in the CRs who come from all different multicultural backgrounds.?
Mikolajczak said the ethnic identities of presidential candidates alone don?t reflect the entire character of a party.
?If Hillary wins the nomination, that doesn?t mean the Democratic Party is solely about women. If Barack Obama wins, it doesn?t mean they?re solely about black men,? she said.
UW Students for Obama Vice Chair Maggie Raiken said she thought Dean?s comment on the younger generation being the multicultural generation was ?amazing,? particularly in the context of a speech Sen. Barack Obama made last week on race in America. Obama?s speech, titled ?A More Perfect Union,? addressed race in the United States in the context of a scandal involving statements by his former pastor that some have called racist.
Raiken blamed the ?sparse? student turnout on the $15 ticket price and the venue?s distance from campus.
Dean also outlined neighborhood leadership campaign tactics that have gained momentum in recent elections.
?The truth is that you as an individual in your neighborhoods are far more powerful than Rush Limbaugh and Bill O?Reilly and Michael Savage and the merchants of hate right-wing radio,? Dean said.
He urged attendees to participate in these grassroots-level programs, highlighting the flexibility and opportunity customization they give volunteers.
?You get to shape the campaign, but in return, we need you to talk to people,? Dean said. ?That is what?s going to win this election.?