But — and I wouldn’t be writing any of this had I not had a series of email exchanges on this subject in the past few days — I am more than a bit shocked by the young men at CPAC this year who just seemingly refuse to grow up or act their age.
Yet Erickson’s problem with young conventioneers isn’t so big that he can be bothered with trying to document it. Here’s unsubstantiated, broad-brush contention No. 1:
More troubling, while in 2005 it seemed to be just college kids, as the years have passed it is not just the 18 to 21 year old set, but the twenty and thirty somethings who just can’t seem to grow up. It’s like they started out at CPAC this way in college and each year at their CPAC reunion descend back to their freshman year rush week.
Here’s unsubstantiated, broad-brush (and sexist) statement No. 2:
Young men, regardless of political persuasion or ideology, are intent on having sex, being boys, getting drunk — doing what young men in college often do. All to often there are also a few young ladies willing to shame their parents if their parents only knew.
Men do what they “often do”; women, when doing the same thing, ”shame their parents.”
Here’s unsubstantiated, broad-brush statement No. 3:
This is more and more common in society and none of us should expect that a behavior increasingly common in society should not spill over into any event including CPAC...
No, especially CPAC.
Here’s unsubstantiated, broad-brush statement No. 4:
More than a few of the twenty and thirty somethings who go to CPAC seem to treat it like an extension of their college days doing their best to hook up before passing out. It’s not the majority to be sure, but it is a noticeable minority.
Doesn’t the Constitution protect us from a tyranny of the CPAC minority?
Now let me try my hand at an unsubstantiated, broad-brush statement: The young CPAC attendees with whom I spent several hours last Friday and Saturday were thoughtful, motivated and smart kids. I interviewed about 20 of them about their views on the national media and chatted with many more. They were serious about their politics and sophisticated about how they were getting their information.
What these excellent young folks ended up doing once all the sessions and speeches had concluded doesn’t concern me a bit. Perhaps you have to be an older conservative to care about that.