This last week has been an exciting week in politics. The Supreme Court has decided to take up the case on gay marriage, countless names have announced they are considering a presidential bid, the president gave his State of the Union address, and he spoke with Youtube creators.
I take an interest in each happening but I have been reading a lot about his meeting with Youtube creators. Many folks on both sides of the isle did not like the fact these entertainers scored an interview with the President of the United States. Here are a few things to consider about the matter.
Firstly, the term “Youtube Creator” is somewhat misleading. People over a certain age thought the folks who interviewed the president created Youtube. They didn’t. They create content for Youtube. Bethany Mota, Hank Green, and Glozel are all Youtube “celebrities” they create digital content on a regular basis and have amassed millions of subscribers. They are some of the top Youtubers.
Three years ago this idea would have been laughed at. Admittedly, it is still laughed at. However, media is being consumed many different ways. Talk to a kid under the age of 25 and most likely they know who these people are. There are a large number of folks, myself included, who would rather watch a twenty minute video from a Youtuber than a thirty minute sitcom.
Some folks won’t get it. That’s okay. Its new and frankly its exciting. The potential for this kind of entertainment is still very new. No one really knows where it can go. Many are attempting to shape the direction that Youtubers will go. I write a lot about Youtube because it truly is its own culture. There are people coming off of Youtube doing interesting things. Youtube became the platform for their career. It may be nontraditional but its a new venue to set yourself apart and accomplish goals. Some Youtubers like Grace Helbig have earned themselves tv shows on E!TV. Michelle Phan earned exclusive advertising with Dr. Pepper. Many Youtubers are getting into acting, directing, and producing.
Its clear the effectiveness of Youtube. What does this have to do with the President’s interview with Youtube stars?
Many have said it was beneath the office of the President. I tend to disagree. As long as the actual interview wasn’t obscene I don’t think there is an issue. I would compare it to the president going onto talk shows and late night TV.
In fact, the President’s jab about “winning two elections” was more “beneath the office of President” than was being interviewed by these Youtube stars.
Ultimately, I think nothing is stagnant. Change happens with each passing generation. Do you think our great grandparents griped to our grandparents when the President swapped from radio to TV interviews? Possibly a few did but largely it was met with excitement because it was new.
The interview was nothing more than a good PR move. For the last six years the Democrats have been effective at PR moves. Republicans need this as well. I read an article that discussed that conservatives need a “Glozel Moment”. I tend to agreed. Having good policy isn’t enough. You need to effectively communicate your policies. It isn’t selling out. It isn’t trying to be hip, and it isn’t beneath the office of President. Its winning elections.
Three things Conservatives need to do for the 2016 election:
1) Nominate electable candidates. Sadly, that’s less about policy and more about demographics. (That’s a fancy way of saying don’t nominate old white men)
2) Branch out in alternative medias. Embrace outlets such as Youtube. (Talk Radio isn’t quite cutting it anymore).
3) Effectively explain conservative values and policy. Most folks get a conservative fiscal agenda. Explain it in terms of a household budget. Most people have those. They understand you can’t spend more than you bring in.
Obviously winning elections is more difficult than how I have laid it out but these are great building blocks. Here is to an interesting 2016 Presidential race.
This in itself is humbling.