One thing that clearly comes through in this Washington Post feature about the Beltway’s young conservatives is the role of frustrated ambition in their discontent:
Matt Lewis, 33, is hoping a trouncing in November will force the old guard aside and give his generation a shot. . . .
“When everything is working well there is no hunger for new ideas,” Lewis says. “Maybe there is room for some new up-and-coming thinkers to get a shot now. There is a bright side to seeing the Republican Party go through travail.”
While not presuming to speak for Lewis and his fellow Young Turks, I think a lot of their grievance is rooted in the fact that the leadership structure of the conservative movement was established in the 1970s and ’80s by a previous generation of Young Turks. More than two decades later, those erstwhile Young Turks are now in their 50s and 60s, firmly ensconced at the top of the heap, and show no interest in passing the torch.
The resulting generational conflict is less about ideology than about the resentment of young people frozen out of power. The conflict is exacerbated by the techological savvy of the youngsters who, in the New Media age, scoff at the “leadership” of people who can’t even write basic HTML.