Politics

Conservative Spotlight: Redeem the Vote

Using its tremendous reach into the younger generations, MTV influences youth to conform to its left-leaning social and political agenda. Not content to influence subtly–and sometimes not-so-subtly–young people’s beliefs, MTV tries to get them to vote through its voter outreach program. On its website last week, MTV’s “Choose or Lose” voter registration initiative–often known as “Rock the Vote” or “20 Million Loud,” which is the number of Americans aged 18 to 30 that MTV wants to motivate to vote this year–was promoting the latest darling of radical social engineers, same-sex “marriage,” though it posted replies from young people who disagree with that anti-family innovation.

“I think that those who equate the act of civil disobedience of gay marriage today with that of civil disobedience in the 1960s South are both ridiculous and offensive,” wrote Kelley, 19, of Plymouth, N.H. “Those who supported desegregation in the South were risking the lives of themselves and their families. Today, if two men or two women get married in defiance of the law, they get a round of applause and champagne. There is no way whatsoever you can compare the two. African-Americans were simply demanding the rights granted to them as citizens of the United States under our Constitution and our laws.”

Says Van Toffler, president of MTV, “The goal of ‘Choose or Lose 2004′ and ’20 Million Loud’ is to give this enormous pool of potential voters the tools they need to make informed choices, get involved in the political process, and become motivated to make the ultimate choice in our democracy.”

Redeem the Vote wants to do the same thing, targeting a different slice of the youth demographic: Those who attend church services, Christian music concerts, and like events. “The watershed was 1992, when MTV did Rock the Vote,” said Dr. Randy Brinson, founder of Redeem the Vote, a 501(c)3 non-profit. “They got a lot of young people out to vote. It had a leftist slant.

“My passion is kids,” said Brinson, a medical doctor who has taken time off from his practice to organize the new group. “I love kids. I like to be involved in their lives and be a mentor because I had so many mentors growing up.” Brinson grew up in Florida but has lived in Alabama for 16 years. In Montgomery, he helped start a Christian radio station, WAY-FM, that is now in 44 markets.

“We must get evangelical Christians to vote” in the upcoming elections, Brinson insisted. He made a video with Christian music singer Rebecca St. James for the troops in Iraq which he was able to give to President Bush himself at an event in Birmingham, Ala. He wasn’t scheduled to meet the President, nor was he supposed to be able to give the President a videotape for security reasons, but “God arranged it,” said Brinson, a Southern Baptist.

Redeem the Vote’s efforts are conducted independently of the White House, the Bush campaign, and the Republican Party, and fall under the category of voter education and outreach.

“Six million evangelicals [who had voted before] didn’t vote in 2000,” said Brinson. “Two million of that six million came back and voted in 2002. Twenty-five million are not registered.” Redeem the Vote is targeting the 18-to-35 demographic. “There are two ways to reach young people,” said Brinson. “One is through music, and the other is through sports.”

He said that despite stereotypes, the young voter demographic contains a lot of conservative voters. “They believe they have been the victims of family disintegration,” Brinson said. Though Redeem the Vote will not produce voter guides listing candidates’ positions on the issues itself, “we’re partnering with other people who are going to be doing that,” he said. Brinson’s group will conduct a media campaign, set up voter registration booths at Christian music concerts and other events, and direct people to its website. Redeem the Vote will venture beyond the Bible Belt, with events currently planned for California, Las Vegas, Arizona, New Mexico, Ohio, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Brinson said that he is in talks with Christian music and sports stars in an effort to secure their participation.

If successful, “Redeem the Vote would create a new Christian marketplace. You’ve got to engage the culture, not just politics,” Brinson said. “God is giving America a chance. He’s letting things get so bad that instead of a fissure, there’s a canyon, a ravine, that’s so wide that you can’t stay in the middle, but you have to choose sides.”

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Redeem the Vote may be reached at P.O. Box 11022, Montgomery, Ala. 36111 (334-549-7485; website: www.redeemthevote.com)

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