XPAC

If there is a single universal truth, it is that young people love everything that is EXTREME!!! Especially when it is so extreme the first E can’t keep up, resulting in XTREME!!!

This past weekend conservatives swarmed the District for CPAC, their annual orgiastic encomium of Ronald Reagan, shooting things, racially-tinged humor, and bow ties. After losing the youth vote 2-1 in 2008, Republicans have called in the big guns for youth recruitment: Stephen Baldwin.

Stephen Baldwin and Kevin McCullough created XPAC for this year’s conference, which stands for “Xtreme Politically Active Conservatives.” The XPAC Lounge (AKA Kiddie Table) featured Xbox 360s and Wiis (kids love that crap) with Rock Band, Dance Dance Revolution, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

The best part is that co-host Kevin McCullough is the same guy that freaked out about a “sex scene” in the video game Mass Effect in 2008. Sadly the originally article he wrote does not seem to be available any longer since he was called out for being a complete idiot. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, if you would remember, is the game that Fox News lost their minds over saying it would turn kids into terrorists and killers. Of course now Fox News says it is “turning up the hip quotient.”

Below is some video that spends some time in the XPAC lounge:

Reports from the ground indicated that XPAC wasn’t all that Xtreme:

On the other hand, the party wasn’t always hopping. The schedule read: “11 p.m. XPAC Rap/Jam Session, live music and special performances by Rappers: Hi-Caliber, Young Cons and many more!” Alas, the reality — as a group of young Harvard conservatives found — was an empty room with a bunch of Wii video games (XPAC was strictly non-alcoholic). As the gray-haired contingent ate a “presidential banquet” upstairs at the Marriot Wardman, where the conference was being held, listening to George Will explore the future of the movement, the cool kids had already moved on to Adams Morgan and beyond.

Time magazine did a profile on the youth presence at the convention:

There was a “Smoke Out the Terrorists” hookah party at Queen’s Café in Adams Morgan where 18-year-olds coughed their way through apple tobacco and lamented Washington’s 5-cent tax on plastic bags. Down the street, things got rowdier at The District, where the DC chapter of the College Republicans hosted a welcome party. “Liberty is contagious,” said one underage drinker — you could tell by the giant X’s drawn on their hands — between shots of Southern Comfort.

Here is a lesson for both political parties: stop trying to be “hip,” “Xtreme,” or “off the hook.” It’s just embarrassing. If you want to win the youth vote, do youth outreach and voter contact. Invite young people to your actual events, not to the Xbox set up outside. The vote of an 18-year-old counts the same as someone who is 65. Maybe you should try showing them the same respect.