The Coffee Party has made it a priority to begin reaching out to the nation's youth. Widely characterized as the left-leaning, grassroots counter to the Tea Party movement, the Coffee Party launched "Campus Coffee Week" on April 17 in hopes of opening up the political dialogue to high school and college students.
While the youth played a more visible role in the 2008 Presidential election, Coffee Party supporters claim that the media and Washington DC have failed once again to engage this critical segment of the population. The youth have been silenced by political rancor, and largely ignored as the constituency that will be forced to reckon with the consequences of current decision-making (particularly when it comes to the national debt).
As a result, the Coffee Party has sent a clear message by targeting the nation's youth and engaging them in serious civil discourse. Also, "Campus Coffee Week" likely represents a concerted effort to distinguish the Coffee Party from its right-leaning competitor, the Tea Party. At least up to this point, the Tea Party has not yet begun to specifically recruit young people for its grassroots cause.
However, the Coffee Party faces stiff competition in this arena from the Ron Paul Liberty movement, or what I have previously termed the "pre-Obama, Tea Party movement". The Liberty movement, which began during the 2007-2008 Ron Paul presidential campaign, is a powerful draw with the nation's youth, especially on college campuses.
But, this political competition is good for America. New ideas, new visions, and new solutions are being put to the test. A whole new political dynamic is taking root. After all, $1.6 trillion deficits, a $13 trillion national debt, 10% unemployment, and multiple, ongoing overseas wars will impact America for generations to come.
Long-term, the grassroots movement that is best able to attract, inspire, and galvanize our nation's youth will be the one that reshapes America in its image.
The Coffee Party's "Campus Coffee Week" wraps up on April 25.