Cleveland Plain Dealer Columnist Writes of DePauw Freshman

Cleveland Plain Dealer Columnist Writes of DePauw Freshman

May 12, 2010

connie schultz 010.jpgMay 12, 2010, Greencastle, Ind. — "Last month I spent a few days with students in the Media Fellows Program at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind.," Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Connie Schultz writes in today's Cleveland Plain Dealer. "They're mostly Midwesterners, overwhelmingly thoughtful and funny, and sometimes they smile when they don't quite feel like it because they were raised to give strangers the benefit of the doubt. While I was at DePauw, I met with individual students to talk about journalism. Really, the conversations just started there, and then wove their way into discussions about life in general. One of the reasons I hang out with young people: They're smarter than they know."

Schultz (pictured at top) tells of her interactions with freshman Kyle Robbins (seen at right), noting, "Kyle makes me hopeful for the future of the Republican Party. I may lean left, but I know we need thoughtful weight on the other side to keep the boat afloat, and much of what passes for Republican politics lately is Robbins Kyle 200910mgolfturning off a lot of young people like Kyle."

In their discussions, Schultz says that Robbins stated, "I'm part of a new movement of young people like me who are fiscally conservative but don't doubt the sincerity of those on the other side." The 19-year-old added, "We want to listen. We know we have to stop alienating groups of people. We need immigration reform, for example, but the Arizona law isn't the way to go about it. I'm pro-life, but that also means I can't support taking away people's health care. Yes, I'd like to see the solution in the private sector, but it's really hard for Republicans to look at the rest of the country and say, 'You don't have the right to health care.'"

The columnist advises her readers, "Kyle writes a blog for his Media Fellows class. I asked if he'd be willing to share it on a public site so others could read what's on his mind. He agreed.An excerpt from his first post:

'The left has its youth movement, and our time has come to answer that call on the right. Washington isn't listening. Why must we be the party of the rich? Why must we be the party of the silver spoon? Our fiscally and socially conservative values can and will exist, but we cannot continue to alienate the less fortunate, the socially conscious, cleveland_plain_dealer.gifthe environmentalists. We must be a party of understanding, a group willing to work with our opponents from the opposite side to achieve the best outcome for our constituents.'"

The column, which is syndicated to other newspapers, concludes, "In his first e-mail to me, Kyle wrote, 'I'd love to keep this great dialogue going.' Count on it, Kyle."

You'll find the complete text -- headlined "GOP's future looks brighter, if Indiana youngster is any indication" -- at the Plain Dealer's Web site.