Newsweek tracked down some young Republicans and asked them where the party should go from the butt-kicking they've received over the last two election cycles, and I think the party ought to take these suggestions seriously. For instance, note what these two younguns* have to say:

Peter Devine, 20
Home State: Maine
Major: Finance
Advice for the Party: I think the party compromised this year. Mike Huckabee at least energized people. Conservatives need to retake this party. People want fiscal responsibility. Part of McCain's campaign flaw was trying to make [Gov. Sarah] Palin into something she wasn't.

Sarah Brown, 19
Home State: Alaska
Major: Undecided
Advice for the Party: I see the future of Republicans in candidates like Sarah Palin. She's down to earth, she's tough, she's an aggressive, strong woman but is also charismatic and presents herself well. It seems like somebody like her who's young, attractive and a little more hip could really appeal to the younger base of the Republican Party.
I agree completely. The Republican party should continue down its path toward embracing only the know-nothing, science-denying, fundamentalist population. Ideological purity is the key. Look how well it has worked for the Greens and Libertarians, for example.

Seriously, though, there is one piece of good advice, and oddly enough, it's from the youngest person interviewed.
Aliana Greenberg, 17
Home State: California
Major: Undecided
Advice for the Party: I think Repubs really need to look to youth outreach. Right now it's cool to be a liberal, it's cool to be a Democrat, but a lot of the core Republican morals, like individualism and government out of personal lives is very applicable to the youth—we don't want people telling us what to do. I think if the Republican Party made that more understandable to the youth we'd do a lot better.
There was a time when the Republican party actually did give lip service to the notion that private lives were indeed private. That was 1964, when Barry Goldwater took one in the teeth. Just be clear about what this means: government out of personal lives means yes to choice, same-sex marriage, and an end to the war on (some groups of people who use) drugs. If that's what you mean, then there's a party for you, and it's not the Republicans. If the Republicans actually embrace those ideas--and given the attitudes of the others interviewed in this piece, that's not likely--then they'll probably make some inroads among young people.

Here's the Random Ten--Old Fart birthday edition. Put the iTunes on party shuffle and post the next ten songs that come up. And keep the noise down. I'm forty today, and I can't take the noise like I used to.
1. Mean Old World--Professor Longhair
2. Sloop John B--The Beach Boys
3. Funky Malaguena--Snooks Eaglin
4. Two Enthusiastic Thumbs Down--The Coup
5. Huggin and Chalkin--Hoagy Carmichael
6. Istanbul--They Might Be Giants
7. Thunder Road--Bruce Springsteen
8. Music Sounds Better With You--Stardust
9. Letting You--Nine Inch Nails
10. Banquet--Bloc Party
What's on your lists this fine Friday?

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