Dan Isaacs, chairman of the New York City Republican Party, spoke about the future welfare of the GOP at an event hosted by the College Republicans Nov. 21 in the Kimmel Center for University Life.
Isaacs encouraged students to become more involved in republican politics and called for a remarketing of the Republican Party to increase voters — particularly women, youths and minorities, which he identified as the key to winning future elections in urban areas.
He distinguished himself as a fiscally conservative Northeast Republican as opposed to socially conservative Republicans of the South. He addressed the shortcomings of the latter of these groups and stated that a reshaping of New York’s perception of the Republican Party.
“Our party has a hierarchy of a bunch of old white guys,” Isaacs said. “I’ve been advocating for opening up the party to younger people and minorities, because if we don’t we’re just going [to] become the Whigs of the 21st century.”
When asked how the party may change the preconceived stereotypes New Yorkers have about Republicans, Isaacs stressed youth involvement and marketing techniques.
“As a Republican we have some core principles — individual initiative, less government, strong national defense,” Isaacs said. “If we can use those essential themes of what it is to be a Republican and market ourselves to the greater majority … we’ll see a resurgence of the party.”
Isaacs commented on the recent win of Democrat Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio. He stated that a future financial collapse could occur because of de Blasio’s high tax policies, which he said will drive the wealthy revenue providers out of the city. He also said de Blasio’s policies on crime were soft. He cited the end of the stop-and-frisk policy as a reason why the city might revert to the crime-filled state it was in during the ’70s.
“With de Blasio, things are just not going to go well for the city,” Isaacs said.
However, he said he was optimistic about the success of the Republican Party once de Blasio’s term is finished.
Isaacs concluded his lecture with a personal statement encouraging students to contact him with questions and attend Republican Party events in the city.
Students at the event, members of the College Republicans and other attendees reacted positively to the lecture. Jillian Spataro, an NYU-Poly freshman, found Isaacs informative and refreshing.
“He basically echoed the beliefs of me and my family,” Spataro said. “I’m not used to being in a room where everyone shares the same ideals as me.”
Jessica Nguyen, an LS freshman and member of the College Republicans, enjoyed Isaacs’ suggestions for remarketing the GOP.
“He had a really clear view about how we could better represent ourselves and [change] the image of the party,” Nguyen said.
Shaila Shatabdy is a contributing writer. Email her at [email protected]