Republicans need to appeal to a wider base, and in particular to younger people. To do so they need to propose some programs and policies that will attract the interest of younger voters, and show that they’re not the ‘boogey man’ they are made out to be. Here’s some suggestions I think Republicans might consider.

No. 1 – Establish a procedure where college students can eliminate their student loan debt through ‘service’. One year of service, one year of loan debt reduced significantly. Service can either be in the military, for which they will reduce their debt at a faster and higher rate, or some other community service such as working in parks and recreation areas; on infrastructure projects; working with the elderly, or with young children as mentors. In addition to reducing student loan debt they will earn a paycheck and benefits, and learn valuable life skills preparing them for the opportunity for future success.

Obviously details would need to be worked out, but this type of idea could help to sway some younger people towards Republican solutions to challenges facing the country and them personally, instead of just more Democrat ‘free stuff’ that really isn’t a solution at all.

No. 2 – ‘Motivate’ colleges and universities to reduce tuition costs to make higher education more affordable. For every dollar of government funding colleges and universities receive, they must reduce overall college costs by an equal amount. There are other ways colleges could be enticed into lowering the cost of higher education, but tying tuition costs to government grants and other funds is a start.

No. 3 – Promote the skilled trades through education grants for young people who pursue a career in one of the high skill trade jobs. Many of these professions have jobs that are currently going unfilled as a result of not enough trained people. Dozens of skilled trade jobs that pay high salaries are begging for trained people. Mike Rowe of ‘Dirty Jobs’ fame is a huge proponent of this kind of effort. America needs trained labor. High schools shouldn’t be indoctrinating young people to think that the only roadway to a successful and rewarding career is a college degree.

No. 4 – Establish a guest worker program allowing foreign seasonal workers into the U.S. for work in the agricultural industry and other service-related jobs. To qualify they must pay taxes, provide health certificates showing they are in good health and free of any communicable diseases when entering the country to work. Employers must provide them with a basic health insurance policy, and all foreign workers must return to their country of origin at least once every year, before returning to the U.S. and resuming their work. Any offspring will not have automatic citizenship in the U.S., but can attend U.S. schools. Guest workers who decide they want to stay permanently in the U.S. must follow the proper citizenship process.

No. 5 – Repurpose closed military bases and facilities, establishing economic zones, artist colonies, or some other type of community to make good use of these abandoned facilities. Some could even be used to provide shelters for the homeless, or battered women. Job training programs for teenagers or returning veterans could be put in place as well.

Compassionate Conservatism shouldn’t just be an old worn out political slogan from a bygone era. Republicans would do well to break the mold that the liberal media has hung on them, and show that being a Republican can lead to success, and that Republicans are compassionate, and cool too!