Recently, ten or eleven political activists from across the state created a new political action committee called the Millennial Advocacy Council or MAC PAC for short. As a way to introduce themselves to Virginians, they have been holding gatherings around the Commonwealth. As the group includes several of my Facebook friends, when they came to Harrisonburg on their third stop on their tour last night, I decided to check out what they had to say.
About a dozen people attended the meeting at Capital Ale House in downtown Harrisonburg including: several leaders of MAC PAC, some local college activists, and Delegate Steve Landes (R-25). At the beginning, the leaders of MAC PAC introduced the leaders of their group. As far as I could tell, each either worked for an elected official, another PAC, the Republican Party, or was a leader of a Republican group. This information sparked a concern in my mind that the PAC might be little more than a front group for the Republican Party. However, next they began discussing their principles, focusing upon a number of issues facing millennials, such as dealing with student debt, the future of social security, increasing home ownership, and the like. These matters sounded pretty good, so that was a positive development. But, then they explained that only millennials could hold any position of leadership in their group. Although the term millennial has been defined in a variety of ways, MAC PAC labels it as a person born between 1982-2000. Given that I was born about 17 months before this range, it is disappointing to learn that I could have no real part in this group, other than donating to them, simply based upon date of birth. For someone who grew up watching Nick At Nite, to quote Maxwell Smart, I “missed by that much.”
The MAC PAC folks followed up by taking some questions from the group. I tried to express my concern about the PAC advocating for a political party instead of for a certain set of principles though I was assured this was not the case. Nevertheless, a bit later in the night one of the leaders of MAC PAC encouraged the attendees to invite their friends to become members of their local Republican Party units. Given the various loyalty oaths and restrictions required for participation in many Republican Party functions, this call to join the GOP seemed like MAC PAC had abandoned at pretenses of being a nonpartisan organization and was simply establishing itself as another wing of the Republican Party. Although that might very well be what some people are looking for, I have no interest in being a cog in the Republican machine or getting the largest possible piece of the Republican pie. Therefore, I excused myself and departed before the gathering had concluded.
As you might imagine, I left the meeting feeling rather disappointed. I suppose that if you fit the MAC PAC definition of a millennial and are also wed to the Republican Party then the organization might be a good fit for you. However, as I don’t seem to fall into either of these two categories, it doesn’t seem like a group that speaks either to me or for me. Oh well.