Georgia State’s conservative minority: College Republicans

The state of Georgia is usually politically conservative; according to the polling service 270 To Win, the state of Georgia hasn’t voted against the Republican party in a presidential election since 1968. However, at Georgia State, the Republican party is actually a minority group.

“To be honest, I enjoy being a part of the minority group here at Georgia State,” Garret Koehler, the president of College Republicans at Georgia State, said. “I’d rather be surrounded by people with different views than to constantly have my own ideals reaffirmed. It’s good to have a diverse population because it allows us to have civil debate with students who have differing political views.”

The College Republicans have been in existence at the university for more than 10 years. After more than a decade, the mission and purpose of the organization are still to promote the principles of the party and educate students on them.

“We’re primarily a grassroots organization…the foot-soldiers,” Koehler said. “We go door-to-door in an effort to promote our views among the masses and campaign for politicians.”

Koehler said that his organization’s goals are not to force its views upon students but rather to educate them on the views and goals of the party. One way the College Republicans (CR) do this is through various campaigning efforts. Currently, CR is involved with a campaign that will continue on throughout the remainder of the spring semester.

“Right now we have a campaign going on called Capitalism vs. Corporatism,” Koehler said. “The goal of this campaign is to educate people on the difference between the two, because capitalism has been getting a really bad rap recently.”

Webster’s Dictionary defines capitalism as a way of organizing the economy so that the things used to make and transport products are privatized and taken out of the control of government entities. In essence, capitalism promotes a free market.

Corporatism, on the other hand, is the theory and practice of organizing the whole of society into corporate entities subordinate to the state. In theory, both employers and employees would be organized into corporate entities that would serve as bodies of political representation, largely controlling the people and activities within their jurisdiction.

According to President Koehler, many people tend to confuse the term capitalism with corporatism and corporate welfare.

“Most Americans live under the illusion that the United States is a true capitalist country when, in reality, it’s not,” Koehler said. “That’s one of the goals we have for this campaign—to educate people on that fact.”

According to Koehler, another goal of this campaign is to boost CR’s current membership levels. Currently, the CR at Georgia State consists of 25 members, including Koehler and the members of his executive board.

“The best way we stay in contact with people is through our Facebook page,” Koehler said. “We post any upcoming events or meetings to that page. Also, we’re on OrgSync, so if anyone wants to get in contact with me, my e-mail is listed on the group page there. Executive board members’ contact information is listed there as well.”

Interested students can learn more about College Republicans or join the organization on the OrgSync webpage. The organization meets every Wednesday from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in Student Center room 230.