Michael Fontneau

Age

29

Location

Southern Connecticut State University

Twitter

@michaelfontneau

BIO

Michael Fontneau serves as vice president of Front Porch Strategies. He is a seasoned political operative specializing in strategic relationship building, constituent communications, political strategy, and advocacy. Fontneau has years of experience with local, federal, and statewide political campaigns, as well as nationwide non-profit and corporate affairs campaigns. He also serves on the board of Soldier Socks, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the men and women who are or have recently served in the United States Armed Forces.

 

Why is it important that at this particular point in time, right-of-center youth become involved publicly, whether in politics, media, their communities, or another capacity?

It is an opportune time to be involved, especially if you are right of center. Many young people are oriented to the arguments of the left, and let’s face it, the right has not done a good job of making their arguments to people my age and younger.

We are living through a time of enormous change. I believe center-right ideas are more exciting and innovative than those offered up by those on the left.  During this time of social media dominance, young people have never had a better opportunity to get to the centers of influence, whether in politics or media. Young people have historically had a very hard time being heard, but for now, the powerful are paying attention.

 

What must elected officials and others in positions of leadership do to make a right-of-center message resonate with the Millennial generation?

Talk about freedom and the future. The center-right’s history has been one in defense of freedom, from Abraham Lincoln forward. And, political success has always been tied to a vision for the future. Government is being outpaced by the modern world. We have a slow, bureaucratic federal government that is out of touch with how young people think and act. The bureaucratic mindset is to control everything, but the mindset of young people is to pursue possibility. These two mindsets for my generation are on a collision course. Those who defend the status quo in Washington will be on the losing side, and those who want to innovate government will be on the winning side. Yes, there are many things wrong with America now, but there are many things that are right, too, and young people are optimistic and hopeful. I believe that despite all of the problems, the future is amazingly bright. Leaders should talk about possibilities and less about problems.

 

Where would you like to see the conservative movement in 10 years — and how can it get there?

Despite what many think, our generation is not self-centered. We want to be part of a greater community that serves others. I’d like to see the conservative movement lead my generation with the idea of a lifetime commitment of service to others. Conservatives are often stereotyped as old, white, and boring. I’ve found that the opposite is true, but the perception remains. Many young people, including minorities, are attracted to the conservative message, perhaps because today it is, in many ways, countercultural to be a conservative. But I also think young people are attracted to an ideology that values family, respects traditions, and serves a greater purpose. The conservative movement has to re-imagine itself. It must position itself as the innovators, the ones who are inventing a better future.

Thirty Under Thirty – 2014

Sen. Cassidy: New bipartisan plan may lead to the resurrection of Graham-Cassidy [EXCLUSIVE]

Sens Lamar Alexander R-TN and Patty Murray D-WA are offering a short-term bipartisan health care solution that will help...

"Crony capitalism at its worst": You might owe student loans you never borrowed

You might be charged for student loans you never borrowed thanks to a hidden deal made by former President...

Study: Students who spend more time with professors become more progressive

A new study by psychology professors in California has found that students who spend more time with their professors...

Helicopter parents are intervening for their snowflake children on campus

College administrators are reporting that some parents are getting so involved in their student's college lives that they are...

Distasteful Anne Frank costume pulled from stores amid Halloween controversy

Amid public outrage over offensive Halloween costumes an online retailer removed a children’s costume portraying teenage Holocaust victim Anne...

"We’re a Culture, not a Costume” campaign returns to campus

Halloween is just around the corner and unsurprisingly student organizations and activists on campuses all across the country are...

Red Alert announces time and location for 2017 "30 Under 30" Awards reception

Join us for drinks hors d'oeuvres and conversation as we celebrate Red Alert Politics' sixth annual Under Award winners...

Millennial wins Austrian Chancellorship, becomes the West’s youngest head of state

Austria elected conservative -year old Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz on Sunday as the country’s chancellor making him Europe’s youngest...

Student petition UW-Madison to label Abraham Lincoln as a "murderer" fails

School officials at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have denied a student request to label Abraham Lincoln as a murderer...

University dumps its mascot because it's "associated with violence and destruction"

A private Christian liberal arts university in Idaho has announced that it will change its mascot after critics argued...

The prison drug pipeline: Technology ends smuggling, but inmates still find a way

Visiting inmates is the closest families get to their incarcerated loved one but technology is stripping the physical access...

Apple VP shouldn't have apologized for diversity comments. She's right

Apple’s first-ever Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion is in full damage-control mode after making some bold comments about...

Free speech week: Let’s have a dialogue!

Diversity is a concept that we strongly value as Americans Racial ethnic cultural and other forms of diversity are...

Florida Governor declares state of emergency ahead of Spencer campus visit

Florida Gov Rick Scott R declared a state of emergency Monday ahead of white nationalist Richard Spencer’s scheduled speech...

Hillary: We elected someone who admitted sexual assault to the presidency

Former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is doing her part to condemn Donald Trump for...

OSU magazine: Your Halloween costumes are only offensive if you're white

A student magazine at the Ohio State University has published a guide for students to determine if their Halloween...

Dartmouth shutters its Gender Research Institute

The Gender Research Institute at Dartmouth GRID is closing its doors Established in the GRID's original goal was to...

Millennials should stand up to end FISA

The device you’re reading this on whether it’s your phone your computer or your tablet undoubtedly has hundreds if...

University of Mississippi to rebuild Confederate statue despite student protest

The University of Mississippi is replacing a Confederate statue on campus which was damaged by a pickup truck last...

Georgetown’s student newspaper begins documenting “bias incidents”

The official school newspaper of Georgetown University is teaming up with ProPublica to begin documenting and reporting incidents of...