To the local and state GOP committees, or anyone else affiliated with the Republican Party, I am not writing you in an angry, hostile manner but instead, suggestive and respectful.
As a young voter who has identified as a Republican his whole educated life, I feel strongly misrepresented and ignored by the current party. I know by the views and attitudes of my peers and young voters like me, there will be no future for the Grand Old Party if it’s affiliates keep going down the path they are on now.
I hear countless stories from my friends that their parents tell them time and time again that they “will not have a liberal snowflake daughter or son.” This is the exact attitude that will eventually destroy you. Yes, your kids and grandkids have more progressive views than you, but it is not political. It is entirely generational. You assume that our ideologies are a byproduct of the “socialist social media” or “liberal professors,” but this is completely false. Even if you disagree with your kids and grandkids, be proud of them for forming their own opinions and thoughts and not sticking to the safe opinions they’ve been hearing in their houses throughout their lives.
You want your children to support people like Rep. Matt Gaetz, Donald Trump and Candace Owens, but I know that if any of your children talked to people like these individuals do, you would instantly reprimand them. Still, you think that issues are larger than the words, so let’s look at the issues.
The first example is climate change. The majority of young Republicans believe that individuals contribute to climate change and that it needs to be addressed. All we want to see is conservative principles addressing the issue. Maybe that’s providing incentives to green corporations or holding China accountable for not only their intellectual property theft, but also their massive carbon output. You say you’re the party for hunters, anglers, and sportsmen yet, you’re the biggest threat to our protected public lands. Again, I’m not an expert, so don’t listen to me, just keep in mind that there are mixed-market ways to address the problem.
This could easily be solved, but when people think about the biggest enemy to climate change in America, they think about the current GOP. Why do Republicans reject the solutions to climate change? Simply because they were proposed by Democrats and that they reject the idea that they could lose the next primary because of a simple negotiation.
The next example is human rights. Take the Black Lives Matter movement for example. This was the largest spread of the civil rights movement in America, yet when asked about the issue, the majority response Republicans gave was “all lives matter” and “businesses destroyed” when the movement’s only goal was putting a spotlight on a group of Americans who have been unfairly treated for almost the past 300 years, not to disregard the current state of other groups in America. Don’t disregard the whole movement when the small minority of its affiliates committed high crimes, mostly done by outsiders who put a bad shadow on the African-American community. Throughout history, the large accomplishments were in favor of human rights, and young Republicans don’t see this as a political issue, but as to which side of history they want to align with: right or wrong.
I know a lot of people will respond to these words with excuses such as, “But the Democrats...” or “socialism is...”. Frankly, it does not matter to me what the Democratic Party is doing, because it doesn’t justify the path the Republican Party is on right now.
However, I do know that if the GOP stays on this path, it will lose an entire generation and more voters, regardless of our belief in conservative fundamentals. The Democratic Party may seem absolutely ridiculous sometimes, but respond to that not with more ridiculous actions. Be the bigger person and reach out your hand for tough negotiations, advocating for conservative details but being willing to trade some details in legislation, as long as something is accomplished.
The truth is, conservatives and progressives need each other to create a more perfect union. The world is moving forward, and I know change is scary, but we might want to use it to our advantage instead of raiding the Capitol and defending those who spread lies.
The writer is a resident of Martinsville.