Today, I believe the Republican Party’s leaders (like Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Mia Love, Tim Scott, Susana Martinez, and Scott Walker) respect and embrace diversity within the conservative movement.
Despite that, many of the GOP’s supporters do not feel the same way. Many of them shame anyone who isn’t a 100% conservative. They call them “cuckservatives” or “RINOs”. Thankfully, due to the youth conservative movement, I believe a new brand of conservatism is growing.
Young conservatives make a huge difference in politics by leading organizations and helping campaigns. More importantly, many of us hold different values than traditional conservatives do. After talking with many of my young conservatives peers, I have found that many of us agree on four key stances, all of which are slightly different than traditional conservatism. Although not always popular, I believe these stances will soon be directing the future of America onto a more conservative (and tolerable) pathway.
As a generation, young conservatives have grown up on campuses with liberal professors and sometimes radically liberal peers who endorse candidates like Bernie Sanders. Through this, we have grown to understand and respect other’s opinions. We understand that working together is the key to America’s future success. Young conservatives, unlike many of our peers, are willing to sit down and defend our beliefs in a civil manner. We know the importance of civil discussion and try to reflect it in our words and actions. In addition, we are more tolerant towards others, including a group like the Islamic religion. We realize radical Islam is an immense threat, but we also realize the majority of the religion is not dangerous.
According to a poll done in 2014, 61% of young Republicans favor gay marriage, while just 35% oppose (and many of them support civil unions). The number of people who favor gay marriage is growing rapidly. Why? We are more accepting and believe the government should stay out of our personal actions. Many of us are friends with homosexuals and understand that they are normal people who deserve the same rights.
The majority of young conservatives have compassion for illegal immigrants. We realize most illegals came to the United States looking for a new and better life. We believe deporting all illegals back to a country where they have no home or support system is un-American and anti pro-life. Do we condone their illegal actions? No, but we sympathize with them. Most of us believe we need to secure the border before dealing with the illegals themselves. After the border is secure, most of us believe that the immigrants should be allowed to stay in the United States (but only if they pay taxes, aren’t allowed to vote, and cannot become legal citizens). Despite that, we believe the ones committing crimes should be deported back to Mexico.
Most young conservatives have a soft spot for the environment. While not all young conservatives embrace global warming or climate change, many of us do. We are worried and care about our planet’s future. We understand that God put us on this planet to enjoy nature, but also to protect it. Young conservatives are much more humane in our dealings with animals, but we still love our meat! Overall, we are outdoorsy and take advantage of environmental/outdoor activities. And, of course, we love Teddy Roosevelt’s genius creation: National Parks.
Other than these four issues, many of us take traditional conservative positions on the remaining issues. We all hold vastly different opinions on a multitude of issues, but in the end we support the same cause. We embrace diversity in the conservative movement and we wish the older generations would join us. Young conservatives are the future of America and we are prepared to take on the political world with a more diverse perspective.