This op-ed originally appeared in the Boston Globe, and was co-authored with Ryan Doucette, Samuel Garber, and John Olds.
“You cannot tell me this is our guy.”
That feeling, that sentiment of unfettered disgust is one that animates the sensibilities of many young Republicans today. It is a simple emotion — one of pure conviction — that opposing the personal and political essence of this president of the United States is the right thing to do.
However, while we firmly believe that preventing the reelection of Donald Trump is a necessary precondition to realizing our vision for the future of the GOP, our mission will become even more important after Nov. 3.
As we’ve grown up in politics, the Republican Party has gifted us many things: a political home, sound principles, and, most of all, each other. But while this party has brought our friendships closer together, its current iteration of right-wing Trumpian populism has been tearing our country apart. In a sense, we’ve become politically alienated, as rhetoric and policies move toward the extreme.
This is not an endorsement of the Democratic Party or the political left more broadly, but rather a call to rethink the right so that it remains a productive counterbalance to the generational shift toward the left. It has become increasingly clear that the party that introduced us to politics no longer represents us. The GOP under Trump has lost sight of its values, has failed to engage in productive discourse, and continually neglects policies in the best interests of our country and generation.
By embracing Trumpism, the Republican Party has sacrificed its values and any belief of limited, sensible government. With gross negligence of the rule of law, the president has undermined our nation, which has long stood as a beacon of liberty. He has sought to surgically divide the nation by embracing the tribalism that confuses political opponents with personal foes. Rather than heeding the advice of advisors and experts, the president has taken the dangerous approach of undermining the hard work of civil servants.
Thus, the reality of short-term electoral calamity for Trumpism is a moral responsibility for our generation. Not only must we reject the politics of hate and division, but we must also empower young voices. Our generation cares about climate change. We believe LGBTQ+ people should be free from discrimination in our laws and in our social circles. We believe that immigrants help uphold the vibrant American tapestry. And, we believe that while there will be policy differences, there should be a basic set of facts that the American people can accept as we tackle the issues of our time.
The current embrace of gaslighting and near-sighted thinking has torn our party apart over simple realities and facts. How is our party supposed to engage in discourse over policy-making if we cannot even come to an agreement on what the facts are in the first place? For too long, our party has failed our generation on the issues that affect us most.
Gen Z needs a palatable alternative to the political left, which today’s GOP has failed to provide. Notably, the conversation around climate change within the party needs to move past whether it exists or not to how we can offer realistic, innovative solutions as an alternative to the infeasibility of the Green New Deal. If the GOP continues down this path of rejecting facts and consequently failing to offer up forward-looking policy solutions, Gen Z voters will increasingly feel pressured to move further left.
This is why we are launching “gen z gop.” We seek to provide a platform for other Gen Z Republicans who have felt ostracized by the GOP under Trump, and who seek to provide a new vision for the party’s future.
It’s up to our generation to chart a new vision for the future of the GOP and the country. With a new approach, we can truly achieve greatness in the future. Together.