These BU Students Hope to Transform the GOP
These BU Students Hope to Transform the GOP
Members of gen z gop, they want the Republican Party to address climate change, xenophobia, racial injustice
Getting a rare word in edgewise at last month’s first presidential debate, Democrat Joe Biden slammed Republican President Trump’s divisiveness. Jesse Lamba (CAS’21) agrees, and he’s supporting Biden.
He’s also a member of a young Republicans group.
Lamba, who calls himself an Independent, belongs to gen z gop, a small cadre of young conservatives with big hopes of coaxing the Republican Party out of what many see as its health access–killing, climate change–denying, racism-hugging crouch.
“It starts with the extremely divisive rhetoric and failure to acknowledge major issues affecting our generation,” Lamba says of what he calls Republican orthodoxy’s crack-up. “The demonization of immigrants, failure to address racial injustice, the denial of science, and consistent blaming of the other side. The easy embrace of conspiracy theories has shown me that a serious reckoning is needed.”
These problems predated Trump, he says, but the president’s “rhetoric and lack of solutions have brought those issues to the forefront.”
BU’s only other gen z gop member, Jacob Binnall (LAW’23), agrees. “There was a lot of anger in the pre-2016 primary era,” he says. “People were looking for something to blame for their challenges and were tired of politicians and just wanted change, and Trump easily fits into that scenario. He saw that opportunity and took it. That being said, had the party had another nominee, I think this situation could be very different.”
For now, 200-plus people nationwide have applied for gen z gop membership. It’s true that the GOP brand is badly tarnished among young Americans; nationally, just 22 percent of voters in the 18-to-36 age bracket are Republicans, according to a University of Chicago survey.
Some of those may not be reliable Republicans this November 3, as Tufts research has found that almost 25 percent of young people who voted GOP in the 2018 midterms plan to cast ballots for Biden next month.
The communications office of the Massachusetts Repubican Party did not reply to several requests seeking comment about gen z gop. But the national party has made overtures to young voters—for example, by giving its 25-year-old congressional nominee from North Carolina, Madison Cawthorn, a speaking slot during this summer’s Republican National Convention.
Binnall, who is lending his graphic design talents to the gen z gop social media efforts, brushes aside party stalwarts’ standby criticism of reformist Republicans as RINOs: Republicans in Name Only.
“It basically means you don’t support Trump…yet when [conservatives] criticize and protest our Republican governor, they aren’t RINOs,” he says, referring to Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, whose moderation led no less than Trump to tar him with the slur.
To Binnall, that’s the political pot calling the kettle black. “There is nothing at all RINO about criticizing a president who has expanded our deficit, expanded the power of the executive branch through excessive use of executive order, actively worked against free trade, etc.,” he says. “This president is quite literally a RINO.”
That bill of indictment showcases some of the concerns that keep gen z gop–ers from simply registering as Democrats.
This president is quite literally a RINO.
“The Green New Deal is more of an economic overhaul than a climate-focused plan,” Lamba says. “I have witnessed a Democratic House and Senate unable to pass comprehensive legal immigration reform and also unable to compromise last year with Republicans when a sweeping bill was close to being passed. While the fringe elements of the right spout hate and intolerance, I would also add that those on the far left are quick to cancel and or disparage those who offer a differing viewpoint.”
Lamba is on gen z gop’s policy team, writing briefs about national defense, “consolidating partnerships with key nations, and upholding multilateral agreements.” (Trump, of course, pulled out of the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear deal.) On immigration, Lamba quotes a man canonized by Republicans, Ronald Reagan: “Anybody from any corner of the world can come to America to live and become an American. We draw our people, our strength, from every country and every corner of the world.”
As for the bullying, dismissive behavior the incumbent president displays, Lamba contrasts the approach of another Republican and Trump nemesis, the late US senator from Arizona, John McCain. During his 2008 presidential run, McCain parried a supporter’s fake-news derogation of Barack Obama as an Arab. “No, ma’am,” McCain replied, “he is a good, family man who I just happened to have some disagreements with.”
“In the end,” Lamba says, “we as Americans are all in it together, and it’s up to us to fix the discourse.”
November 7, 2020
Joe Biden Defeats President Trump, Clearing the Way to Becoming 46th US President
November 7, 2020
How Does the Electoral College Work and Other Election Questions
November 7, 2020
Joe Biden Will Be the Oldest President Elected. Is That Worrisome?
Progressive Mitt “Might Rob Me” Romney tried this too and we all know where it got him; think failed presidential run. He now stands alone viewed as a rouge nut job within the Republican party (of course many democrats think he is the only same Republican which just goes to validate the prior statement). McCain another RINO made the same mistake.
Real Republicans are conservative by nature which means they are prudent and prefer to conserve and protect the status quo; if ain’t broke don’t fix it. This ideology is in contrast with liberalism and progressivism of the democratic party which seeks change based o “solutions” which they run around with looking for “problems” to solve. They are inherently see problems everywhere and are never satisfied with the status quo even when it ain’t broke.
What the Republicans work to conserve and not readily
change are the limited government, fundamental liberties and rights expressly defined in the declaration of independence and the constitution. The democratic liberal progressives by contrast view these not as covenants to be adhered to but as living documents subject to their own majority rule interpretations even when these are in stark contrast to anything mentioned in the federalist papers.
Trying to move the Republican party to the left will prove to be a fool’s errand. Among the reasons for this is that the federal constitution guarantees us a Republican form of government not a Democratic or progressive form of government and it does so for precisely the same reasons (Read Common Sense by Thomas Paine to better understand this line of reasoning) that conservative dogma of the Republican party cannot be changed.
In conclusion, the Republican party does not need to change because it ain’t broke. On the contrary, it is the increasingly dependent and spoiled American people who need to change what they expect from the federal government. Until such time, those who refuse to accept the benefits of limiting federal government involvement in our lives will continue to be disappointed. Likewise, those who choose to alienate Republicans by assuming they are mean spirited due to their conservative nature will continue to miss the bigger picture which is, that it has been Republican not progressive democratic policies that have really served to defend and protect the rights of the little guy from the whims of the masses.
I think this is a hopeful sign. I am happy to see that young people who align with more traditionally conservative values, who are a minority on college campuses, are investing in recreating a Party that they feel better represents them and their generation. The Republican Party and Platform of today bears hardly a shadow of a resemblance to the one that existed in the 1970s and 80s of my youth. I grew up in a staunchly liberal household, but had many family members and friends who were more conservative and were big fans of President Reagan. Perhaps that is why I am an Independent voter as an adult. That said, the extremism and hatred spewed by many in the Republican Party during the Trump Era has in turns saddened and enraged me, and has created much wider division in our country. There is extremism and hatred on both sides of the aisle, but the main difference I see is that one side is overtly dehumanizing black and brown and female and trans lives, while the other is taking an overly leftist approach that smells a lot like the failed ideologies of communism, including forced wealth redistribution, which demonizes successful corporations and those with personal, often hard earned, wealth. A salient point of difference – One demonized group has vastly less political and social power than the other – and that matters.
Thank you to these students for employing reason and civil discord in the midst of political extremism and partisanship.
How are these “reformists” even remotely conservative? I didn’t know the word “reformist” and “conservative” could even be used together. #RINOs
The headline and subheadline of this article clearly say that members of this Gen Z GOP group “want the Republican Party to address climate change, xenophobia, racial injustice.” Please tell me, at length, how THOSE wants are “not conservative.” You would hope that the health of the only planet we have to live on and ensuring the rights of all people, regardless of race or ethnicity, are ideals held by all humans, regardless of political ideology. If you can’t be conservative and SUPPORT these things, then being conservative is anti-human. But I don’t think conservatives OR the GOP are that. know they aren’t because once in a while we get brave GOP politicians break with the rest of the party over very sound, reasonable decision making. Maybe it’s a bunch of trolls commenting here so far. I don’t know, but thank god for these kids. Don’t listen to the haters Gen Z GOP. Haters Gonna Hate. Don’t mean they’re right….or “conservative”.
Might as well be democrats, if you agree with the Dems on everything. they are not republicans nor conservatives.