As the 2018 midterm elections approach, Republicans need to cleanly separate themselves from the fringe movement of the alt-right.
Radical individuals whose views do not align with true conservative values have been harming the GOP’s image, and if not addressed could be detrimental to the party. Republicans cannot allow the incredibly small number of nationalists and racists to hurt the brand of the party which is the same party that fought for civil rights, pushed for woman’s suffrage on the party’s platform in 1856, and had a higher percentage of its members vote for woman’s suffrage in 1920. In fact the Republicans voted for both the Civil Rights of Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 at a higher percentage than the Democrats.
To be successful in 2018 and beyond, the GOP must attract millennial voters. However, Republicans have struggled to connect with the now-largest voting block that has shown little interest in the conservative platform. Republicans can best do this by reinventing and energizing the positive and promising aspects of the party, but they cannot allow the negativity of the young and growing alt-right to dominate social media and garner the wrong type of millennial support — no matter how desperately it is needed.
Many millennials are bright and brilliant leaders who will surely make this nation proud. However, some have become severely misguided by troubled minds who preach hatred and bigotry from the comfort of their keyboards and webcams. Many young Americans, who feel largely neglected by the current political landscape, are attracted to their promise of change.
The bottom line: these are the millennials that need to be utterly rebuffed by the Republican Party. While they may seem like a quick vote now, they ultimately intend to twist the party’s conservative values to promote their own populist and nationalist ideology. Thankfully, there are not many millennials with backwards views, and there are many more who continually stand up for conservative ideals and values.
Ben Shapiro and Allie Stuckey are two of these millennials who stand for conservatism.
Stuckey, known as The Conservative Millennial, has attracted a large social media following for her videos that support and defend conservative values. She fiercely reveals the errors in the ideology of the left and has brought an energized and much needed female voice to conservatism. I have interviewed her multiple times on the radio and have not only been impressed with her ability to articulate complex policy ideas in ways that my generation could understand, but was most impressed with her depth of character and insight, which she attributes to her faith in Christ. She will be a true leader of the Republican Party and there is no doubt that her media status will only continue to rise.
Shapiro rose to fame at 17, when he became the youngest nationally syndicated columnist in the country. He founded The Daily Wire and hosts his own daily political podcast, "The Ben Shapiro Show," two accomplishments that have brought Shapiro over one million followers on Twitter. A fierce defender of conservative values, Shapiro has even been restricted when speaking at universities, who say his views can be “concerning and even hurtful.” However, Shapiro simply preaches and defends the conservative values of limited government, individual freedom, and the importance of strong families.
The GOP needs young voters who will support them in the future and help the party grow, but it cannot allow itself to be a vehicle of hate. Therefore, the party should continue to align itself with true conservative millennials like Stuckey and Shapiro, rather than the prejudice spouted by the alt-right.
Contrary to what many might believe, the Republican Party has always been the party where innovative ideas have been welcomed. There is room in the GOP for young ideas and support, and a surge of principled, conservative millennial participation could be the shot in the arm Republicans need in 2018.
Special thanks to Katherine Pickle and Daniel Bruce, members of my firm, who helped write, research, and edit this article. Katie is a 2L at Emory law school and Daniel Bruce is a contributor at Rouser in D.C.
This article originally appeared in my column on Newsmax.
Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore.