In a recent article by The New York Times, two dozen young Republicans shared why they support the party. While promoting pro-life policies remains a main factor, along with an anti-socialism stance, it also suggests that a party shift may occur in the future.
Generation Z, those born after 1996, will likely be an influential source of change with the Republican Party, at least that’s the conclusion The New York Times reached after interviewing only two dozen of these young party supporters. These young adults, ages 18 to 23, support things like criminal justice reform, government action on climate change, citizenship for undocumented immigrants and a public health care option. The one thing that keeps them within the party is their pro-life beliefs.
In the article, The New York Times reports, “Abortion is the only issue on which young Republicans lean right: Most of those interviewed said they were economically conservative, too, and several emphasized their support for Republican immigration policies and gun rights. But abortion is, very often, the issue that is sacrosanct—the one that outweighs their concern about climate change, for instance, and their dislike for Mr. Trump.”
According to Melissa Deckman, a political scientist at Washington College, abortion “is becoming a bigger issue to their identity as Republicans. This is an issue that’s just become nonnegotiable, even among younger people.”
College student Ethan Lucky said, “If it weren’t for that one issue (abortion), then I’d have no problem voting for a Democrat over Trump.”
For the pro-life movement, this is fantastic news. The support for life is growing in the younger generations, meaning that hopefully one day there will be some drastic reforms that will put the United States on par with the rest of the world when it comes to abortion policy, instead of with North Korea.
But this article also highlights some concerns.
While these young adults support life and, as the article argues, anti-socialist policies, they also are generally more inclined to support LGBT issues, climate change regulations, universal/public health care options and criminal justice reform.
For example, one of the interviewees Jose Rodriguez, 22, supports universal basic income and a public health insurance option. He shared, “A lot of older Republicans have the wrong mentality, where it’s like, ‘You’re not getting where you want to in life because you’re not working hard enough.’ I think those times when people are hurting, our government needs to help them out.”
He remains undecided for November, but voices that its more about the Democrat Party turning him off rather than supporting all of the Republican policies.
Mary-Faith Martinez, 22, responded, “Obviously they can’t do a complete 180 and just change what makes the Republican Party what it is, (but it would help) on climate change, health care, immigration, just to be a little more open-minded and a little less stuck in one mind-set about it, saying, ‘We have to stick with this because we’ve always done it this way.’”
People often say, “children are the future,” and as these young men and women continue to influence the Republican Party, it is likely that perspectives and policies will shift. There will be an increasing openness for the LGBT community, some support for expanded government policies and interest in increasing access to health care through the government.
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