Millennial Republicans demand a more 'inclusive' GOP
Whether serving as delegates or just protesting, millennials made their presence clear at the 2016 Republican National Convention, advocating loudly for a new approach to social issues.
According to The Daily Item, issues such as gay and lesbian rights have risen to the top of the priority list for millennial republicans attending the RNC, including many of the party’s youngest delegates, who have expressed skepticism of long-held GOP positions on traditional values.
“I believe the future of the party depends on inclusivity—not only to win elections, but to survive as a party,” RNC alternate delegate Jonathan Hayes told The Daily Item, adding that he has difficulties following a party platform that stands against same-sex marriage and the LGBT community’s right to openly serve in the military.
“I’m disappointed to see the platform reflect such an anti-LGBT position. I think it’s suicide,” Hayes opined, though he clarified that he is fiscally conservative and pro-life, both of which positions fit well within the conventional Republican mainstream.
Similarly, University of Pittsburgh graduate Cameron Linton said that while he did not become involved in the Republican Party on the basis of social issues, he thinks “it would be wise of the GOP to appear more inclusive.”
While Millennial Republicans may be circumspect about the Party’s platform, though, they don’t seem to be holding it against GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, despite the prevalent media narrative that Trump stands in opposition to the very inclusivity Millennials are demanding.
Virginia native and University of Southern California law school student Kyle Kilgore, for instance, told USA Today that although Trump was not his first choice, he is eager to support his party’s nominee in the upcoming election.
“I underestimated him this entire year, and I’ve made predictions and been wrong,” Kilgore conceded, adding that “it’s been really eye-opening being here [at the convention] and seeing how much support he has in person.”
John Salm, the youngest delegate at the 2016 convention, told WTVR’s Channel 6 he has faith that the millennial generation will properly represent the Republican party at the polls in November.
"I'm proud to say the millennial generation is well represented in the Virginia delegation," the 17-year old Virginia delegate said.
Salm, who had originally flirted with supporting both Marco Rubio and John Kasich, quickly changed his mind after meeting the business mogul and presidential nominee.
"When you see him through the internet or TV, you kind of get a persona of him," Salm explained. "But when you talk with him, he's very charismatic, he's very engaging, he makes you feel like you are the only person in the room. He had a Presidential presence."
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @morgan_walker95