Co-authored by Stefano Cavallaro, Young Professional, Millennial Conservative
These recent weeks have been rough for the GOP. A casual scroll through one’s Facebook newsfeed gives the impression that the GOP perished a slow inevitable death, and all hope is as lost as Kim Kardashian’s earrings in the ocean.
The most recent Super Tuesday is a call to action for conservatives of this country, particularly millennial conservatives. Some argue that the current majority of leaders from the GOP have let down conservatives, our generation, and this country. Despite the flaws of today’s status of government, millennials are perfectly geared to tackle our country’s challenges.
Despite the fact that most of our friends, politics gurus and media personalities are bewildered by who won the GOP nomination process, the stubborn fact exists that Donald Trump won more votes than any other candidate. We cannot ignore the fact that the middle class in this country feels so left out of the political process that they were willing to accept anyone who talked about their issues, even if that person behaves in a way as bizarre as Kanye West’s Twitter timeline.
However if you look at the numbers, support has been mixed and millennials aren’t fooled by his antics. The general lack of enthusiasm for D. Trump was evident at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). An NBC News survey shows that in a Clinton vs. Trump matchup, millennials give Clinton the biggest marginal lead. Young conservative Americans are not looking forward to the era of The Donald.
Today’s world is becoming increasingly more complex, as is everyday life for Generation Y-ers. We spend the day Snapchatting, texting, and Instagram scrolling, all the while becoming more efficient at our jobs, and demanding transparency in each of our environments. Millennials have overtaken Baby Boomers as the largest living generation in the U.S., and are quickly taking over the workforce from Generation X.
We see through pitches in the Internet age, and are directly focused on value and message. We grew up differentiating between talking heads and gatekeepers, all while being able to take politicians’ opinions with a grain of salt until we could fact check it on Twitter or Google.
Today may be “the dark ages” for the GOP, but that’s because the conservative movement needs new life and passion. Young conservatives are focused on building an economy where individuals have satisfying and worthwhile jobs, not just focused on a politically convenient unemployment rate. We believe that education is a right, not a privilege, but that some of these rights are more efficiently run on a state rather than national level.
We strive to see each individual’s unique beliefs, expressions of love, and personal choices celebrated as we view them, and not manipulated to spark hatred in social policy debates. We reject the obstructionist tendencies we see from some of today’s GOP leaders, and we believe in igniting a conservative revolution through expressing strong views without a fear of comprising.
We are more connected to each other from growing up in the age of Social Media, and we strive to lead the government and our communities to advance all Americans, regardless of race, social class, or identity. We dream of a country united by common nationality, and we reject those who seek to separate us by our differences.
Young people are generally more progressive and accepting to social change than generations past, but conservatism will not fade. Millennial conservatives and our passion are what is needed to save the Conservative movement that is so deeply rooted in values and American exceptionalism.
What must happen now, is that more young people get off their laptops, open a window in their growing schedules, and go out into the community and make a difference. Become more informed, take a stand in your beliefs and engage in civil discussions based on research, reflection and insight. The time to wait for our time has come and gone. The country needs us, and it is our time to lead.
About the co-author: Stefano J. Cavallaro graduated from the Florida State University with a B.S. in Accounting & Political Science in 2015. He currently works in public accounting and resides in Tallahassee, Fla.
As an undergraduate at FSU, Stefano served as Student Body President and a member of the University’s Board of Trustees. He was also elected by his fellow student body presidents to serve as Chairman of the Florida Student Association. In this role he represented the over 330,000 students in the State University System and served as a member of the Florida Board of Governors. He was a finalist for a national Truman Scholarship.
Stefano enjoys a good book, golfing, and the outdoors. He donates his time to Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida and the FSU College of Business Recent Alumni Board.