Young Republican: ‘Win or lose, this debate is healthy’

By Matthew Alonsozana

The political bug bit me again, and I couldn’t keep staying on the sidelines during this election cycle.

It would be apt to say that the divisions in the party are deep. And many of my friends who constitute the young, more moderate, and more diverse future of the party are perhaps even more aghast at the state of affairs than the party elders are.

But, I don’t think it should strike anyone as surprise that these developments were a long time coming. There has long been a frustration between the base and the party leadership, and more importantly, there has been a deep-set frustration amongst Americans from all walks of life that the government and our system of democracy no longer work for them.

Hence, why there are many intelligent and well-intentioned people I know who are supporting Donald Trump.

The prevailing narrative is that Trump supporters are less educated, white working class voters. That certainly is a huge chunk of his support, but I think it ignores the driving passion behind his candidacy: People all want Washington to be cleaned out and for the rules of the game to change.

Many folks I’ve talked to would agree with the statement that they are willing to support Trump, despite knowing all they know, just so that there can be a change in D.C.
Accordingly, I don’t necessarily view the current divisions in the party as a bad thing. Win or lose, this debate is healthy and if it means more voters feel empowered by finally having the party leadership listen to them, then that is a good thing. And maybe these times should serve as a lesson that anger as a political emotion can only be sustained in so many ways before manifesting itself in this manner.

But on a positive note, Trump may have co-opted the mood of the country for his own purposes, but I don’t think a Trump or a Clinton presidency will address those concerns in full. People just want a government that they feel is on their side again.

In such a polarized atmosphere that will be difficult, I think it will fall upon the shoulders of the young political leaders and those to come to renounce the politics of separation and catalyze the creation of a new political identity. One that emphasizes how we are all 1. Fellow Humans, 2. Fellow Americans, and 3. Fellow Folks all engaged in trying to make a better life for our families and ourselves.

This election may be the firestorm that clears the brush of the past and allows for a true political ethos of empathy to take root. In any case, I’m returning to politics because if more people are discouraged and give up and leave right now, win or lose, who will be there to pick up the pieces and make sure folks are truly taken care of? Now more than ever, well-meaning folks should stay.

Matthew Alonsozana is a strategic communications staffer for the Republican Party.

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