While our new president may have run as and been elected as a Republican, it is no secret that President Trump is not exactly a conservative. As a controversial and unconventional Republican, Trump and his flock of supporters have caused many conservatives to stray away from the GOP and conservatism as a whole. Claims that Trump and his populist message are not conservative are valid. I, however, refuse to believe we should let one individual, no matter who he or she is, tarnish the conservative movement.
The average age of House Republican leadership is 47, while the average age of House Democrat leadership is 76. Conservative Republicans are at a time where our best leaders are ahead of us. Our leaders are young, driven, and principled. Representative Justin Amash of Michigan and Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky are two young members of the House who are dedicated to protecting liberty and free markets. In the Senate, conservatives can look to leaders such as Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Rand Paul of Kentucky. These four leaders all show a promising future in helping to grow the conservative movement in addition to many more.
Beyond the Republican leaders we have representing us in D.C., there are grassroots conservative efforts budding all across the nation. Along with these organizations come excitable conservative millennials. Young conservatives bring a fresh set of eyes to the movement and help revive our party. Often underestimated and dismissed, millennials in the conservative movement play a vital role. They are truly the future of the GOP. If we ignore those who will soon lead our party, our future as a movement is not guaranteed.
College campuses across the country host various groups that give conservative students a platform. It is not an easy task to be a conservative or a Republican on campus. The tenacity and fearlessness expressed in our young emerging leaders is inspiring to witness. Turning Point USA, YAF, and College Republicans are all breeding a new generation of conservative leaders on campus. While leftist tactics may try to undermine the efforts of conservatives on campus, these groups are dedicated to preserving the message of free market conservatism.
Conservatism is about empowering people to be fiscally responsible and independent from government. Free market capitalism is what conservatism is built off of, not a populist message. I am confident that if our leaders turn back to the fundamentals of conservatism and spread this message in an effective way, the future of conservatism will be bright.
Messaging plays a huge role in sharing the aforementioned conservative ideals. Conservatives must work harder than ever to get out our message and show why free market capitalism is the solution, not the problem. In addition to conservative college campus groups, the number of conservative publications is also on the rise. Publications like Red Alert Politics, Refined Right, and, of course, FFL all show promising conservative journalists who are dedicated to informing the public of the value of conservatism. In addition to promoting traditional conservative principles, these publications all promote individual thinking.
It is juvenile to think that a group of individuals that might be invading the party will forever tarnish the movement. The future of conservatism is bright because of those who dedicate their time to expanding the movement and sharing the message of free market conservatism. As we trek ahead into 2018 and future election years, I am confident that the people and groups mentioned above will carry our message and the torch of liberty.
*The opinions expressed in this column are the author’s own. They do not necessarily reflect the view of the FFL organization.*