Over the past few days the Republican National Committee has been meeting to address the GOP Platform. To be honest, it has been disappointing. As a millennial I am proud to be a republican. However, I recognize an issue with our party, that being the failure to be the party of limited government, and failing to take our timeless principles and apply them to 21st century issues. I am very encouraged because republican millennial’s are talking about issues that the GOP frankly hasn’t addressed in a way that is meaningful.
Ending The War On Drugs:
When it comes to drugs in society, conservatives allow the federal government to enforce and regulate with a heavy hand. No where in the Constitution or Federalist Papers is there a hint that the federal government should be constantly involved in what substances that citizens put in their body. It is important to note that this doesn’t mean republicans have to be pro-drug. Actually, you can argue against using drugs, and the wisdom and statistics for abstaining. The American idea of government is that people should be making the decisions that affect them the most, not the federal government. We should return the decisions to the states for discussion, and have conversations from there.
Neutral Position On Same Sex Marriage:
Just yesterday the GOP rejected a neutral position of same sex marriage, even after a gay delegate made a tearful and moving plea. First off, same sex marriage is legal in all 50 states. Second off, this doesn’t mean you have to agree with same sex marriage, you can hold to the traditional Christian view, that marriage is between one man and one woman. The point is that if we believe in limited government, and life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all people, our platform should remain neutral on this issue. I know many conservatives who are gay, they are awesome people who share and promote our values of limited government, adherence to the Constitution, and free enterprise. We need to widen our tent, not narrow it when it comes to this issue.
Criminal Justice Reform:
Our nation and our laws should be focused on imprisoning the most dangerous and violent members of society. It is unfortunate, that our current criminal justice system entraps non-violent offenders, who typically end up being African American men. This leads to an endless cycle of poverty, unemployment, broken families, and incarceration. Conservatives should be champions for abolishing mandatory minimum sentencing, strengthening communities, rehabilitation, and body cameras for police (protects good cops, exposes bad cops). We cannot allow the mistakes of our youth to determine the rest of their life.
The American idea is that the condition of your birth, or where you come from doesn’t have to determine the outcome of your life if you work hard. The beautiful thing is that you can achieve your dreams. It is the American dream that makes our country so special, and attracts millions to move here. In 1964, The War on Poverty started and we are no better off then we were back then. Welfare benefits cost tax payers massive amounts of money every year, yet there are millions of Americans still living in poverty. Welfare was never supposed to be a career opportunity. Government dependence is not the answer. As republicans, we believe that the best answer to poverty is a job. We believe that greater opportunity needs to be available to all people, and that hard work should be rewarded, and will be rewarded if you work hard.
Speaker Ryan’s few things we can do:
- Reward work
- Tailor benefits to peoples needs
- Improve skills and schools
- Plan and save for the future
- Demand results
I am frustrated with some of the GOP Platform for 2016, but I am hopeful because of millennials wanting to address these issues. The House GOP is finally putting forth a better way, which does address these issues. I am very thankful for that. Conservatives have the message and ideas that can better the lives of people. My hope is that we take our timeless principles of limited government, adherence to the Constitution, and free enterprise, and that we would apply those principles to our issues here in the 21st Century.