I am 17 years old and I am a Republican. That is a sentence you won’t read often, and I would like to clear a few things up.
I do believe in climate change, I am pro-choice, I am for the rights of same-sex couples, too, and most importantly: President Donald Trump is far from my favorite person on this planet. Any serious look into American conservatism and you will see this president’s policies are in direct opposition to past Republican presidents. Maybe Reaganomics have some semblance to Trump’s fiscal policy; however, tariffs are not — and have never been, except for outliers in the American conservative movement — a part of mainstream modern conservative thought.
Decency is definitely not Trump’s strong suit and that should be a red flag for any true conservative. I am a Republican because I believe in my country and I believe America has a role in the world — economically, militarily, and diplomatically. In fact, I believe that America should have boots on the ground in Syria fighting ISIS.
I believe in the necessity of a political party that talks about morals and values. I believe the law should be enforced — our troops and law enforcement should be respected and supported. I believe in compassion for undocumented immigrants and amnesty for those residing here; however, I also believe in the need to enforce our border laws and increasing border security without causing irreparable harm to our relationship with Mexico, and we can do this without violating basic human rights.
I believe that the federal budget needs to be taken under control and our debt to other countries must be reduced. However, I am disgusted by the Freedom Caucus, the Tea Party, and this president. The Republican Party needs to take seriously the concerns of Black Lives Matter, gun control activists, and the allegations of sexual assault survivors.
A faction exists in the Republican Party that believes in the principals I just listed, but who also believe — as I do — in compromise and putting our country first. An example of this kind of conservative is the late John McCain. We must move forward and offer an alternative not only to the Democrats but to Trump.
Many like-minded compassionate conservatives believe that the 2020 primaries offer a unique opportunity for moderate to mainstream conservatives to get rid of this president and restore order not only in our country but within the Republican Party. Trump-ism is malarkey and this young Republican is — without apologies — ready to help sweep Trump out of office, and help build a moderate Republican Party.
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• Matthew Haile of Cedar Rapids attends Washington High School and will begin classes at Marquette University in January.