Throughout the history of the United States, people of all backgrounds, colors, and creeds have come together to construct a unified nation. Conceived in liberty and forged by a tireless fight to perfect our Union, our country has and must continue to look forward. As young Republicans disaffected by our political system, we intend to continue that forward-looking mission and provide a platform for an improved and future-oriented party. The issues important to Generation Z cannot be ignored, and the Republican Party must not allow the Democrats to monopolize them with irrational progressivism. Thus, we seek to offer our platform of common sense conservatism for the future of the Republican Party.
The issue of climate change too often centers around a discussion of fact and fiction – climate change is real, and it is time for our party to accept that scientific fact. As the generation most affected by climate change, we have an obligation to address this issue. The Republican Party must be oriented toward concrete results, in contrast with the left’s idealistic and infeasible policy proposals.
We acknowledge that our current healthcare system requires significant reform to produce the health outputs our country so desperately needs. Our focus is to approach health care reform under three pillars: strengthening our system and markets, lowering healthcare costs, and increasing the quality of healthcare.
In recent years, the United States’ status and power in the world have experienced an unfortunate decline. While it is important that our country does not use its power to unnecessarily involve itself in constant foreign entanglements, it is imperative that we employ our global power to promote the rule of law, democratic norms, and mutual cooperation, all of which possess tangible domestic benefits. By engaging in beneficial trade, modernizing our military, and strengthening our diplomatic corps and its role in multilateral institutions, the United States will be able to counter the rising challenge posed by the People’s Republic of China, which poses a significant threat to the U.S.-led liberal international order.
For too long, the Republican Party has largely ignored the injustices experienced by people of color. True to our roots as compassionate conservatives, we believe that the Republican Party needs to be on the forefront of identifying instances of racial injustice. As conservatives, we believe that all people must be treated equally under the law, and as a result, we affirm that significant reform is needed to end systemic racism.
We believe it is important to approach immigration without a nativist lens, and acknowledge that our system of immigration contains ubiquitous flaws and gaps. We strive to make legal immigration more attainable for those seeking the American Dream. We support legal immigration and recognize that the contributions of immigrants greatly benefit the United States.
As students comprise the majority of Generation Z, it is imperative that the Republican Party engages in discussion around education. Education is one of the most important investments that the government can make in our communities. Our schools must equip students with the comprehensive skills necessary to take on the challenges of the Twenty-First Century. We must reform the practices of the past, as well as expanding and instituting new educational opportunities.
In recent years, many members of Generation Z have unified around total opposition to the Second Amendment. However, this has left many members of Generation Z yearning for a proposal that supports common-sense measures that respect our right to responsible gun ownership.
As Generation Z becomes the most educated generation in American history, many have sought to design college as the only formidable path following high school. However, the rapid expansion of Generation Z prioritizing college over alternative paths has left many important sectors devoid of the next generation of workers. We must seek to find balance and promote alternative pathways as a means to ensure jobs are accessible. Alternatively, for students who do attend college, the crippling cost of student debt should be acknowledged and fixed through private-public partnerships.
With suicide as the second cause of death for Generation Z, there must be a greater investment of resources in mental health programs. Furthermore, the effects of poor mental health have crippled people of all ages, especially Generation Z. The need for a reformed mental health system has only been heightened with the negative implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the government should not attempt to be the primary resource for mental health services, the possibility to help connect families and organizations with the right resources can be lifesaving.
As Republicans, we seek to promote policies that recognize and appreciate the importance of every single human life. We acknowledge that current laws on the books are suboptimal in the mission of protecting life. However, in order to effectively protect the lives of all people, particularly the unborn, we must be able to work with those of different viewpoints to find a solution to this issue of moral import. We seek to reform the current system so that it aims to effectively save human life.
Rural America and Underserved Communities
With the lives of rural Americans and those in underserved communities vastly changing, we must plan for the future of these communities and the members of Generation Z who will be responsible for many of the country’s industries. The most predominant rural industry, agriculture, faces an increased challenge as the number of Americans continues to increase. We need increased innovation and attention to the needs of the people who keep America moving.
We understand that the Republican Party has opposed reckless government spending as a means to garner votes, but many Republicans have not necessarily worked to champion fiscal conservatism once elected. We view our dire fiscal situation as a direct threat to the future of our generation. The Republican Party should once again embrace fiscal responsibility and fight for the future of Generation Z.
Drug Decriminalization and Rehabilitation
As the United States grapples with a high incarceration rate, our country must take a hard look at its approach to first-time drug possession offenses. As the party of limited government, Republicans should support policies that yield better results for addiction victims and our communities. For this reason, we support reviewing drug criminalization and prioritizing rehabilitation.
We live in a polarized country. There is nothing more divisive than political and social actors working on an agenda seeking to de-platform and shout down certain views expressed in the public sphere. As a result, we seek to create a constructive dialogue and discourse among peers who may not always agree. We must do so in a way that is respectful, understanding, and devoid of the desire to demonize one’s political opponent.
The aforementioned policies, principles, and common facts are the foundation of a coalition of common-sense. We hail from a new generation: our lives have been bookended by terror on our shores and a global pandemic has uprooted and altered the society in which we live. The leadership of the past informs us, but the solutions of the future must be innovative and cognizant of the new challenges that we will inevitably encounter. The torch has been passed to our generation, and it is time for common sense conservatives to stake their claim in the debates that matter to the next generation of Americans. Though these ideals cover a broad landscape of the various policy areas that affect our country, we acknowledge that new challenges will arise and confront us. We believe that if we are guided by our conservative ideals as well as an enduring commitment to sensible solutions, we will undoubtedly be able to apply our principles to the conversations of the present and solutions of the future.