Dear Langston Bowens,
I recently had the pleasure of reading your opinion piece on Red Alert Politics, in which you detailed why you announced your resignation from your Co-Chair position at the New Mexico College Republicans after your branch decided not to support Donald Trump, the GOP nominee, but rather endorsed the Libertarian candidate, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson.
As a former two-term president of a College Republicans group on a college campus myself, I cannot disagree with your stance more.
Throughout your piece, you accurately articulate how contentious this election has been. I too have seen friends drift away due to my not supporting Trump, and many others attack my critiques of Trump as both a candidate and as the face of the Republican party. Your piece seems to focus on one piece alone, and that is party loyalty.
Yes, we may have intellectual disagreements over policy, values, and nominees, but to simply abandon our individual principles in the name of party loyalty is fundamentally opposed to the core principles of the Republican Party. Yes, I am still a registered Republican, but I embrace the “small (l)” libertarianism that used to be the bedrock of the GOP. Within these principles is the belief of individualism, not a collective “group think” mentality that you seem to be arguing for. Group think and collectivism is the foundation of the progressives, liberals, and Democrats; not conservatives, libertarians, or Republicans. To simply argue for Republicans to abandon their individual principles in the name of a collective “party loyalty” is as un-Republican as it gets.
Yes, the College Republicans are the voice of the next generation of GOP voters. The reality, however, is that the next voice of GOP voters are not the same voice as those who nominated Donald Trump as the party nominee. The next generation of GOP voters are increasingly libertarian in nature, and Donald Trump is essentially the antithesis of these beliefs. From his support of eminent domain, stop-and-frisk, restrictions on free speech, and more, Trump is hardly emblematic of the millennials who comprise the up-and-coming generation of the GOP.
There is much more to being a leader than simply toeing the party line in the name of loyalty, Mr. Bowens. Being a leader also means taking a stand, even when it’s the unpopular thing to do. Your resignation as the co-chair of the New Mexico College Republicans simply because they have taken a stance not only against the party nominee, but to also endorse a candidate of another party is not them crossing a “fundamental line.” No, this is them leading. It is one thing to stand against something. But to stand for something, despite the the backlash from dissenting voices, is the true sign of leadership.
I do not doubt your patriotism, your principles, nor your passion. You stated “I resigned because sometimes the toughest decision is the right decision.”
Yes, sometimes the toughest decision is the right decision. Perhaps it is time for you to take a step back, look at your group, and ask yourself if their tough decision was the right decision from their perspective.
After all, you said it best: “If the New Mexico College Republican leadership truly cares about the next generation of voters, perhaps they will do the same.”
I believe that with their endorsement of your former governor in Gary Johnson, a former two-term, Republican governor who represents the views the the next generation of GOP voters better than the current GOP nominee, then they have in fact shown that they truly do care.