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Wednesday, October 4, 2023


Trump dilemma strains pro-Republican college students

I am the president of the College Republicans at UH, and I have no shame in admitting that. The people I have met, the things that I have experienced and the joy in being a part of the organization are indescribable and immeasurable.

My views on the candidates are clear. The members of UHCR who voted to put me in office last semester were aware of my thoughts on Donald Trump. I never made it a secret.

With the nomination of Trump for the Republican Party, a special dilemma has popped up on college campuses around the country. Do College Republicans decide to endorse Trump even though he is unpopular among millennials and those within his party?

The decision on whether to endorse Trump has divided College Republican groups around the country. It has even led to club breakups.

The UHCR board decided, with emphasis on our members, love and standing for intellectual diversity and liberty, that the best course of action was to stay completely neutral in Trump’s spectrum. We have members who support Trump and members who are decisively “Never Trump.”

We think our members are smart enough to decide for themselves whether they support the Republican candidate.

When Independent Journal Review released an opinion piece calling for the resignation of College Republican leaders who don’t fully support Trump, I was appalled. I shouldn’t be surprised, though, seeing as the piece was written by John Lambert, the national vice chairman and co-founder of Students for Trump. He’s just supporting his candidate of choice (in a legalistic fashion, I may add).

The main point of the article is that leaders who do not fully support Trump lack a certain maturity. Those who want Hillary Clinton to win are missing a chance to market the College Republicans, and conservative principles, properly.

Not supporting Trump does not mean supporting Clinton.  To say so would be an associative fallacy that focuses more on buzzwords than on the stance.

As stated above, millennials despise Trump in a way that cannot really be compared. If anything, aligning with Trump only hurts the creation of a constructive dialogue that can promote the ideals formerly held by the party.

Why has this party and its allies become so focused on an authoritarian need for conformity and a hate for those who dissent? How has the Republican Party fallen so far from its prior focus on freedom of expression and diverse viewpoints?

This is the kind of behavior that Republicans have been criticizing Democrats for many years now. Yet, there seems to be no mediation when a Trump supporter goes after a non-supporter who is affiliated with the Republican Party.

This is not the first time leaders of the “Donald J. Trump for President” movement have called for the removal of leaders who don’t back the GOP nominee. New Hampshire GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Horn was the subject of one during primary season.

More recently, the Rice University College Republicans democratically decided to not endorse Trump. In response, Students for Trump — Texas tweeted some disparaging remarks about them and started a less-than-flattering hashtag.

To paraphrase the Fox News show, “Outnumbered,” when speaking about UH’s own SGA president, this is a post straight out of North Korea.

Many Republicans (some former) have — rightfully — said that the party has seemingly lost its soul thanks to the “Trump situation.” Actions and articles like this only help to affirm these conclusions.

Unsurprisingly, a Democrat has turned the Republican Party blue into the fall-in-line party no one ever wanted.

Opinion columnist Jorden Smith is a political science junior and president of the College Republicans. He can be reached at [email protected]

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