Young Republicans Need To Step Up And Lead Their Party Instead Of Whining

note: The Young Republicans are the name of the official Republican
Party organization for those under 40. This piece is not meant to talk
about the organization. Apologies for any confusion created.

Just when you think the Mississippi Senate GOP runoff couldn’t get
any more weird, it did on Monday morning, when the Chairman of the
Mississippi Federation of College Republicans Evan Alvarez resigned
and announced he was joining the Democrat Party. In his resignation
letter, he attacked the Tea Party as cruel extremists on government
spending and immigration, and he also accused the Republican Party of
not doing enough to stop the “hatred and cruel words and actions of the
far right extremist in the party”. However, I’m not sure what more
moderate Republicans can do to oppose the extremists in the Tea Party
other than defeat them in almost every primary election that has been
held, as has been the case this year. The Republican Party has to be a
big tent in order to become a national party again, and that big tent
has to include those who are probably more conservative than Alvarez or
even myself.

Alvarez was also unhappy at the refusal of the MFCR to impeach its
executive director, Kolby Busby, for a couple of robocalls he made in
support of Tea Party-backed candidate Chris McDaniel, where he
identified himself by his title; which is apparently in violation of
MFCR’s policy of not endorsing in primary elections. It should also be
noted that Alvarez was a staunch supporter
of Senator Thad Cochran’s reelection campaign. While Alvarez did make
some good points, especially on the tone and rhetoric that has been
unfortunately used by the far right, his resignation is simply nothing
more than a temper tantrum, and is based more in self-interest than on
principle, as noted by College Republican National Committee Chairwoman Alex Smith.

If Alvarez wanted to make some changes in the party, he should’ve
followed the example of another College Republican state chair who
clashed with the Tea Party and the far right last year…..and won. Almost
exactly a year ago,  the then Chairwoman of the Alabama Federation
of College Republicans Stephanie Petelos issued a statement
applauding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense
of Marriage Act as unconstitutional. Petelos went on to criticize Alabama GOP leaders for their harsh statements and harsh rhetoric on the gay marriage issue.

The Alabama GOP old guard struck back and attempted to purge her
from state GOP’s executive committee over her positions on gay
marriage. With the help of an extremely skilled campaign in the blogosphere and on social media, Petelos not only defeated the purge attempt
but at same time embarrassed Alabama GOP Chairman Bill Armistead
and his allies who pushed the measure; although it didn’t stop Tea
Party-backed congressional candidate Dean Young from circulating a petition among his rivals calling for her ouster anyway. Petelos has since become a leader among young conservatives and Republicans looking to change the Republican Party.

Instead of staying in the Republican Party and joining the millions
of activists and party members, young and old, looking to change the
party; Evan Alvarez has decided to follow mold of the U.S. Senate
candidate he opposed, Chris McDaniel, and throw a temper tantrum based
on self-interest while disguising it as a principled stand. It is
fitting that in exchange for the 30 pieces of silver the Mississippi
Democratic Party offered in return, Alvarez has the unenviable task of
promoting the failed Obama administration in Mississippi. Meanwhile, if
Alvarez dislikes “hatred and cruel words”, he joined the wrong party.
The Democrat Party is the party that demonizes the successful,
frequently refers to black conservatives as “Uncle Toms”, uses misogynistic rhetoric
against conservative women, promotes an agenda of victimhood especially
for minorities and women, and labels whites as inherently racists
through the use of “white privilege”.

While Alvarez is an opportunist, the GOP must do a better job at winning young voters and
holding on to the ones they’ve got. At the same time, young Republicans
need to step up and lead and change their party in order for it to
become successful instead of just whining or sitting back and doing what
they’re told.