Can The Republican “Young Turks” Change The Face of The GOP?

By Susan Kuebler

They range in age from 37, 45, and 54 years old respectively, but the future of the Republican Party may rest on the shoulders of Rep. Justin Amash, Sen. Ben Sasse, and Sen. Jeff Flake.  While many are looking to the traditional party standard bearers such as Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain to stand up to the antics and atrocities committed by Donald Trump and his administration, the words of these leaders do not always lead to similar action.

Sadly, the GOP is top-heavy with old, white men.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is a prime example.  Although younger in age, House Speaker Paul Ryan still fits the same mold.  At 70 years of age, Trump would be the epitome of the old, white Republican, except for the fact that he is most likely a Democrat in disguise.

There are a few bright spots, such as freshman Congresswoman Mia Love, but she is still to new to the halls of power to have much influence.  HUD Secretary Ben Carson is a fish out of water who is no doubt finding running a government agency might actually be harder than brain surgery.  Certainly the skills sets in one field do not translate well into the other.

The deafening silence surrounding Trump’s troubling and questionable firing of FBI Director Comey from the Republicans in Congress was broken only by the following statements from the three “young Turk’s” mentioned in the first paragraph.  Taken in order they are as follows:

They were also among the few Republican legislators who spoke out against Trump’s Executive order on travel and immigration.  The term “speaking truth to power” has been watered down through overuse in recent years.  But if ever there were an example of doing so, these three gentlemen have taken that course.   They have not compromised their integrity like Rep. Jason Chaffetz.  They have not “kissed the Emperor’s ring” like Sen. Ted Cruz.

Many once loyal supporters of the Grand Old Party have left its folds, due mostly to the Party’s embrace of Donald Trump and his clique of Wall Street cronies and kleptocrats.  They are searching for an alternative party, one that embraces the values of Republicans.

Some supported the surprising third-party outsider Evan McMullin during the presidential election.  Handicapped by a late start in the race and lack of financial resources, McMullin did offer a refreshing alternative to both Trump and Clinton.  He continues to build his support and should be a force to be reckoned with in 2018.

With Trump’s approval ratings now plummeting into the mid-30s (per the latest Quinnipiac poll) and the mid-term elections of 2018 coming much too fast for the comfort of many in the House of Representatives, the GOP could be faced with a potentially disastrous outcome.  Judging from the reactions at recent town hall meetings, it could be more than a “wake up” call. It could very well turn out to be a “You’re fired” election.

But if the GOP, as it now stands, has any hope of surviving Trump and remaining a viable political party in the future, they must be willing to acknowledge the courage and leadership of men like Amash, Sasse, and Flake and admit them into the inner circle of power.  These men, not McConnell or Ryan, need to become the face of the Republican Party.

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