An Open Letter To Millennial Republicans: Let’s Bridge This Divide

Hours after Trump’s victory, a 2015 article entitled “An Open Letter to Democrats, From a Millennial Republican” went viral on social media, generating over three-hundred thousand shares on Facebook. The open letter, written by a college Republican, urges Democrats to re-examine their view of the Republican party - to look past common ultra-conservative stereotypes and recognize the shared values among millennials. Her compelling message resonated with thousands of young people in her own party and inspired us, two millennial Democrats, to respond.

We urge you to first read her open letter.

Here is our response:

Dear millennial Republicans,

We hear you. Your open letter called to our attention your feelings of alienation in this past election. As progressives, we advocate for a diversity of perspectives, and we recognize that, when it comes to conservatives, we have not always “walked the talk.”

We hear you, and we want to become better listeners.

The truth is that the 2016 presidential race brought out the worst in both of our parties. To be honest, the hateful discourse directed toward women and minorities frightened and frustrated us. It’s alarming that this type of rhetoric has come to represent the Republican party, but your letter reminded us that most millennial Republicans are “fed up with the theatrics and extremism.”

Unfortunately, political echo chambers have shaped our view of the “other” party in a way reinforces stereotypes. Contrary to popular belief, Democrats are not all hippies, socialists, and anti-capitalists that are out of touch with reality. We don’t want to be impractical and unyielding; we’ve had enough of the gridlock in Congress. We want to find alignment because, as millennials, our commonalities are greater than our differences.

As young Democrats, we believe that racism is still a serious issue that needs to be addressed. We believe that everyone should have equal rights and protection under the law, including the right to marry whoever they love. We believe that we should respect everyone’s religion. We believe that women should have access to education and birth control so that they don’t have to make the difficult decision to end a pregnancy. But if they have to, we believe they should be able to do it safely and legally.

We believe education should be affordable. We believe climate change presents one of the greatest threats to our generation, and we should pursue effective solutions that benefit the environment and the economy. And we believe that the free market should drive growth, but sometimes the government needs to step in.

Yes, there are some differences in our beliefs. However, we can acknowledge them without letting them divide us. Let’s realize that we, as young people, have the power to change the conversation. Let’s focus on what brings us together, not what drives us apart.

We all want good paying jobs. We all want a clean and healthy environment. We all want everyone’s voice to be heard. And most importantly, we want a government that works and a political culture that moves us forward.

As millennials, we will soon take responsibility for our country’s decisions. Let’s have real conversations about real policies where we can agree. Let’s engage in thoughtful discussion and debate when we don’t. Millennial Republicans, we don’t want to condemn you, judge you or dismiss you. We want to work with you to secure a more just and prosperous future.

Sincerely,

Two millennial Democrats

CONVERSATIONS