Despite the obstacles of the pandemic, the 2020 Republican National Convention managed to deliver. The speeches from the RNC made me feel proud to be not only a Republican, but also an American. The hopeful, optimistic messaging for the future of our nation was the perfect cure to the Democrat’s gloomy and depressing convention the week before.
However, the RNC failed miserably in addressing an issue that is at the forefront of American politics, an issue that younger voters like me are incredibly concerned about–climate change. The RNC leaving out the climate crisis in the party platform is something that I find incredibly worrying for our future. The party and our country relies upon young people, like myself, but, if the GOP continues to ignore the issue of climate change, it is only a matter of time before the youth will abandon the party.
Polling from the American Conservation Coalition (ACC) revealed how important the issue is to young voters across the political spectrum. Out of everyone who took part in the poll, 82% said that climate change is important to them. 77% of right-leaning individuals and 90% of independents agreed in saying that the issue is important to them. Additionally, 66% of independents said that the issue will impact how they will vote in 2020. 55% of independents also said that they would consider voting Republican if the party adopted a means to address climate change. Not to mention, 79% of identified Republicans said that their party should address and promote policies on the issue.
The Hill published an article stating that, out of voters in battle ground states aged 18 to 35 (the same age range used in the ACC polls), 77% definitely plan on voting in the upcoming election (the majority of which will likely vote Democrat). Therefore, it is vital that we attract more younger voters if we want our party to win elections in the future.
It is safe to say that, if the GOP starts providing effective solutions to climate change, the party can strengthen support from young conservatives as well as expand youth support from right-leaning and independent voters.
On the other side of politics, the Democrats and their far-left allies have their own plan in addressing the climate crisis: the Green New Deal. Notably, the plan was written by the socialist Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and was co-signed by the Democratic VP nominee Kamala Harris. Unsurprisingly, the plan is also central to the Biden Harris campaign as their website calls it a “crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face.”
Almost everything about the Green New Deal is nonsensical. The American Action Forum estimates that the plan will cost between $51 to $93 trillion, and will also pass more government regulations, guaranteed housing, guaranteed employment, and much more. Clearly, the left are using the Green New Deal to pass their socialist agenda in the name of combating climate change. However, an increased percentage of voters see the issue as a top priority. So, if the Democrats are the only ones at least providing some form of solution, climate concerned voters are most likely going to vote for them.
Therefore, it is up to us as Republicans to not just be against the Green New Deal, but to counter it with common sense, conservative solutions. Luckily enough, there are already great men and women pioneering the way for conservative environmentalism in America. Groups like the ACC and RepublicEn are working to mobilize innovative, market-based, small-government solutions to the climate crisis.
Some of these solutions include the ACC’s call for cutting taxes for clean energy investments and also opening up energy markets in order to expand consumer choice. RepublicEn on the other hand is more focused on advocating to put a price on carbon emissions via a revenue-neutral carbon tax. All that needs to happen now, is for the party to unite around and adopt some of these conservative environmental initiatives to the party’s platform.
Now more than ever, we ought to look back to these telling words by Ronald Reagan, “Preservation of our environment is not a liberal or conservative challenge, it’s common sense.”
Our party is the only party that can provide common sense solutions to climate change. It is the only party that will effectively tackle the issue without taking away our freedoms, and will continue to preserve the beauty that is capitalism. If we truly want to make America great again, this is the way forward for the future.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.