After losing two consecutive presidential elections, members of the Republican Party have began to scrutinize traditional Grand Old Party (GOP) ideologies and leadership. Rifts between old guard Republicans like Lindsey Graham and newcomers like Marco Rubio have grown, causing political infighting within the party.
“Personally, I think Republicans have to give up a little bit on some social issues if they want a shot at the White House,” said Adam Weber, president of the Boise State University College Republicans
According to Weber, the GOP’s focus on social issues like abortion and gay marriage have hurt the party’s image with voters.
As a libertarian Republican, Weber feels the federal government should not get involved in issues that aren’t specifically outlined by the constitution.
“We noticed Obama came out in support of gay marriage; I think it was more political than anything,” Weber said. “He says he believes in it in now, but who knows? It was a strategy he used, giving up some of his social beliefs to win the White House.”
Weber thinks the Republican Party should focus their message more on fiscal responsibility for the federal government and let states decide on specific social legislation.
He hopes disagreements within the party will not divide and weaken the GOP’s political backing for the upcoming senate and presidential elections.
“I think it is inevitable that we are going to get to that point and I don’t know how bad it is going to be,” Weber said.
Junior history major Amanda Gilmore said Republican hard-line stances against abortion initially attracted her to the party, but extreme right wing ideology about women’s basic reproduction rights should be changed within the GOP.
“Birth control should probably not be that big of a deal anymore,” Gilmore said. “I feel like that isn’t even a big concern on a national scale and there are other topics that are more important.”
Over the last couple of presidential elections, Gilmore thinks Republicans spent too much energy mud-slinging their Democratic opponents and should have focused on offering more tangible
“They especially attack the Democrats and they need to step back and create more policy that is well rounded,” Gilmore said.
As far as Republican energy policies is concerned, former BSUCR President Domenic Gelsomino thinks the GOP should pursue energy independence while encouraging a practical, gradual shift toward renewable power.
“We should cut all dependence on middle eastern oil. It’s time we use American oil and American energy like hydro power,” Gelsomino said.
Gelsomino thinks transition to renewable energy sources on a large scale should be a gradual one that fits the needs of American citizens.
“We understand the concerns with environmental problems,” Gelsomino said. “But should we halt progress as a result?”
With Republicans striving to find leadership for the 2016 presidential campaign, Gelsomino thinks the current divisions between GOP members will produce new candidates with reformed ideas.
“Marco Rubio would be great for immigration reform and bring a fresh perspective to the White House. There are a number of candidates and each brings a different perspective and skill set to the table,” Gelsomino said.