Young Republicans focuses on political tolerance, open mindsets

Lasirra Hines, Entertainment Editor

With the Young Democrats as a club, it was bound for the Young Republicans group to be started. 

Sophomore Jackson Byerly is the president of the club, with senior Peyton Mills alongside him as the vice president. The original idea behind starting the club was simply that it would be nice to have for people who tend to lean more to the right.

“I heard about Young [Democrats, I thought]  ‘there’s not [a] Young Republicans club, that would be kind of cool,’” Byerly said. “Originally I [thought] we could have this club so people who have more right leaning views or who are like on the fence, they can come and they can talk about it without worrying they’ll get made fun of.”

The main objective of the club is to promote political tolerance, and to be able to hold conversations with people who may have differing views in a more respectful and civil manner. It also creates a safe space, such as Young Democrats would, for people to talk about politics.

“What’s really cool is that it ended up turning into a club where anyone can come with any sort of political views,” Byerly said. “It’s turned into: ‘okay you [can] come, you have your political views, let’s talk about it, let’s talk about politics and have this safe space to talk about politics.”

Young Republicans also focus on raising a generation of people that are willing to listen and hear other viewpoints of people who may have different views, holding conversations civilly.

“I want us to raise a generation of people that can actually get things done and express their viewpoints civilly and not end up like the current political leaders that we see today,” sophomore JB Brock, member of Young Republicans, said.

With anything relating to politics, of course there was controversy. Some believed this was a direct response to the Young Democrats group. However, it isn’t so much a direct, conflict-specific response. It was more about whether it would make sense to have Young Republicans as well.

“Originally, I [felt] like if there’s a Young Democrats club, then I would definitely be able to have a Young Republicans club,” Byerly said. “I guess you can say that would be a response. I just [thought] that would be cool if we had both of those.”

Even with the elections going on, it hasn’t been a main focus for the group, and isn’t talked about as heavily as it may have been assumed.

“We’ve talked about [the candidates] a little bit. It’s not like the main thing we’ve talked about, but it’s definitely come up within our meetings,” Byerly said.

There is also the want to build a healthy political environment and even work with the Young Democrats group.

“I wanted to help build a better political environment,” Byerly said, “and so some of the things I wanted to do with the club was to have Young Republicans and Young Democrats do stuff together to help build that unity between the Democrats and Republicans.”