Some Gen Z and millennial Republicans say that they are troubled by President Trump’s failure to concede more than two weeks after Election Day, citing the harm it could cause to American democracy and the example Trump’s behavior sets for young Republicans.
“I feel like Trump is attempting to subvert our democracy, and it’s very worrisome to see how many people are blindly supporting him. I find it really disappointing how Trump is blatantly going out of line with American values and going against objective facts, ” Ally Chun, an 18-year-old Republican from New York, told CNN.
Chun is, in part, concerned with the way Trump continues to spread misinformation online as well as the impact Trump’s failure to concede could have on young Americans.
While she still considers herself a Republican, Chun said she is “extremely disillusioned by the party” and hopes they can condemn and distance themselves from Trump’ actions.
Likewise, Chip Myers, a 21-year-old Republican from Arkansas, told CNN he is “really troubled,” by Trump’s “failure to concede.”
“President-elect Biden needs access to transition funds likely being held up due to Trump’s failure to concede, and he needs access to the [President’s Daily Brief] for the sake of national security. If presidents can get away with sabotaging their political adversaries’ presidencies like this, then I’m really worried about what that might do for our democracy in the future, especially if someone more competent than Trump is running the show,” Myers said.
Meanwhile, Gen Z GOP, a group of disaffected young conservatives who came together with hopes of building a new home for young Republicans earlier this year, says they are “moving on.”
“President Trump lost. End of story. We’re moving on. Gen Z GOP is focused on building a common sense Republicanism, a party with an orientation toward integrity and results, and emphasize conservative, common-sense policies over rhetoric that divides our communities,” Elle Kalisz, communications director for Gen Z GOP, told CNN.
But not all young Republicans feel this way and some agree with Trump’s decision not to concede.
Still, while these young Republicans say that Trump’s commitment to legal challenges is completely within his purview and demonstrates that he is a “fighter,” they aren’t yet convinced that the legal challenges will end up changing the results of the election.
Ryan Fisher, the 20-year-old chair of the University of Michigan College Republicans, told CNN that Trump’s refusal to concede is something he is still conflicted on.
“On one hand, I do see some instances of what [Trump] refers to as fraud or not counting votes. But my fundamental issue is even if he’s right, I don’t believe the winds would be sufficient to declare him the victor,” he said.
“I appreciate [Trump] seeking fairness in elections, and I appreciate him fighting against sort of unsolicited and unverified mail in ballots,” Fisher told CNN.
But Fisher also said that he is “pragmatically in favor or Trump’s concession at this point,” as he doesn’t believe the recounts produce enough of a margin of victory to push Trump to the necessary 270 electoral college votes needed to win.
Adam Brown, age 22 and the former vice chair of the Utah College Republicans, also believes Trump is a “fighter,” he told CNN.
“Given the fact that he was a United States’ political candidate and as President of the United States, he should continue to fight until he feels the results are properly reflected,” Brown said.
“He’s well within his rights to pursue all legal avenues and we have to wait until those avenues come to completion,” Brown said, adding that “democracy can be messy.”
And while Grayson Massey, 26 and the national committeeman for the Utah Young Republicans and former chair of Utah College Republicans, told CNN he agrees that Trump is within his legal purview to pursue all legal options, Massey added that even once those avenues have come to completion, he does not believe the results will change.
“Our Democratic colleagues would agree, we simply want to count every vote to certify that Vice President Biden or President Trump are in fact the legally elected President of the United States,” Massey said.