For the last couple years, I’ve had the opportunity to speak at TEA Party’s across Virginia. It’s always a thrill and I am always excited that these groups gather together to stay informed and to learn how to hold their elected representatives accountable. However, every time I speak to a TEA Party, I often wonder how many of these wonderful people will still be alive in twenty five years? I know that is such an awful thing to consider, but the reality is, that if the liberty movement, if the conservatives and constitutionalists and libertarians who are most active in politics, are 65 or older, statistics tell us that we’re in a bit of trouble.
That’s why I am so excited by what I am seeing within the Republican Party in Virginia. While I follow the best writers in the new and old media, and I follow the activities of some of the best activists across the state, my favorite people I follow are between the ages of 18 and 42. I especially love watching these young kids (I’m sorry – young adults) getting so enthusiastically involved. Many of these younger activists are involved in various Republican Party programs and do not spend a lot of time waxing philosophical on their particular brand of Republicanism, nor are they allowed to have public opinions on candidates and policy. However, they seem to have a genuine affection for liberty, capitalism, and an objective rule of law. They get it. I think they really do understand.
Dylan Lloyd just started writing for Pendleton Penn. He’s a little bit younger than I, but he’s also tied in to a network of young libertarian, conservative, and constitutionalist activists in the Virginia Beach area, which appears to be undergoing an amazing renaissance of youthful activism. Many of the Virginia Beach youngsters are heavily libertarian (maybe not so much as I was at their age), but they understand the issues, know who all the players are, and even pay attention to the less interesting and more important local issues that surround them.
Now, younger activists are more idealistic, as they have not yet been stiffened by years of failure and hard work. More often than not, idealism is merely an awareness that things are not right, the ability to imagine what right really is, and the desire to see things actually be right. The acceptance of the depth and breadth of the antagonistic reality that surrounds them rarely effects their spirits. Usually, over time, we begin to understand that nothing comes easy and that being right isn’t good enough. You have to be organized, you have to be networked, you have to play a small part in a larger body (a body that will sometimes do things you don’t agree with).
Yet, I’m never annoyed by their optimism. I love to see it, read it, and hear it. I cannot think of anything more important than encouraging these young republicans to embrace a principled political philosophy and to encourage them to act on that philosophy’s behalf.
They inspire me – and they remind me that the future has not yet been decided and shaped by liberal college professors and late night comedians.
I would like to publicly thank Bayleigh Beth, Scott Ryan Presler, and Andrew Hull for the work they are doing in south-eastern Virginia. Keep an eye on these guys and keep an eye on Virginia Beach, because down there, the young people are waking up, they are gearing up and getting active, and making a difference setting an alternative example to their peers.
The future of the Republican Party is taking shape… and I’m impressed.