The GOP’s Not Dead, and Neither Is Conservatism

Donald Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee for president on Tuesday night, and a lot of conservatives are not happy. It may be a hard fact to swallow, but the #NeverTrump movement was unsuccessful, and it is now time for conservatives to look towards the future.

I get it. I was also disappointed in the voters who elevated Trump into the position he now finds himself in. I felt as if the GOP, the party that closely aligns with my conservative values, was now being taken over by a progressive liberal. I must admit, I even had the thought that this was the end for the Republican Party.

But after watching MITT for the 5th time, I went to sleep, woke up this morning, and realized how bright the future is for conservatism.

My thinking was wrong and immature: The Republican Party will not be brought down because of one man or one election, and conservatism is not hanging in the balance.

We’ll be just fine… if we want to be.

As conservatives, we often speak out against a victimhood mentality. But this week, a lot of us are acting like all hope is lost because things didn’t go our way. We’re acting like victims. And just like any victim, we can either let this situation keep us down, or we can take control of our future.

Do we really care about conservatism?

If we do, we have a huge responsibility from now until November. If we really care about conservatism, we would not give up hope on the Republican Party. If we really cared about conservatism, we would not stay home this November. If we really cared about conservatism, we would wipe off our tears, get out from behind our computers, and become activists in our community.


“Conservatives know that real change starts at the local level.”


National elections matter, but so do local elections. Your local city council or state representative race matters more than the race between Trump and Clinton. While the left believes that change happens from the top-down, starting with the federal government, conservatives know that real change starts at the local level. And luckily for us, the local level is the easiest place for one to make a difference.

If you think the GOP is going in the wrong direction, don’t abandon it. Become a part of the solution by getting out into your community and building the party you want. Volunteer for a local race, become involved in your local party or club, or find an issue you really care about and become the best activist you can be. Whatever you do, don’t give up on conservatism because it needs us the most right now.

I don’t believe Donald Trump deserves our vote in the general election, but I will not be staying home on election day because there are plenty of good conservative candidates on the local and state level that both deserve and need our vote. If we care about conservatism, let’s begin rebuilding the party that has the best chance of advancing conservative goals.

About Stephen N. Perkins

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Stephen N. Perkins envisions a world where people are free to fulfill their God-given potential, collaborate with others, and take ownership in their communities. His mission is to help emerging leaders inspire others and influence change. Stephen founded OUTSET in 2014 as a venue for smart commentary on politics and culture from the next generation of conservative voices. His writing centers around changes within conservative politics, with an emphasis on individual liberties, technology, entrepreneurship, media, and civic engagement. Outside of OUTSET, Stephen can be found enjoying a cigar, red wine, or a drive in his Jeep Patriot named Reagan. Originally from Houston, Stephen now lives and works in the DFW metroplex.