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Why Republicans Must Abandon Hardline Positions

After Tuesday’s presidential election, it’s clear Republicans cannot count on a conservative, Evangelical base to provide the necessary votes to sweep a candidate into office, a prominent Republican college student opined.

Fix Contributor Alex Jakubowski, a junior at Northwestern University in Chicago and an active member of the Illinois Republican Party, was raised in a staunchly Republican home, one that valued other people’s opinions. So in the wake of the 2008 and 2012 Republican presidential losses, Jakubowski – a former intern for Rep. Paul Ryan and currently one with the European Foundation for Democracy – argues in a Daily Caller op-ed that it’s time for his party to make a change.

As a life-long Republican, and after enduring two straight embarrassing losses, I can no longer sit by and wait for things to change. The party in which I was raised did not dictate to others how they must set policies on immigration, marriage, and abortion; the party in which I was raised thought sensibly about how to work with the other side and compromise, achieving at least in part the goals of all for the sake of the nation. As a dear friend and fellow moderate Republican recently said in an argument I have become far too familiar with, “Disagreement is not a threat to your own views.” In fact, disagreement is what can propel us forward, what can drive us to discover what policies can truly change our society for the better.

If our party is to truly change, as it is now clear it must, our focus needs to change as well. No longer can we count on a conservative, Evangelical base to provide the necessary votes to sweep a candidate into office. The party must abandon its hardline positions on abortion, immigration, gay marriage, and many other issues — many of which alienate those who are supposed to make up the future of our movement.

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