Diggs and her colleagues were joined by fellow conservatives who are not so sure.
“I think we’ve seen a little bit of a plateau in terms of the Republican Party,” said David Schnall, a political science professor at George Washington University and the author of The Republican Party: A Guide to Conservatism in the 21st Century.
“It is a new generation of conservatives, but the party is in a bit of flux.”
And it’s a “fluid” that will only continue to grow, he added.
Schnall, like Diggs, believes the party should embrace its progressive wing, but he says that’s not the only way the party can change.
“We’ve got to recognize that the way we get to where we want to be politically and socially and culturally is to move forward from where we’ve been historically,” Schnall said.
“You can’t be a Republican forever.
That’s not a viable party.
You have to be a new Republican.”
A ‘new’ GOP The “new” GOP is a political movement that began in the early 1980s with the emergence of Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign and the election of Bill Clinton, according to a 2015 book by Diggs titled Republicanizing America: How the Party of Lincoln Created a New Majority.
“There’s a lot of optimism among conservatives about a Republican future, but it’s not clear that the party has been able to put its stamp on a broad swath of the American public,” said Michael Biesecker, a Republican political consultant and former chief of staff to Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).
“That’s something that needs to change.”
The term “New Republican” is used by a number of political strategists, including GOP strategist David Carney, who coined the term.
Carney told HuffPost that while he believes the Republican base is “generally supportive” of the GOP’s efforts to build a “new Republican coalition,” he believes that the GOP needs to take a more pragmatic approach to building a larger and broader coalition to make it “a viable party.”
“We have to recognize we need to be more pragmatic about the way that we build coalitions,” Carney said.
Bieseckers book, titled The GOP: A Political Strategy for the 2150s, states that Republicans need to focus on a “generational change” and to be mindful of “the legacy of the past.”
That’s because the GOP has “never been the party of big government, of limited government and of limited growth,” Biessecker said.
It’s the “only party that’s been able in the modern era to win elections and win majorities.”
The new GOP will have to embrace a “progressive vision” to “make sure we have a larger coalition to take on climate change,” Bierescker said, adding that it will also need to understand the changing demographics of America, including millennials, African Americans, and Latinos.
“Those are not things that are easily solved in one year,” he said.
In the long term, he said, the GOP should also embrace a more “tangible” vision of a “bigger, better, stronger America” that includes “big business, the arts, the military, the universities, the science community, the technology sector, the tech industry, the environmental community, women, immigrants, and LGBT people.”
“The new Republican Party has a lot to learn from the party that was created in the Reagan era,” Biezeser said.
But, he warned, “they’re going to have to start acting like it.”
‘I’m a new person’: ‘I’m not a conservative’Diggs is one of the first to admit that her party has lost touch with what it once stood for.
Diggs said she has been frustrated by the GOP for years and is now a Republican herself, but that it’s time for Republicans to come back to basics and start thinking about what they’re for.
While the “old Republican” has been around for decades, Diggs believes that she is a “fresh-faced” and “new person” who is ready to become a Republican.
She has never been a member of any political party before, but is planning to become one as she works to find an organization that can help her in the future.
In the meantime, Dives and her fellow conservatives will be taking part in a new, “new American” movement that has been called the “new party” by some.
“In my mind, I’m a Democrat and a conservative, and I’m going to be one of those two,” she said.
And while she doesn’t believe she will be a “true Republican” in the 2020 presidential election, she is hoping to build her own brand and “change the way people think about the Republican party.”
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