When I was a kid, College Republicans were mostly seen as harmless nerds and the iconic “young Republican” was Alex P. Keaton, the preppy young Reaganite portrayed by Michael J. Fox on TV’s Family Ties. Sure, there were occasional kooks, but they were out of the mainstream.
Somewhere along the way, Republicans decided to ditch the clean-cut image in favor of an edgier vibe. They shed that preppy, “square,” suburban image to appeal to the Roseanne voter. In doing so, they became less appealing and embraced additional behaviors I found repellent.
The amazing thing is that this transformation of the modern Republican Party was a solution in need of a problem. For reasons that escape me, in 2016, Republicans concluded that this “Flight 93 election” necessitated electing Donald Trump. Since then, the GOP has rotted from the inside like a Trump casino. Every day, I hear ideas or words coming from the mouths of Republicans that sound discordant to my Reagan-conservative ears.