CLEVELAND — The Republican National Convention started Monday with many young people in attendance representing the Grand Old Party.
Cassie Unruh, 17, said she “loves being part of the Republican Party,” especially now that she’s “actually old enough to care.”
Unruh has attended conventions since she was born. Her mother, Kendal Unruh, has been a delegate for the past seven elections and is the leader of the national “Never Trump” movement— a group of Republicans who failed to secure a roll call vote to potentially block the real estate mogul's nomination. Cassie Unruh said she is also a part of the “Free the Delegates” movement.
“With my mom being involved in politics for 30 years, she finally just said ‘Hey do you want to come to the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, Colorado,’” Unruh said. “And ever since then, I saw the great speakers and the potential they had to change the nation.”
But Unruh is just one of the many young attendees at the convention.
Danielle Butcher, 19, believes the “conservative message is good for (millennials) because it really focuses on individual responsibility and small government” and thinks that “it’s really the best past for success.”
Butcher is attending the RNC with Future Female Leaders, a leading social movement for young conservative women.
But unlike Unruh, Butcher comes from a liberal family.
“My parents have always been involved in politics,” she said.
But that didn’t stop her from developing her own beliefs.
“I was raised to think for myself and develop my own opinions and so as I got more involved, I started looking at both sides and decided that conservatism better represents me,” Butcher said.
Butcher likes the different aspects and people of the Republican Party.
“There’s different planks in the platform, so to speak,” she said. “We’re not going to box you in and say this is what you have to believe.”
Unruh agrees that the conservative message fits her beliefs, even though she is young. She also encourages other millennials to give the GOP a try.
“I believe that if people stick with the Republican Party, it will help America for the better,” she said.
Unruh credits the conventions she’s been to for her love of politics. She aspires to have some form of political influence when she’s an adult.
“I thought, ‘Hey that could be one day on stage and influence young leaders of America,’” Unruh said.
This story was jointly reported by The Pendulum and Elon Local News.