I was recently interviewed by the gracious Marcus Green for Yes! Magazine. Here is the portion of his article where the Progressive Republican League was featured.
Read the whole thing here.
“Luke Phillips, a 22-year-old political science major at the University of Southern California and a Republican reform activist, is also fed up with his party’s current iteration.
“The economic policies put in place by conservative Republicans have come to fruition and eroded the populist faith that many different groups once had in the party,” he says.
Phillips grew up Republican and has been a reform activist for the past three years. He currently heads up the Progressive Republican League, a website for reform-minded Republican millennials. Its goal is to usher the “Republican Party, and the rest of the country with it, into the 21st Century.”
He joins many other young Republicans who are less conservative than the GOP as a whole, and who say the party is stuck in an old ideology that is preventing it from embracing the world as it actually is.
For Phillips, the party’s fixation on failed economic polices such as Reaganism—or trickle-down economics—offer little hope of an economic cushion or prosperity for the working class that turned out in droves to vote for Trump….
….Reformers like Phillips implore the party to move toward policies more favorable to run-of-the-mill working people in order to maintain relevancy. In that regard, the tenets outlined on the Progressive Republican website and Facebook page are a synthesis of Republican frameworks that meld a belief in free markets and fiscal prudence with strategic public investment and tolerance of a multipolar society, without taking extreme positions on social issues.
On the USC campus, Phillips is a political orphan. He aligns neither with the Young Republicans and their adherence to the GOP’s current orthodoxy, nor the Young Democrats who sometimes carry liberalism to its extremes. He does have kindred spirits across the country, however, who don’t buy the party’s current brand. But, at present, reform-minded Republicans lack an organizational framework within the party structure, he says.
While it is difficult to reconcile the beliefs of the more religiously fervent among them with the new normal, Phillips would not completely banish the old guard from the party, saying that it’s dangerous to exclude any group from the democratic process.
“Excommunication is what happened to my movement 50 years ago, and I don’t want to fix that by taking revenge on conservatives,” he says….
….“I have an infinite amount of hope, but it’s in this new generation of Republicans, not my own,” says Wilkerson.
Phillips for one, intends to make good on Wilkerson’s assessment. He is using the Progressive Republican League to expand the network of like-minded GOP reformers in hopes of building the infrastructure necessary to support Republican progressives and moderates.”