With the rancor and petty name-calling of the Republican primary season finally over, the GOP is preparing for the rancor and petty name-calling of the general election. That means, of course, the painstaking process of healing the deep rifts caused by Donald Trump's scorched Earth campaign to secure the nomination, and the party's equally corrosive attempts to stop him.
There are, of course, pockets of right-wing anti-Trump resistance, but the Republican establishment has slowly begun warming to their new standard-bearer, despite proclamations to the contrary just a few short months ago.
Well, some of them, anyway.
This week, Katrina Elaine Jorgensen announced she would be stepping down as Communications Chair of the Young Republican National Federation, explaining that her principals "would not allow" her to continue in the role, given Donald Trumps effective lock on the party's nomination. In doing so, she offers a deeply personal glimpse at the soul-searching prompted by the GOP nominating a candidate seen by many as so unfit for office.
In a Facebook note posted Monday, Jorgensen wrote:
I believe we would do much more for our country by standing together against Donald Trump. We have been told for years how we are the future of the party, this is our opportunity to seize that future. But if we have instead decided to uphold a man who does not represent us or our views—a man that has belittled war heroes, explicitly stated misogynist beliefs, relied on intimidation of minorities, insulted our international allies, rewarded violence, championed divisive rhetoric and proved completely uneducated in conservative fiscal policy—I cannot participate in that.
"As the head of our national communications my voice is part of our message, and I am intrinsically tied to it," she explains. "Therefore I must step down. I cannot live with being seen as supporting a candidate I truly feels tramples on all of our values. Even if we, as an organization, focused exclusively on congressional candidates, we would still be seen as complicit."
"No matter how loud I am in my renouncement of Trump," she adds later, "my title will still betray me. I want no part of a racist, fascist, hateful presidency."
Describing itself as "the oldest political youth organization in the United States," the Young Republican National Federation focuses on outreach and advocacy among registered Republicans between 18 and 40. And while their definition of 40 as being "young" may be debatable, the value of the demographic they represent is not—especially for candidate Trump, who has shown to be particularly vulnerable among younger voting blocs.
In a poll conducted for Fusion by Langer Research Associates in February , over half the young people contacted indicated that a Trump presidency would make them feel like fleeing the country—a number that skyrocketed to 64% among young Latinos and nearly three-fourths of all young black respondents. While those responses were more common among Democrats, a full third of young Republicans also indicated they'd pack their bags.
For Jorgensen, however, the decision to step down was much more personal than answering an abstract polling question asked over the phone.
"I cannot support a candidate who endorses bigotry and lawlessness, with a minimal understanding of the fiscal policies long associated with our party, even if he does have an 'R' after his name," she writes. "I could not later tell my children I did the right thing, instead I would have to live with allowing my politics to be corrupted. I cannot stand by and continue to write newsletters and posts that so strongly conflict with my personal values. I will not surrender my beliefs."
"This is not the way forward," she concludes. "I will not quietly fall in line. I will not give up my principles."
"I will always be #NeverTrump."