EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Young El Pasoans engaged in the democratic and republican parties are speaking out in response to the actions at Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Both shared common ground on some levels, and want to make sure other young voters are being educated in the voting process.
Youth in the Borderland shared their insights and beliefs after turning on their televisions Wednesday and seeing images that leave a permanent mark in history.
“It is incredibly disheartening, it’s disappointing. But frankly, this is the United States right. This happened in the United States,” J.J. Martinez, President of the El Paso Young Democrats shared.
“It was unamerican, unpatriotic, and we as an organization want to fully condemn the actions that took place yesterday. That does not represent the republican party, it does not represent conservative values,” Diego Morales, Policy Director with the El Paso Young Republicans said.
The El Paso Young Democrats and Republicans both denounce the actions following the protest at Capitol Hill.
“We are conservatives, we have certain principles, we uphold the constitution, we uphold our freedoms and any act that uses violence against the government against other people does not represent a unified country nor unified republican party,” Morales said.
“Look at what happens when you don’t vote. Look at what happens when you sit out an election. You give rise to a white supremacist, Neo-Nazis, Neo-Confederates, you give rise to white supremacy, domestic terrorism. That’s what happens when you don’t vote,” Martinez said.
Both parties reflected on how law enforcement handled the situation.
“When white, Trump supporters take over the Capitol building, an entire branch of government, it takes hours for them to take control of it? I can promise you right now, if it were people of color that had taken over the Capitol, there would be deaths, arrests, and it would’ve been a much different scene,” Martinez said.
“Law enforcement is a very nuance issue, I know everyone has their own opinions on that. We can only at this point commend the officers for doing their best to maintain peace, tranquility, for the events that took place,” Morales added.
Both young parties said they want to keep young voters engaged, aware, and educated of the voting process but also demand accountability.
“Our elections are fair. There are things that happen that may make it seem unfair and that is true, there’s things in the past that have happened. Generally this is, in my opinion, we have one of the best voting process that we can have with the electoral college,” Morales said.
“It is now up to Congress to make sure that our democracy is protected and then when our democracy is protected, young people are going to have trust. It’s been four years of a government that has frankly lost the trust of young voters,” Martinez shared.
Moving forward, the El Paso Young Democrats and Republicans want to see a better future for America by fighting for what they believe is right.
“I can guarantee that our organization and so many others are going to be on the right side of those fights. On the right side of history. It’s going to take time, it’s going to take patience, it’s going to take hard work,” Martinez said.
“If we keep falsely labeling each other, or keep falsely accusing people or organizations for acts of violence that were not so, then we’re going to keep deteriorating ourselves even further,” Morales concluded.
Both parties said they plan to continue having these conversations with youth about the importance of getting involved to vote, but also educate them of the voting system.