State Affairs Manager, Americans for Tax Reform
Will Upton is a state affairs manager at Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), where he focuses on state-level tax policy issues, educating on the need for pro-growth, revenue-neutral tax reform. He works to build broad-based coalitions to achieve the goal of tax reform. Previously, he worked for Richard Viguerie’s ConservativeHQ.com and at The American Conservative magazine.
Why is it important that at this particular point in time, right-of-center youth become involved publicly, whether in politics, media, their communities, or another capacity?
We have reached a point in which our future as youth is not reflective of that of our parents’ generation. The role and scope of government has changed drastically. The growth in government has added debt and uncertainty to our future and our children’s future. Now, more than ever, we need to engage the broader conversation about just how big our government should be, how services should be paid for, and how we can ensure a secure and sound future for ourselves.
What must elected officials and others in positions of leadership do to make a right-of-center message resonate with the Millennial generation?
Our political leaders should not be afraid to treat Millennials as adults. Our generation is capable — though some may not believe it — of having the hard conversation about the direction of our country. Do not be afraid to engage in the nitty-gritty discussion of policy, whether it be economics, taxes, life, transportation, energy, or whatever piques interest.
Where would you like to see the conservative movement in 10 years — and how can it get there?
I would like to see a robust and vigorous conservative movement in 10 years. One with fresh ideas and concrete solutions for continuing to reform our tax code and invigorate our economy. How do we get there? We have to embrace the tradition of conservatism as a bold way forward while always being conscious of the past. We have to learn from our mistakes, broaden our coalition, and point to our successes. The political Left panders, blames, and divides. We have to be a unifying force.