Republican Students Attend Conservative Action Conference

Kelly Cattano

Last weekend, five members of Colgate’s College Republicans traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). The conference was a congregation of nearly 9,000 people, over half of whom were college students, with conservative views. The conference consisted of lectures, panels, rows of exhibit booths, film screenings and receptions which all held an overall theme of optimism for the future of the Republican Party.

While many students had different motives for attending the event, they all joined together to share ideas. Senior Sarah Demaree, a member of the College Republicans, explains that she attended CPAC to promote the future of the GOP.

“It is important that the Republican Party takes a hard look at itself and the future of the party,” Demaree said. “The GOP is at a point of rebuilding, and a diversity of opinions is a necessary starting point in order to recreate a strong, unified party doctrine.”

As political atmospheres on college campuses are typically liberal, one of the initiatives of CPAC was to encourage and enliven the conservative voice on campuses. It was an opportunity for active conservatives to pose their ideas, reflect upon those of their fellow party members and collectively develop new ones.

Notable speakers encouraged the conservative movement by explaining the basic principles and importance of conservatism. Among these speakers were House Minority Leader John Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, pundit and former Secretary of Education Bill Bennett, Representative Ron Paul of Texas and political commentators Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh. The conference also helped guide the students in the direction of finding a job related to the cause of the movement, which was one of the topics of Rush Limbaugh’s speech.

Senior Georgia Camp, another member of the College Republicans, was moved by Limbaugh’s speech.

“[Limbaugh] emphasized optimism, that the Republican Party will rebound, that the economy and country will rebound and that Republicans will soon be back in power,” Camp said.

“I particularly liked former Senator Rick Santorum, who spoke on Saturday morning. He talked about taking back popular culture, rather than sticking to the political aspect of conservatism. He spoke about the importance of making sure our values are represented in what we watch and read,” sophomore Kate Hicks, an active member of Colgate’s College Republicans, said.

Attending this conference heightened students’ enthusiasm for and dedication to the Republican Party.

“By articulating the values and ideals of conservatism rather than simply attacking the opposition, the speakers reminded me why I am conservative — because I believe that we have ideas that will bring about what’s best for our country,” Hicks said.

Overall, the conference seemed to achieve its goal in promising an encouraging future for the Republican Party.

“What I got out of the conference is that there is an incredibly enthusiastic, young, passionate base of conservatives who care deeply about our country and who are really excited about the future of the Republican Party,” Camp said. “The best part of the conference was seeing the excitement of other young Republicans and being around fellow conservatives.”