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  • Newt Gingrich Gets Standing Ovation at Amherst College

    12/17/2013 4:46:53 PM Posted by Ashley Pratte

    Gingrich Amherst Amherst College-an outstanding academic institution of 1800 students-can be found in western Massachusetts and at the top of most rankings. It has been ranked as the first overall liberal arts college in the United States ten times, and in 2011, it was ranked fourth amongst all education institutions. This year, both the Huffington Post and Red Alert Politics also ranked Amherst in the top 5 most politically active campuses.  But, Amherst College is dominated by leftist paradigms and set in an area that boasts three of the fifteen most leftist colleges in the United States.

    Amherst prides itself on diversity and has been heralded as the most diverse school in the nation.  But, despite a diversity initiative that, in 2006, was expanded to "invigorate or enrich the racial, cultural, gender, and/or intellectual diversity of the faculty," our faculty remains virtually devoid of any political diversity. Today, our faculty consists of but one conservative, who after many decades at Amherst is being phased out for retirement. Although Professor Arkes stands as the sole bastion of conservatism amongst the college's faculty, students remain unsatisfied until he too is completely removed from our campus.

    This year, an array of student-operated publications have called for the boycott of his classes and made groundless accusations of "homophobic hate speech" as well as "racist, sexist," "hateful and discriminatory speech." Yet, other articles have still expressed concerns over, "a crucial, worrying and endemic lack of leftist discourse at Amherst College... an inability to think outside this narrow framework, to conceive of a 'left of liberal'...a taboo to any sort of belief system that involves radicalism, Marxism, structural or post-structural frameworks of thought."

    Thus, in January 2013, the Amherst College conservative club launched our own diversity initiative, The Resurgence, with the hope that our commitment will serve as case study to all conservative clubs just as Amherst College's diversity initiative has been heralded as a benchmark for all college admission offices. We are working rigorously to restore our nation's founding principles and revitalize the conservative movement on our campus as well as in the area, state, and eventually nation. Last year, after a massive fundraising campaign, we welcomed former Senator Scott Brown, the first Mexican-born U.S. Treasurer Rosario Marin, and world-renowned armless guitarist Tony Melendez. This year, after an even more substantial fundraising effort, we brought in former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich on December 11.

    Gingrich received not one, but two standing ovations from an audience that easily outnumbered those from recent Amherst events featuring well known leftists such as Senator Chris Coons and Rachel Maddow. The following day, I awoke to headlines reading "In front of a packed Johnson Chapel on the Amherst College campus Wednesday evening, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich engaged the students in a spirited discussion that transcended politics and in the end, won the crowd over." I received non-stop emails and texts - from both conservatives and liberals- raving about the event:

       "Hey man, thanks for everything you did to put the event on tonight. That's the biggest speaker we've had in my four years here and it was awesome to feel like our school is as influential as we pretend to be for once."

       "Great job! Standing ovation gave me goose bumps..."

       "Hey Rob, I would first like to say the event was a smashing success last night and I actually really enjoyed it.

       "Awesome job again by the way. You're single handedly raising the bar for activism on what is already a politically 
active campus."

       "Thank you and the Amherst College Republicans for a fantastic event last night with Newt. It was a pleasure seeing 
him speak on campus and in person enjoying his message and humor. It was nice to see him get a standing entrance by most in the room. I have rarely had the opportunity to be in a large crowd in which a part was likeminded. I got to meet some very nice people and had some great conversations while waiting outside for the event to start. The evening was very encouraging and heartwarming. Also thank you for collecting for the Wounded Warrior. My husband's cousin served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan with the Army Rangers. His Humvee hit an IED and he ultimately had his leg amputated. The foundation has helped him so much." 

    We-the students, not the faculty-made this very noticeable impact on our campus. As college students, we literally comprise the future of our country and its future leaders. We, more so than any other age demographic, have the ability to dramatically alter the negative trends that have ripped through our society. As college students in the Northeast, we have the ability to break the cyclical nature of the New Deal Coalition and return the Northeast to the hub of conservatism it was during the 20th century. 
As a part of the Millennium generation, the world has instilled in us the importance of education. It has engrained in us the idea that without a college degree our future is limited and our impact is negligible. While higher education is crucial to one's future, one has every capability to make an impact before he or she throws their square cap in the air. A diploma is not a permission slip and a degree is not a prerequisite. In the words of President Reagan, "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction." We are the next generation, but we must begin to be the voice of freedom now. 
We greatly appreciate all those who were involved in making this impact especially Newt & Callista Gingrich and the Young America's Foundation. 


    Written by Robert Lucido Class of 2015 President, Amherst College Conservative Club


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