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  • A YAF Student Perspective on CPAC 2014

    3/10/2014 5:09:12 PM Posted by Ashley Pratte

    CPAC2014Where can a young conservative hear from dozens of conservative leaders, share struggles and successes with fellow freedom fighters, and spend time exploring our nation's capital? If you were at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last weekend, you got a taste of all that's right with the Conservative Movement. Speeches, breakout sessions, meet and greets, and book signings monopolized my days; dinner banquets and DC monument adventures filled the evenings.

    My fellow YAFers (as we call ourselves) and I spent time talking, debating, and exploring as much as we could in our few short days in National Harbor and DC. We discussed the proper role for the US to play in the world and our plans for summer internships.

    During the daytime speeches and sessions at CPAC, I heard from many of the people I look up to in the Conservative Movement. Their stories of overcoming adversity, often having to slog through ad hominem attacks from detractors and fight an uphill battle to achieve success gave me hope.

    Beyond the official CPAC speeches and events, I served as a volunteer with YAF. Along with fellow YAFers, I distributed stickers, buttons, calendars and posters to CPAC attendees, giving me the opportunity to talk to many people about the mission and work of YAF and its affiliated organizations. Many people I spoke with were already familiar with YAF, and those who weren't were excited to hear about the work of the Foundation - the work done on college campuses to expose and correct bias, to train conservative and responsible journalists, and to preserve President Reagan's ranch.

    At the YAF dinner on Friday night when we heard from Kate Obenshain, we were given a scrapbook of sorts that showed scenes from YAF events in the past, including a hand-written poster advertising one of the first Conservative Political Action Conferences. Stretching from the early days of YAF until today, the pages showed that even as times and issues change, the conservative movement has remained strong and really does start with YAF.

    Working with YAF CPAC 2014, along with all the other YAF events I've been a part of, was a great experience. I was able to catch up with friends met at past conferences and make new connections. I was able to show people that young Americans do not all fill the liberal stereotype put forth. And I was able to show how much a student can do by getting involved with YAF. After speaking with some prominent conservatives and spending time with fellow Young Americans for Freedom, I can report that thanks to organizations like YAF, the legacy of conservatism has inherited by my generation is strong, and the future looks bright as we strive to grow into the next class of conservative leaders.

     

    Spencer Brown is the Chair of Regent University's YAF Chapter

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