Picking up the Torch

By Kate Edwards 

The result yesterday was not what many expected, but similar to
four years ago, we must regroup and know that the Conservative
Movement is much larger than winning an election. Our goal is
winning an entire generation and encouraging them to embrace
freedom. With the Youth Misery Index at an all-time high and
students graduating college unable to find jobs, we now have an
opening with young Americans that we’ve never had before. We must
not abandon high school and college campuses but continue to
deliver the conservative message to America’s youth.  With
leaders including Governor Scott Walker, Senator Marco Rubio,
Governor Nikki Haley, and many others, I have confidence that the
Conservative Movement will continue stronger than ever before.

The American people deserve a clear contrast; principled leaders
who stand up for their convictions. They deserve leaders who show
that taking risks and sticking to core conservative principles will
be rewarded. Governor Walker’s balancing of the budget and labor
reforms in Wisconsin are a perfect example of the type of courage
we need.

You did not control what happened last night, and we cannot
change the result. What can we do to mobilize as a Movement? Get
back to our core values and beliefs.

Now, more than ever, is the time to re-energize and do something
to create change on your campus. If you host a conservative speaker
or start a YAF chapter, you may find that your activism is the
only conservative message students are hearing and seeing
at your school. And without you, they wouldn’t hear it at all.

We must focus on what is right in front of us. Young people are
receptive to the left’s ideas because they are not exposed to any
other opinions. Liberal professors are spouting their ideologies at
a time in most young adults’ lives when they are evaluating their
positions on issues. A conservative activist helps bring our ideas
into the liberal stronghold of academia, getting the conversation
started outside of the classroom that will help them question the
philosophy they hear inside the classroom.

President Obama’s views were in part shaped during his years at
Occidental College, and the liberal professors who taught him
there. A conservative activist at his campus would’ve had much more
success in changing his ideologies then, than we can now that he is
President of the United States. Campus activism
matters.

As Ronald Reagan said, “remember your very title—-you are
Young Americans for Freedom. That is your mission above all others.
You are most important in this particular moment of history,
because so many of your peers have listened to false prophets and
demagogues. Consider very carefully the long struggle that lies
ahead….weigh the alternatives, and use your strength wisely.”

Stay active! Young America’s Foundation stands ready to back you
up every step of the way. 

Kate Edwards is a Program Officer for YAF Chapter Services.

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