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On Training Conservative Activists

In my last post, I discussed my goals through RedState: to inform and energize conservatives nationally to take action on university campuses. Daily, students are inundated with liberal ideology in the classroom and through percerse campus policies, oftentimes on the battlefield alone and unsure. Believe me, I was there. I remember being the only student to confront a professor in the classroom. I knew, though, that other conservatives were there – they just lacked the confidence to speak out.

And that’s why CampusReform.org exists. We provide students with the resources and the confidence to make a difference on campus.

You see, most conservative adults are hesitant to “take to the streets.” Well, until recently. So the joke goes, conservatives spend their time working, with little opportunity to protest, march, sit-in, etc. like the lefties. There’s a book called “Confrontational Politics” that explains how and why conservatives should be more active in politics in the same way that liberals are. I’d also recommend “Rules for Radicals” – you know, the book Sean Hannity talks about all the time and seems to dislike. If you want a copy of either, shoot me an e-mail at the address below, and I’ll see what I can do.

So, back to this activism thing. In working with students nationally (identifying, recruiting, and training them), I’ve noticed that young people are imaginative and excited about combatting liberalism when given the training and the encouragement. Just take a look at Emma and Vincent from Florida:

Emma and Vincent first became active after taking a [Leadership Institute] Youth Leadership School in Fort Meyers, FL. They enjoyed the experience so much, they traveled to Arlington, VA this summer for more training. In Arlington, Emma and Vincent audited the Field Representative training program where they learned invaluable skills they were able to apply to their latest venture.

Soon after, the Young Conservatives of Central Florida was founded. The YCCF is a group of motivated high school students and their parents who are “interested in promoting conservative values in America and making a difference in their community.”

I’ve had the very distinct honor and pleasure of working with Emma and Vincent. They’re great kids – and they know what it takes to spread the conservative message, although they’re only in high school.

Think of how much more friendly the environment would be for conservatives on university campuses if more students were armed with the sort of training that Emma and Vincent received.

At every turn, I confronted the administration and faculty at Middle Tennessee State University. They hated it. And it was great fun for me!

We must stay focused on the goals at hand: limiting the scope of government, allowing prosperity to thrive by creating a society conducive to success, and instilling and maintaining traditional values. To do that, conservatives must be effective activists. One of the most important lessons I have learned in my training is that political success is determined by the number of effective activists on each side.

The left has activists: union thugs, hippies, etc. We on the right have struggled to establish an effective activist base. But training exists to do that! I can’t think of a better place to put into practice conservative activism than on college campuses.

If you know a conservative college student who feels overwhelmed on campus, have them contact me.

Matthew Hurtt is a Campus Services Coordinator for the Leadership Institute’s CampusReform.org and can be reached at MHurtt@campusreform.org.

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