The Official Publication of Young America's Foundation
Spring 2010 Vol. 31 • No. 1 “A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government…” — Thomas Jefferson Inside: Karl Rove on Winning the Battles Ahead Aissa Wayne on Rancho del Cielo, John Wayne, and the Fight for Freedom Today April 12, 2010 Dear Friends, Ron Robinson Foundation President The Wall Street Journal proclaimed, “Freedom has had its best week in many years [due in part because the Supreme Court] issued a landmark decision supporting free speech by overturning some of Congress’s more intrusive limits on election spending.” The Supreme Court case was Citizens United v. The Federal Elections Commission. I should add that I am a director of Citizens United (CU), and I have followed this fight for free speech since it began several years ago. In many ways, the case began in 2004 when CU sought to publish a film that the Federal Election Commission (FEC) claimed involved political issues. The FEC bureaucrats—who had become the arbiters of Americans’ free speech rights in matters that might touch on campaigns for Federal offices—decided Citizens United had not released a sufficient number of films to advertise freely as a film producer. In the meantime, CU released more than a half dozen films and sold hundreds of thousands of DVDs. In 2008, CU aimed to release a film that took a critical view of former First Lady, Rose Law firm partner, and wildly successful stock speculator, Hillary Clinton. The FEC instantly ruled that CU could not advertise such a film in an election cycle! Two Young America’s Foundation graduates, then serving as CU officers, David Bossie and Michael Boos, had had enough with the arbitrary and restrictive FEC rules. They abided by the FEC dictate, but they filed in Federal Court to challenge the FEC decision. Ultimately, this led to the United States Supreme Court ruling that the FEC had violated Citizens United’s Constitutional rights. The Court rejected arguments advanced by the Obama administration that the government could ban those books, pamphlets, and films that it disapproves of if a corporation produced the materials (which is almost always the case). The Supreme Court struck down the sections of the law known as McCain-Feingold that prohibited corporate participation in election campaigns. Justice Stevens wrote a stinging dissent. He suggested, “There were principled, narrower paths a court that was serious about judicial restraint could have taken.” This became the leftist talking point about the decision: the Court could have found another way to rule in CU’s favor short of striking down restrictions on corporations. What Justice Stevens failed to write, and his big government accomplices are reluctant to acknowledge, is that his beloved Federal Election Commission could have ruled in favor of Citizens United at any step in the process. But, no, the Left tried to seize complete control over our free speech rights. The FEC wanted to allow other “political” films and expenditures to go forward—including the work of film producer Michael Moore or Barack Obama’s own orgy of spending in the 2008 campaign—while banning free speech for conservatives. The FEC rolled the dice to gain unlimited power. Fortunately, the Court, led by Justice Anthony Kennedy and Chief Justice John Roberts, rejected such farreaching claims of the FEC bureaucracy. Why do I highlight this case? The Wall Street Journal was right to note it was one of the greatest victories for freedom. But it wasn’t won because of café philosophers talking about FEC law. Our rights were not protected by just well-honed arguments from Constitutional theorists. No, it was not intellectuals who won the day. Rather, two leaders—who were once some of Young America’s Foundation’s most aggressive activists—accomplished this breakthrough victory! David Bossie and Michael Boos are heroes in the long history of protecting individual rights from government overreaching. I salute their courage. You should, too. The Citizens United episode reminds us we must be aggressive in defending individual rights from an overbearing government. Ideas have consequences…but only when activists are willing to take chances to advance those ideas! Sincerely, Ron Robinson President Young America’s Foundation Board Of Directors C ontents 8 400 Attend National Conservative Student Conference Standing up for Freedom Coulter, Pence, Gingrich, and others offer a conservative alternative to Obama’s policies at the 31st annual conference. 25 By Roger Custer, Conference Director Winning the Battles Ahead 12 14 18 What Conservatives must do to advance freedom in the months ahead. 27 By Congressman Joe Wilson, South Carolina Staff Profile: Stephen V. Bird, Ph.D. Reagan Ranch Board Of Governors Dr. Stephen Bird instructs young journalists as the academic director at the National Journalism Center. Frank Donatelli Chairman Judge William Clark Co-Chairman Edwin Meese Co-Chairman Governor George Allen Royce Baker John Barletta Dr. Suzanne Becker Lisa M. Buestrin Robert Cummins Becky Norton Dunlop Robert Giuffra, Jr. Timothy S. Goeglein Ambassador Patricia L. Herbold Eric & Nicole Hoplin Marty Irving Harold Knapheide Al & Bette Moore Governor Bill Owens Doug & Pat Perry Thomas Phillips Dr. Robert Ruhe Fred & Ruth Sacher Lee Shannon Craig Shirley Owen & Bernadette Casey Smith David E. “Gene” Waddell By Jason Mattera, Editor, Human Events By Karl Rove, Author, Courage and Consequence Moore, Folsom, and Williams Inspire High School Students More than 130 young leaders attend the 12th Gratia Houghton Rinehart National High School Leadership Conference. 28 Igniting the Conservative Movement in Reagan Country The Reagan Ranch Center hosts key leaders and groups to advance the Conservative Movement nationwide. By Roger Custer, Conference Director By Andrew Coffin, Vice President and Director of the Reagan Ranch Meet Your Alumni Board Members! Brit Hume Addresses Future Journalists Schenk, Graham, Lopez, Cunningham, and others named to Young America’s Foundation’s Alumni Board. 32 By Jessica Jensen, Editor 22 Why we need Ronald Reagan’s ideas today. More than 200 participants travel to Santa Barbara to hear from today’s leading conservatives and visit the Reagan Ranch. By Ana Lightle, Program Officer The veteran Fox News analyst shares stories about his career with National Journalism Center interns. By Lauren Smith, Program Officer, National Journalism Center Mitt Romney and Joe Wilson Headline West Coast Leadership Conference 35 John Wayne’s Daughter Visits Rancho del Cielo Aissa Wayne shares her thoughts on the Reagan Ranch, her father, and advancing freedom for future generations. By Bryant Conger, Development Officer Also in this Issue: • Tom and Randall Phillips Host California Reception – page 4 • 9/11: Never Forget Project Reaches More than 215 Campuses – page 5 • Michael Steele Headlines Reagan Ranch Roundtable – page 7 • Celebrate Reagan 100 with a Foundation Cruise to the Emerald Isles – page 39 Libertas, a publication of Young America’s Foundation, highlights the programs, events, students, staff, and supporters of the Foundation. You may contact Libertas and Young America’s Foundation by writing to: Young America’s Foundation, National Headquarters, 110 Elden Street, Herndon, Virginia 20170; calling 800-USA-1776; or visiting http://www.yaf.org. Libertas Spring 2010 Ron Robinson President of the Board Ronald Pearson Vice President of the Board Frank Donatelli Secretary and Treasurer of the Board T. Kenneth Cribb, Jr. Wynton C. Hall Thomas L. Phillips Peter Schweizer James B. Taylor Kirby Wilbur Publisher: Ron Robinson; Editor: Jessica Jensen; Publication Design: Jonathan Briggs. This document and all herein contents, images, stories, graphics, and design, fall unto Copyright © 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 Young America’s Foundation, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. Any use of Libertas’ content without the written permission of Young America’s Foundation is prohibited. National Journalism Center Board Of Governors Thomas Phillips Chairman Alex X. Mooney Executive Director Peter Barnes Kellyanne Conway Dinesh D’Souza Terry Eastland David Gracey Lawrence Kudlow Rich Lowry Matt Robinson Tom Winter I N B R I E F Students Lead “No More Che Day” Protests Nationwide (Left) Student Richard Davis distributes the Foundation’s “Victims of Che Guevara” posters on his campus, the University of California – San Diego, to protest the murderer who is often idolized by the campus Left and the mainstream media. (Right) Dayme Sanchez, who lived in Cuba until she was six years old, organizes the “No More Che Day” protest on her campus, the University of Florida. Students across the country participated in “No More Che Day” on October 9. Che Guevara was an international terrorist and mass murderer. During his vicious campaigns to impose Communism on countries throughout Latin America, Che Guevara trained and motivated the Castro regime’s firing squads that executed thousands of men, women, and children. Che is a notorious figure who is idolized by the Left and hailed as a “hero” on college campuses, yet most students never learn the truth about his cult of violence. For the last two years, Young America’s Foundation has helped students use the anniversary of Che’s execution to educate the campus community about his atrocities. Young America’s Foundation also provides students with free copies of our “Victims of Che Guevara” poster and other downloadable fliers. Tom and Randall Phillips Host Newport Beach Reception Foundation Director and Chairman of the National Journalism Center’s Board of Governors Tom Phillips hosted an event at his Corona del Mar, California, home for local friends and supporters of Young America’s Foundation. Tom and his wife, Randall, served as gracious hosts for this intimate affair which included remarks by Tom Phillips and Foundation President Ron Robinson. The reception concluded with a wonderful musical treat by Randall Phillips. As a renowned and talented performer who once played Annie in (From left) Andrew Coffin, Jerry Norton, Kim Norton, Tom Phillips, Randall Phillips, Ron Robinson, and John Barletta enjoy the reception hosted by the Broadway hit Annie, Randall sang Tomorrow Tom and Randall Phillips at their Corona del Mar home. as a fitting farewell to her house guests. Tom and Randall continued a tradition of home social gatherings in Orange County, California, which began when the late Virginia Knott Bender hosted Young America’s Foundation friends in her home more than a decade ago. Previous Orange County event hosts include Bob and LaDorna Eichenberg, Curtis and Joan Patrick, Gared and Fran Smith, and Joan Hadley. Young America’s Foundation thanks Tom and Randall Phillips for hosting this event and for all they do for the cause of freedom. 4 Young America’s Foundation • Libertas I N B R I E F Students organize 9/11: Never Forget Project flag memorials on campuses nationwide, including those pictured above (clockwise from top): Pepperdine University, Los Osos High School (California), and Texas A & M University. 9/11: Never Forget Project Reaches Record Number of Campuses Since 2003, Young America’s Foundation has ensured that college and high school campuses properly remember those murdered by radical jihadists on September 11, 2001. Unfortunately, most colleges and high schools would not hold programs to remember those lost if not for the Foundation’s efforts and the hundreds of conservative students who bring the 9/11: Never Forget Project to schools nationwide. A record 215 high school and college campuses took part in the 2009 Never Forget Project, which includes creating displays of 2,977 American flags to remember those murdered that tragic day. The Foundation provides students with training, materials, and support to create the flag displays. Each year, the project reaches more campuses and has an even greater impact. Lakeville North High School (Minnesota) student Liz Minneman wrote of her Never Forget memorial: “I just wanted to let you know what a great success our 9/11 project was at Lakeville North. The flags were a spectacular and very poignant display—it was great to see both students and community members come out to commemorate a day that forever changed our nation…Thanks so much for all your support throughout our project. The resources YAF provided helped tremendously!” Young America’s Foundation • Libertas 5 I N B R I E F Freedom Week: Students Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall Conservative patriots on more than 115 campuses participated in Young America’s Foundation’s Freedom Week to ensure that their peers do not forget the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the lessons our current leaders should have learned from the failures of socialism. Young America’s Foundation’s Freedom Week is inspired by a little-known holiday called World Freedom Day. President George W. Bush created World Freedom Day on November 9, 2001, to recognize freedom’s victory over tyranny with the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989—the beginning of the end of the Cold War. To properly celebrate the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, activists on college campuses nationwide built and tore down replica walls to underscore that they do not want the government taking a greater role in their lives. Fordham University activist Katie Poedtke secured recent Maryland Lt. Governor and current GOP Chairman Michael Steele to speak at her Students at the University of Toledo construct a mock Berlin Wall on Berlin Wall event. Steele greeted the activists along campus to remind their peers of the dangers of big government. with some young New York City veterans. He signed the wall with the slogan, “No Wall Can Stop Freedom.” Activists at schools nationwide, including the University of Missouri, St. Louis University, and the University of Toledo, among others, also worked with their schools’ student governments to formally recognize Freedom Week and World Freedom Day. A Fordham University student (pictured above) pauses near the Berlin Wall constructed by her peers (pictured right) to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. 6 Young America’s Foundation • Libertas I N B R I E F Tancredo, Spencer, and Darwish Headline Radical Islam Summit Through the generous support of Helen Follmer and Henry and Dundee Schulte, students from around the country traveled to the Reagan Ranch Center for the Radical Islam Summit: Consequences of Appeasement in a Post-9/11 World. Those in attendance heard from leading policy makers, authors, and activists including Congressman Tom Tancredo, Jihad Watch Director Robert Spencer, author Nonie Darwish, adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute Alex Alexiev, Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney, and Dr. Michael Waller from the Institute of World Politics who also served as the lead faculty member for the (From left) Author Nonie Darwish, Center for Security Policy program. President Frank Gaffney, Jihad Watch Director Robert Spencer, Congressman Tom Tancredo, and Dr. Michael Waller address the The group discussed how the Obama administration student audience gathered at the Reagan Ranch Center for the has quickly tossed aside President Reagan’s “Peace through Summit on Radical Islam. Strength” strategy in favor of a policy of appeasement. The consequences of these actions, according to Robert Spencer, are a strengthened stealth movement by radical jihadists to push Sharia Law in the United States and other countries in the Western World. In addition to discussions of the threats posed by radical Islam, both Dr. Waller and Frank Gaffney provided the students with specific ideas to take back to their campuses and warn their peers about the threat of radical Islam and Sharia Law. The group also explored the Reagan Ranch Education Center and Exhibit Gallery and enjoyed a special visit to President Reagan’s Rancho del Cielo. Following the program, William Hockey from Emory University wrote, “Young America’s Foundation, along with providing an excellent educational summit, also provided an opportunity to meet and discuss current issues with intelligent, like-minded university students. Something I do not get to pursue at my university!” Michael Steele Featured at Reagan Ranch Roundtable Recent Maryland Lieutenant Governor and GOP Chairman Michael Steele was the first 2010 Wendy P. McCaw Reagan Ranch Roundtable speaker, addressing a packed room of more than 190 Foundation supporters, friends, and students at the Reagan Ranch Center. “I really appreciate Young America’s Foundation inviting me here to be a part of this… It’s such profoundly important work,” Chairman Steele noted in his opening remarks. Chairman Steele also visited the Reagan Ranch earlier in the day and reflected on the experience: “I had the incredible honor to be at the Reagan Ranch and to be amongst the things of his life. It’s just wonderful. It’s just a great energy that I get from that.” Steele encouraged conservatives to keep their hope that their values will prevail in the coming years. His message highlighted the importance of perseverance in the face of adversity. “Living in interesting times allows us to do interesting things,” he said. “It allows us to go beyond our comfort zone and go beyond things we think we know.” Chairman Steele concluded the question and answer portion with a conversation with Chris Garcia, a Pepperdine University student and Foundation activist, urging him and his peers to understand that they are not the future but the present of the Conservative Movement. Chairman Michael Steele engages Foundation activist Chris Garcia from Pepperdine University during the question and answer period following his speech at the Reagan Ranch Roundtable. Young America’s Foundation • Libertas 7 By Roger Custer, Conference Director “I know how to stand up for myself. I have peers alongside to help me, and I will never give up on the belief in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Jacob Ferrari, UCLA ore than 400 participants from 38 states, 190 colleges and universities, and five countries convened in the nation’s capital to learn about conservative ideas seldom taught in college classrooms. Young America’s Speaker Newt Gingrich signs a copy of his book for conference attendee Clare Huber. Foundation’s 31st annual National Conservative Student Conference—held at The George Washington University—featured leading conservative speakers including Ann Coulter, Senator Jim DeMint, Congressman Mike Pence, and 58th Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, along with more than 40 others. “I am no longer afraid,” said Jacob Ferrari of the University of California – Los Angeles after attending the week-long program. “I know how to stand up for myself. I have peers alongside to help me, and I will never give up on the belief in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” (continued on page 10) 8 Young America’s Foundation • Libertas During a live C-SPAN broadcast, former Godfather’s Pizza CEO and radio host Herman Cain addresses the dangers of socialized medicine and “health care deform” at the National Conservative Student Conference. More than 400 students enjoy the week-long conference in Washington, D.C. Young America’s Foundation • Libertas 9 C-SPAN, ABC, NBC, and other news outlets cover Speaker Newt Gingrich’s address at the National Conservative Student Conference. Casey Cooper from the University of Central Florida asks a question of a conference speaker. hen the students arrived at the conference, they were eager to hear from the powerhouse lineup of speakers. And those speakers didn’t disappoint. “After hearing these lectures, I feel more inspired, more emboldened, and wiser than I did before,” noted Kit Elliott of California State UniversityMonterey Bay. The Young Britons’ Foundation also brought 30 students to the program and invited Daniel Hannan, member of the European Parliament, to speak. Mr. Hannan discussed the special relationship between 10 Young America’s Foundation • Libertas Best-selling author Ann Coulter greets National Conservative Student Conference participant Kiana Dunn. the U.S. and the U.K. and highlighted the dangers of a nationalized health care system. Other speakers throughout the week included Young America’s Foundation Vice President Kate Obenshain, Fox News contributor Monica Crowley, former Godfather’s Pizza CEO and radio show host Herman Cain, entrepreneur and Kangaroo Millionaire author Marc Hrisko, Foundation President Ron Robinson, Alliance Defense Fund’s David French, Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute President Michelle Easton, and popular campus speaker and author Bay Buchanan. European M.P. Daniel Hannan shares insights on the failures of the U.K.’s National Health Service. CEO of the polling company, inc. and member of the National Journalism Center’s Board of Governors Kellyanne Conway addresses the attendees at the 31st annual National Conservative Student Conference. Princeton professor Dr. Robert George addresses the importance of academic freedom. Commentator Monica Crowley discusses opportunities for young conservatives in the “Age of Obama.” Additional lecturers included Dr. Robert George from Princeton University, Hillsdale College professor and author Dr. Burt Folsom, Foundation Vice President Patrick Coyle, and National Review Editor Rich Lowry. The conference featured panel discussions about great books to read in college, the status of the young Conservative Movement, and promising choices in higher education. In addition, Jed Babbin from Human Events, Robert Spencer from Jihad Watch, and filmmakers Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer inspired the crowd during the week. Congressman Mike Pence meets with student Jerome Hudson. The Foundation also presented Hoover Institution Fellow Wynton Hall with the Distinguished Alumni award for his continued service to the Foundation and commitment to mentoring young conservatives. “Young America’s Foundation went above and beyond my expectations,” noted attendee Lauren Hutchinson from Western Michigan University. “Each speaker was different than the last and highly effective. I literally learned more at this conference than I have in a full year at my university. I feel well equipped to become a leader at my university and continue the Conservative Movement!” Young America’s Foundation • Libertas 11 Winning the Battles Ahead By Karl Rove O ver the past held the upper hand. year, I have It seemed liberal engaged health care reform thousands of was inevitable. Even young people the public favored it while visiting by more than twostudent audiences to-one, with support nationwide through particularly strong Young America’s among seniors. Foundation’s campus Yet conservatives lecture program. in Congress and College campuses outside were not are often hostile for deterred. Rather conservatives and than staying silent conservative ideas, or acquiescing but they provide in the actions of tremendous venues the new President for introducing and his Congress, young people to conservatives conservative ideas— actually read the principles that have bills being proposed advanced freedom and turned a bright and prosperity light on obnoxious Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush and popular campus lecturer Karl throughout our provisions. Rove offers words of wisdom to Foundation activists at a 2009 program in Washington, D.C. nation’s history. In the face of The Conservative the President’s high Movement has enjoyed numerous victories these past few approval ratings immediately after his inauguration months, and I offer my thoughts on our achievements— and the natural desire of Americans to give a new particularly in regard to the health care debate—below. Chief Executive the chance to press his agenda, it Recent events show why we must step up our took courage to oppose him, but oppose they did with efforts to reach young people with the ideas of limited respect, patient attention to the facts, and relentless government, traditional values, free enterprise, and a energy. strong a national defense. Young America’s Foundation Fortunately, liberals had ill-prepared the country for does just that, and it is an honor to partner with this such a radical change. Instead, candidate Obama had organization to advance our shared cause. run television ads that called “government-run health Despite Congress’ recent actions, conservatives won care…extreme.” a tremendous battle for public opinion on health care. So when liberals said people could keep their existing This provides valuable lessons—and important coverage if they like it, conservatives showed the warnings—for the resurgence of our movement’s ideals legislation would encourage companies to dump their in the 21st century. existing plans. Last spring, a popular new president and When liberals claimed legislation would lead to overwhelming Democratic majorities in both houses better care, conservatives explained it would result in 12 Young America’s Foundation • Libertas rationing, long lines, and poorer And conservatives made a conquality of care. vincing case that ending junk and When liberals argued reform frivolous lawsuits with medical would extend coverage to more liability reform would reduce the Americans, conservatives pointed cost of health care for everyone. out it would come at the cost Conservatives advanced our of every other family’s existing ideas with a one-two punch: arrangements. describing in detail what was When liberals implied their wrong with the liberal prescription measure would not add to the and then drawing on conservative deficit, conservatives showed it was principles of individual freedom, built on a house of gimmicks that competition, and markets to would surely generate a flood of describe a better way. Despite the red ink. passage of the President’s health When liberals suggested it care bill, conservatives must strengthened the power of patients, continue to fight this important conservatives demonstrated it battle for freedom. instead gave more power to It’s hard to be something with government at the expense of nothing: conservatives opposed patients, families, and their doctors. health care by thoughtful and When liberals implied it would passionate advocacy, not simply be financed by taxes paid by drug against wrong-headed liberal companies and medical device ideas, but also for answers arrived “Conservatives advanced manufactures, conservatives at by applying our timeless pointed out that patients who conservative principles to the our ideas with a one-two needed those drugs and devices challenges America faces. would pay the higher taxes. It’s a strategy worth using in the punch: describing in detail This helped flip public opinion many fights we have ahead. what was wrong with the to opposing the liberal change by ———————————————— two-to-one. But as importantly, Rove served as senior advisor liberal prescription and then toKarl when liberals said conservatives President George W. Bush from had no ideas or constructive 2000 to 2007 and deputy chief drawing on conservative proposals, we were ready with of staff from 2004 to 2007. He principles of individual our own attractive reforms, based is now a Fox News contributor, solidly on conservative principles. writes a weekly op-ed for the Wall freedom, competition, Conservatives advocated Street Journal, and is a Newsweek and markets to describe making health insurance truly columnist. He is also a member portable, so workers aren’t stuck of Young America’s Foundation’s a better way.” in a job they hate for fear of campus lecture program. losing benefits, but can take their His memoir, Courage and coverage with them. Consequence: My Life as a Conservatives argued families should be able to save Conservative in the Fight (Threshold Editions), is on sale more money tax-free for out of pocket medical expenses now. For more information, visit Karl online at www. and pair a health savings account with a low-cost, high Rove.com. You can also connect with him on Twitter deductible insurance policy. (@karlrove) or on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/ Conservatives pointed out that allowing people to KarlRove). buy insurance across state lines and permitting small To inquire about bringing Karl Rove to your campus, businesses to pool risk to get the same discounts big contact Patrick X. Coyle at 800-USA-1776 or pcoyle@ companies receive would expand access and lower yaf.org. costs. Young America’s Foundation • Libertas 13 Moore, Folsom, and Williams Headline 12th National High School Leadership Conference By Roger Custer, Conference Director O ne hundred and thirty participants from 28 states gathered just outside our nation’s capital for the 12th Gratia Houghton Rinehart National High School Leadership Conference. Held in Chevy Chase, Maryland, the conference began with a Capitol Hill briefing featuring Senate Steering Committee Executive Director Ed Corrigan and Tom Lizardo, chief of staff to Congressman Ron Paul (Texas). The two encouraged the students to get involved with shaping public policy at an early age. Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal charged the students with a mission, saying, “You want to be known as the generation that defeats socialism.” David Bossie, president of Citizens United Foundation, energized the students, discussing his experiences as a conservative filmmaker and the problems associated with the Left’s control of the film industry as a whole. Bay Buchanan, president of The American Cause, gave a stirring speech underscoring the characteristics of true leaders. She urged the students to take action (continued on page 17) 14 Young America’s Foundation • Libertas 1 2 4 3 1) Student Hope Ammen participates in the speaker question and answer session. 2) More than 130 high school students from 28 states travel to Washington, D.C., to be inspired by conservative ideas. 3) High school students from around the country enjoy the three-day conference which provides an introduction to conservative ideas. 4) Hillsdale professor and regular conference faculty member Dr. Burt Folsom engages the young audience in a discussion based on his latest book, New Deal or Raw Deal? Young Americaâ€™s Foundation â€˘ Libertas 15 2 1 3 4 6 5 7 1) Sarah Clogston, Katherine Hernandez, and Elana Pidgeon enjoy the 12th National High School Leadership Conference and a tour of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. 2) Foundation Director Kirby Wilbur discusses Abraham Lincoln’s true convictions and accomplishments—facts often distorted by leftist teachers today. 3) Foundation team members and interns Roger Custer, Brad Mahlstedt, Lauren Scirocco, Patrick Coyle, Adam Tragone, and Trey Easton gather near the U.S. Capitol during a tour of Washington, D.C., with the conference attendees. 4) Student Brandi Heuer from Prescott, Arizona, asks a question of a leading conservative at the high school conference. 5) Activist and author Bay Buchanan instructs the young audience on the key characteristics of true leaders. 6) William Keene listens intently during a speaker session at the conference. 7) Stephen Moore instructs the high school audience on the importance of the free market. 16 Young America’s Foundation • Libertas against the public leaders who are not doing their jobs: representing the interests of the American people. Foundation Vice President Kate Obenshain encouraged the young attendees to stand up for their values even if their peers show contempt for them. Obenshain recounted stories of the Founding Fathers whose valor and courage helped the United States gain independence. She remarked that young conservatives should be like the first patriots and defend their own principles no matter who or what is intimidating them. Hoover Institution Visiting Fellow and Foundation alumnus Wynton Hall discussed the importance of choosing the right words to convey the conservative message. Dr. Walter Williams, distinguished economist at George Mason University, spoke about government’s ever-growing role in a free society. Students also heard from Hillsdale College Professor Dr. Burt Folsom who instructed the group on the true entrepreneurial beginnings of America’s industrial boom and Congress’ wasteful spending at that time. Folsom also spoke on his newest book, New Deal or Raw Deal? Michelle Easton, president of the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, discussed the failures of feminism and feminists’ love affair with the Left. Foundation Director Kirby Wilbur addressed the ever changing perception of Abraham Lincoln and stressed that Lincoln was a man of conviction, supporting the equality of all men and the importance of preserving freedom. The speakers concluded with Foundation Vice President Patrick Coyle who energized the group to advance conservative ideas at their high schools and in their communities. To cap off the program, the students and Foundation team members took a twilight tour of Washington, D.C., visiting the Capitol and the Lincoln, World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War Memorials. The young leaders left the conference with the character, knowledge, and support of Young America’s Foundation to spread conservative ideas at their schools. Hope Ammen from Roanoke, Virginia said, “I am leaving this conference inspired, educated, and most importantly, ready to take action. Thank you for equipping us to embark on a noble endeavor to reach our nation with the core, fundamental values that our country was founded on.” 8 9 10 11 12 8) David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, addresses the high school audience. 9) Hoover Institution Visiting Fellow and Foundation alumnus Wynton Hall stresses the importance of using the right words to advance conservative ideas. 10) After hearing from leading conservative speakers, conference attendees enjoy free time with their new, like-minded friends. 11) Foundation Vice President Kate Obenshain greets high school conference participant Hannah Glenn. 12) David Bossie, Foundation alumnus and president of Citizens United Foundation, discusses his work producing conservative documentaries and the Left’s determination to prevent these films from reaching broader audiences. Young America’s Foundation • Libertas 17 Meet Young America’s Foundation Alumni Board Members –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––—— By Jessica Jensen, Editor Y oung America’s Foundation is pleased to announce the formation of our Alumni Board of Directors. This distinguished group will include up to 15 alumni who were involved with our programs as students or as a member of the Foundation’s team and who continue their engagement with our mission. We are proud of their accomplishments and look forward to working with them to strengthen our alumni efforts and reach more young people nationwide. The following are profiles of several members. If you are an alumnus who is interested in being more involved, please contact Roger Custer at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-USA-1776. Jim Graham Name: Who do you think are the up-and-coming leaders of today’s Conservative Movement? Rich Lowry and Current Occupation: Texas Glenn Beck Right to Life Executive Director Hometown: Houston, Texas Alma Mater: University of St. Thomas, Houston, Texas Foundation Activities you participated in: I attended the 1993 National Conservative Student Conference. What books do you recommend today’s young people read? The Bible, Plato’s Republic, Aristotle’s Politics and Nichomachean Ethics, Aquinas’ Summa Theologica and On Kingship, Huxley’s Brave New World, Orwell’s 1984, Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, Marden’s Pushing to the Front, Brian Tracy’s Goals!, Focal Point, and Investor’s Business Daily. Ruth Malhotra What did you most enjoy about the program(s) you participated in? I realized that there is a culture Name: war being fought based on objective, eternal principles, that this war was being fought by people like me on campuses across the nation, and that I could and must become involved or I was part of the problem. Current Occupation: Research What do you most enjoy about your job today? assistant at Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum, and executive director of the Alliance for the Future of Georgia Tech Every day I am able to advance the Culture of Life and build the Kingdom of God. Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia What is your advice to today’s young conservatives? Start reading (not online) for one Georgia hour a day something that is not required (e.g., National Review). Write and review your spiritual, family, health, school, and financial goals at least once a month, if not every day. 18 Young America’s Foundation • Libertas Alma Mater: Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Foundation Activities you participated in: I participated in the National Conservative Student Conference, Club 100 [the Foundation’s activism rewards program], Thomas Phillips Student Luncheon at CPAC, the 9/11: Never Forget Project, an activist summit at the Reagan Ranch, and Young America’s Foundation campus lectures at Georgia Tech, Emory University, and Agnes Scott College. What did you most enjoy about the program(s) you participated in? My first distinct memory of participating in a YAF program is from the 2004 CPAC when I attended the Thomas Phillips Student Luncheon. David Horowitz was the featured speaker, and the theme of his speech was academic freedom. I met Mr. Horowitz and told him about my experiences at Georgia Tech. A few months later, I would testify alongside Horowitz in favor of the Academic Bill of Rights in the Georgia legislature, and this was just the beginning of my battle for academic freedom and intellectual diversity. What do you most enjoy about your job today? I find my current work in higher education reform very rewarding and in many ways a continuation of my efforts in college and grad school. My desire to restore and preserve liberty in our nation’s colleges and universities has matured with my own academic experiences, and I am honored to be a part of the movement to hold our educational institutions accountable. What is your advice to today’s young conservatives? Understand the long-term impact of what you’re doing. Today’s activists are tomorrow’s leaders, and this is a unique time to channel your zeal into a dynamic force, as the impact you have will go far beyond your transient phase in college. Recognize your potential as a catalyst for change and encourage like-minded students to become participants rather than spectators in conservative activism. Who do you think are the up-and-coming leaders of today’s Conservative Movement? Andrew Breitbart and Congressman Paul Ryan. What books do you recommend today’s young people read? The Bible, the U.S. Constitution, Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty by Peter Collier, A National Party No More by Zell Miller, Feminist Fantasies by Phyllis Schlafly, Red State of Mind by Nancy French, God and Ronald Reagan by Paul Kengor, Success God’s Way by Charles Stanley, What’s So Great About America by Dinesh D’Souza, and Religion of Peace? Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t by Robert Spencer. Jonathan Miller Name: Current Occupation/Location: I am a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates (second term) and health insurance consultant with Shenandoah Valley Group (the West Virginia legislature is a part-time legislature). Hometown: Inwood, West Virginia Alma Mater: High Point University, High Point, North Carolina Foundation Activities you participated in: I hosted three Foundation speakers on my campus and attended several Foundation programs including the 2005 National Conservative Student Conference, CPAC, and FreedomFest. What did you most enjoy about the program(s) you participated in? Experiencing the Reagan Ranch in Santa Barbara was one of the most memorable events of my life. What do you most enjoy about your job today? I enjoy being an advocate for limited government, free markets, and individual liberty in a state long dominated by statists and suffering from the effects of their big government policies. What is your advice to today’s young conservatives? Above all else, follow God. Politics are important, but your faith and your family are paramount. I couldn’t survive without my Christian faith, my wonderful fiancée, and my family. Have a core philosophy and a vision. Make sure your vision matches up with your core philosophy and work hard toward that vision. Continually grow your experience, and read every day. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and take risks because you learn more from your mistakes than your successes. Don’t be involved in public policy for power or prestige. Be involved because of the ideas. Don’t worry about who gets the credit. Don’t get mad. Don’t get even. Get ahead. Who do you think are the up-and-coming leaders of today’s Conservative Movement? Marco Rubio, Young America’s Foundation • Libertas 19 Congressman Patrick McHenry, Erick Erickson, Andrew Breitbart, and Tim Phillips. What books do you recommend today’s young people read? The Bible, Liberty and Tyranny by Mark Levin, The Law by Frederic Bastiat, National Review, The Reagan Diaries, Funding Fathers by Ron Robinson and Nicole Hoplin, and Bad Boy: The Life and Politics of Lee Atwater by John Brady. Melissa Moskal Name: Current Occupation/Location: Issue advocacy, Washington, D.C. Hometown: Orland Park, Illinois Alma Mater: The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. What was your involvement with Young America’s Foundation? I was the Foundation’s conference director grow a family, be responsible, and be active in local government and civic organizations, and show people by example that these are the ideas that work. Who do you think are the up-and-coming leaders of today’s Conservative Movement? There’s a nice crop of conservatives whom I look forward to seeing in Washington soon. Sean Duffy in Wisconsin and Marco Rubio in Florida are my favorites. (Duffy’s sister-in-law is a Foundation alumna.) What books do you recommend today’s young people read? Conscience of a Conservative by Barry Goldwater, Witness by Whittaker Chambers, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and God and Man at Yale by William F. Buckley. Too many people advocate ideas without understanding the philosophy behind them, so be sure to read Hayek, Burke, Kirk, von Mises, and Friedman, and for a fun read on the history of the Conservative Movement, read William F. Buckley’s Getting it Right. Matthew Schenk for five years (1998 to 2003). Few people are lucky enough to have jobs that they enjoy and where they truly get to be a part of something larger than themselves. Keeping in touch with students over the years and watching their lives unfold has been so great! Name: What do you most enjoy about your job today? Hometown: Hermiston, Oregon I work with an amazing group of ridiculously smart, creative, hilarious, dedicated people, and it’s never dull. And we’re comprised of Republicans, Democrats, libertarians and conservatives engaged in issues that are free market, pro-entrepreneur, pro-small business, and against intrusive regulations, which reminds me that the fundamental ideas have little or nothing to do with party affiliation. What is your advice to today’s young conservatives? You have such a huge opportunity right now to advance conservative ideas. Gargantuan government, seemingly endless corruption, and hints of socialism are making people think about policy and ideas in ways they haven’t before, giving you a great chance to be an advocate for conservative principles such as small government, devolution of power, less regulation, and strong national defense. And when you’re done with school and being a campus activist, go get a job, build a business, 20 Young America’s Foundation • Libertas Current Occupation/Location: I am a founding partner with HSP Direct, a direct mail fundraising firm in Herndon, Virginia. Alma Mater: Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania Foundation Activities you participated in: I interned at the Foundation in the summer of 1994, organized a series of seven campus lectures, launched a conservative student newspaper sponsored by the Foundation, and attended and helped organize the 1994 National Conservative Student Conference. After graduation, I worked at the Foundation as a program officer from 1995 to 1998. What did you most enjoy about the program(s) you participated in? With the support of the E.L. Weigand Foundation, Young America’s Foundation launched a program at Swarthmore College during my junior and senior years in which we brought seven highprofile conservative leaders to this traditionally left-wing campus. With the help of the Foundation, this program completely dominated the public policy discussion at Swarthmore for two straight years as speakers including Dinesh D’Souza, William F. Buckley, Phyllis Schlafly, Walter Williams, and Ed Meese addressed nearly the entire student body at events at this very liberal school. What do you most enjoy about your job today? I enjoy providing fundraising support for some of the most effective organizations and leaders of the Conservative Movement. What is your advice to today’s young conservatives? Constantly challenge—whether it is challenging yourself and your own preconceived notions, or the ideas of your friends, classmates, and teachers. The more you challenge, the more confident you will become in your own beliefs. Who do you think are the up-and-coming leaders of today’s Conservative Movement? Ken Cuccinelli and Chuck DeVore. What books do you recommend today’s young people read? The Conscience of a Conservative by Barry Goldwater, Anarchy, State, and Utopia by Robert Nozick, and The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky. What did you most enjoy about the program(s) you participated in? I enjoyed meeting other conservative students and the foremost leaders and intellectuals of the Conservative Movement. I always left with a wealth of knowledge about the issues discussed and current events, as well as the breadth of opportunities and resources available to students. What do you most enjoy about your job today? After college, I chose to start my company so that I could spend every day on the front lines of our country’s most important public policy debates and culture wars. What is your advice to today’s young conservatives? I would advise young conservatives today to have fun with campus activism, while at the same time taking it seriously. Pay attention to detail, but do not lose sight of the bigger picture. Know that there are tremendous opportunities and resources available, learn to manage your time wisely and trust your instincts. At the end of the day, make sure you are sharing your conservatism with your peers, always asking them to join you. Who do you think are the up-and-coming leaders of today’s Conservative Movement? Congressman Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio. Orit Sklar Name: Current Occupation/ Location: I am president of Orit Sklar Consulting, an Atlantabased consultancy assisting conservative candidates, faithbased organizations, and issueoriented campaigns with branding, messaging, marketing, and online and mobile strategy. Hometown: Mt. Vernon, New York Alma Mater: Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia Foundation Activities you participated in: I participated in the 2003 National Conservative Student Conference, Club 100 [the Foundation’s activism rewards program], the Thomas Phillips Student Luncheons at CPAC, Foundation-sponsored campus lectures at Atlantaarea schools, and the 9/11: Never Forget Project. What books do you recommend today’s young people read? Lend Me Your Ears: Great Speeches in History by William Safire and The Little Red Book of Wisdom by Mark DeMoss. Other members of the Foundation’s Alumni Board of Directors include Michael Boos, vice president and general counsel for Citizens United; Chuck Cunningham, director of federal affairs for the National Rifle Association; Kathryn Lopez, editor of National Review Online; Andrew Wong, attorney and governing board member of the Ponoma Unified School District in California; and Flagg Youngblood, Young America’s Foundation’s director of military outreach (2006 to 2009). To read more profiles of Foundation alumni or to create your own alumni profile, visit www.yaf.org/alumni.aspx. Young America’s Foundation • Libertas 21 Romney, Wilson, Breitbart, and Others Ignite Young Audience Annual West Coast Leadership Conference Covered by the Los Angeles Times, CNN, and More! M 2 By Ana Lightle, Program Officer ore than 200 participants attended Young America’s Foundation’s West Coast Leadership Conference in Santa Barbara, California. Held at Young America’s Foundation’s Reagan Ranch Center, students heard from some of the leading voices in the Conservative Movement and networked, brainstormed, and inspired each other to win the battle for ideas on their campuses. The conference began with a panel featuring Breitbart.com founder Andrew Breitbart and Foundation spokesman Jason Mattera discussing “Guerilla Warfare: How Young Activists and an Internet Publisher Took Down ACORN and Exposed Media Corruption.” Hoover Institution Fellow and author Dr. Victor Davis Hanson then offered his views on “Obama’s Brave New World,” breaking down President Obama’s foreign policies and detailing their glaring flaws. The day included a reception on the Mr. & Mrs. Alwal Anheuser Beims Moore Rooftop Terrace where the evening’s speaker, Governor Mitt Romney, and his wife, Ann, met and took photos with the attendees. Governor Romney later addressed the students and members of the Foundation’s President’s Club at the dinner banquet. He touched upon the importance of conveying conservative principles to young people and called out the President for not having a plan for Afghanistan. (continued on page 24) 22 1 Young America’s Foundation • Libertas 5 1) Foundation supporter and talk radio host Mark Larson emcees the West Coast Leadership Conference luncheon at the Reagan Ranch. 3 4 2) Young leaders enjoy a sunny afternoon at Rancho del Cielo during the West Coast Leadership Conference. 3) Prior to his speech at the annual West Coast Leadership Conference, Governor Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, meet with Foundation supporters Wendy McCaw and Arthur von Weisenburger in the Tom and Randall Phillips Library at the Reagan Ranch Center. 4) Congressman Joe Wilson addresses students and supporters at a special luncheon on the lawn of President Reagan’s Rancho del Cielo. 5) Students from 16 states and 44 schools attend the West Coast Leadership Conference at the Reagan Ranch Center in Santa Barbara, California. Young America’s Foundation • Libertas 23 “The President has held his job for 10 months but does not yet have a strategy,” Romney asserted during his speech in the David Louis Bartlett Visitors Center. “What has he been doing that is more important than protecting the lives of the troops of which he is Commander-in-Chief?” The next day best-selling author Lynn Vincent discussed “Humble Hearts and Civil Tongues: Grassroots Coalition Conservatism.” American Conservative Union Secretary Tom Tripp followed, explaining the importance of defending core conservative principles. Students and supporters traveled to the Reagan Ranch for a luncheon and an afternoon session moderated by Foundation supporter and talk radio host Mark Larson. While at Rancho del Cielo, Congressman Joe Wilson—whose participation in the conference was made possible with the help of Foundation Vice President Ron Pearson—spoke about his days as a young activist. Congressman Wilson expressed hope for the future, noting, “I think we have an administration that is truly out of control, when you compare it with the positive effect of Ronald Reagan…I’m just really hopeful that we’re all working together with the extraordinary success of the Young America’s Foundation, and that we can…make a change.” (See related article on page 25.) Foundation President Ron Robinson, Vice President Kate Obenshain, and Director Kirby Wilbur wrapped up the conference with their panel discussion: “Conservatism in Ascendancy: How Obama’s Disastrous Agenda is Spawning Conservative Leadership.” In total, more than 3,000 people viewed conference sessions on UStream. tv, and the conference garnered prominent media attention from the Los Angeles Times, CNN, and the Santa Barbara News-Press. Young America’s Foundation thanks all those who supported this program, and we especially thank the principal sponsors of this year’s West Coast Leadership Conference who gave gifts of $10,000 or more: Arnold Garrison, Joan Hadley, Frank Miller, Barbara Newington, Tom and Joan Streiff, Michael and Susan Turner, and Rich and Shirley Walker. 24 Young America’s Foundation • Libertas 1 2 3 1) Students enjoy the fully-subscribed, weekend-long conference at the Reagan Ranch Center. 2) The West Coast Leadership Conference includes a memorable and inspiring visit to President Reagan’s Western White House for all attendees. 3) (From left) San Diego State University students Jessica Basiago, Stephanie Jones, Lindsey Keena, and Nicole Donahue gather in the Wendy P. McCaw Welcome Center at the Reagan Ranch Center. Standing Up For Freedom: Why We Need Ronald Reagan’s Ideas Today By Congressman Joe Wilson, South Carolina 4 5 6 4) Students Chelsea Orman and Lauren Scirocco enjoy an afternoon at the Reagan Ranch. 5) Governor Mitt Romney addresses Foundation student activists and supporters at the West Coast Leadership Conference. 6) Andrew Breitbart chats with students following his address at the annual Santa Barbara conference. I had the privilege of attending Young America’s Foundation’s West Coast Leadership Conference at the Reagan Ranch to offer some of the following remarks. It was such an honor to be with these extraordinary students and meet the supporters who make it possible for young people to be involved and have this remarkable opportunity. Ronald and Nancy Reagan are two of my heroes; to be at the Western White House on the 20th anniversary of one of the most significant days that occurred in my life was particularly moving. I cherish November 9, 1989, and the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was Ronald Reagan who first identified the Soviet Union as the “Evil Empire” and his willingness to face an enemy is still appreciated today. In Jerusalem in 2008, I met Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky who was in a Gulag when Reagan delivered that “Evil Empire” speech. The famous dissident told me how meaningful it was to hear the speech during that trying time in his life. Working with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Pope John Paul II, and Lech Walesa in Poland at the time, President Reagan had the vision and determination to back up his call to Mr. Gorbachev to “tear down this wall!” All thanks should go to the sacrifices of generations of our military service members. Due to American veterans, today there are more free democratic countries with free market economies than in the history of the world. On issues of national security, Ronald Reagan’s playbook is one that lawmakers should revisit time and again. Star Wars, Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative, was (continued on page 26) Young America’s Foundation • Libertas 25 particularly instructive. He was the person who said we can develop a missile defense system where a bullet can hit a bullet. A couple decades later, I heard testimony in the House Armed Services Committee about how we now have the remarkable ability to strike a particular place on a bullet. It’s critical that America continues to be at the forefront of such technological advances. Right now, North Korea is developing Type II Missiles that have the capability to strike Alaska, Hawaii, and Guam. Unfortunately, at the same time, the current administration is cutting missile defense funding and reducing sites. This only encourages our enemies; it only puts American troops and our allies at risk. Additionally, Iran is testing missiles with ranges to annihilate our ally Israel; our NATO partners of Greece, Bulgaria and Romania; and our strategic partner India. National security isn’t the only page of Reagan’s playbook that President Obama should study. This administration is trying to spend their way to job creation by passing trillion dollar so-called stimulus bills. The American people were promised that unemployment would not exceed eight percent, but we’ve seen it climb past ten percent because the borrowing, taxing, and spending is not working. The administration would be wise to look at 1981 when Reagan responded to an economic downturn by cutting taxes— just like John F. Kennedy did in 1961. Successful job creation policies do not have to be a partisan issue. Lawmakers should be working with the President each and every day to present ideas to get America’s economy rolling once again. Next, we should look at energy policy. I worked at the U.S. Department of Energy from 1981 to 1982 when Ronald Reagan deregulated oil and natural gas. The media projected that gasoline prices would double, but that certainly didn’t happen. What occurred was that the OPEC cartel collapsed. Oil and gasoline prices went down, and I had a front-row seat. It was 28 years ago, and we were already promoting conservation and alternative fuels that still have not made it into America’s energy plans. Unfortunately, what this administration has in store for us 26 1 2 3 1) Congressman Joe Wilson visits the Reagan Ranch Center’s interactive exhibit gallery and watches President Reagan’s address to the Foundation’s 1993 National Conservative Student Conference. 2) Foundation President Ron Robinson enjoys Rancho del Cielo with Congressman Wilson and his wife, Roxanne. 3) Congressman Wilson converses with young leaders and shares activism advice following his speech at the Reagan Ranch. Young America’s Foundation • Libertas is a national energy tax that will cost American families $3,400 each. In addition to blocking this jobkilling national energy tax, this year it is critical that Congress also pass an all-of-the-above energy plan so that America is no longer dependent on foreign energy. We must expand our use of the natural resources we have here at home, increase our domestic production, and revamp our energy infrastructure—including updating and building new refineries. The bipartisan group I joined in Congress must come back together to push our American Conservation and Clean Energy Independence Act of 2009. This legislation is the roadmap to a stronger energy future—one in which we pursue the development of new energy alternatives and renewable sources that will make our energy production and energy use affordable and clean. It is the American people who must stand up to get Congress and this administration to reprioritize and focus on these energy, defense, and job creation policies. Citizen activists were successful in delaying a government takeover of our health care system. The impact of the tea party movement has been extraordinary. Millions of people are standing up to this government monstrosity. They understand that this legislation will create a maze of new mandates and federal regulations that will cost jobs while raising taxes on small businesses and American families already struggling in a tough economy. I’m confident that more people will continue to get involved and stand up to the majority in Congress who have set their sights on growing the size, scope, power, intrusion, and cost of the Federal government. As we fight to get Congress and this administration to correct their misplaced priorities, I am reminded of Ronald Reagan’s warning, “Governments tend not to solve problems, only to rearrange them.” It is a choice of power to the politicians or to the people. It is the eternal struggle of big government versus limited government. I’m confident that the American people will ultimately prevail with limited government to expand freedom. S t a ff P R O F I L E Inspiring Tomorrow’s Journalists Today — Stephen Bird, Ph.D. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––————————————————–––––––––—— By Jason Mattera, Editor, Human Events B National Journalism Center have been a ill McMorris’ 2 bomber of conservative privilege for which I am very thankful,” investigative journalism.” He adds, says Stephen. “I feel blessed to work reporting “You never see Stephen in the National Press Building, with went viral almost claiming credit for all the top students from all over the world, immediately when great talent he turns out, with top media outlets, and with great he revealed that a but the young interns and significant portion of reporters who go through Foundation colleagues.” What also makes Stephen an effective President Obama’s NJC internships are the mentor is that he combines his teaching “stimulus” spending best on our side.” intuition with an impressive career as went to districts that Mark Tapscott, a journalist. He has freelanced for the didn’t actually exist. editorial page editor of Ericka Andersen the Washington Examiner, Associated Press, the Washington Times, Fox News, ESPN, the Daily Oklahoman, is orchestrating agrees. “Stephen has a and other outlets, and he worked for the Congressman Mike rare devotion to helping Dr. Stephen Bird serves as Danville Register & Bee. Pence’s communication aspiring journalists learn the academic director at the National Journalism Center. Students attending the National strategy to the country’s a craft that is among the Journalism Center are put through leading blogs and most important in the intense, thought-provoking seminars. websites, helping to get word out on the preservation of individual liberty and the They also hear from an all-star cast of latest government foray into our lives. American republic.” veteran journalists in informal, intimate What’s the connection between these Stephen’s interest in educating settings. Guest lecturers under Stephen’s individuals? young and hungry minds is no surprise. leadership have included Fox News’s Stephen Bird, Ph.D. After all, he did receive his Ph.D. in Brit Hume, Bill and Ericka interned with the best-selling National Journalism Center (NJC), author and studying under the leadership of Dr. NJC alumna Bird. For more than 33 years, NJC has Ann Coulter, been training young leaders on the nuts author and bolts of reporting. A few years and recent after NJC became a program of Young Washington America’s Foundation, Stephen came Times editorial to Washington to serve as the academic page editor director. Tony Blankley, “I’ve always wanted to work with Regnery top students who have a keen interest in author Tim journalism and public policy,” Stephen Carney, and notes, “so the National Journalism CNN producer Center was a natural fit for me.” David Gracey, At age 46, Stephen is one of the most among others. mild-mannered and easy going guys you Stephen will meet. But don’t mistake his calm makes this all composure for a lack of enthusiasm. happen, and He’s incredibly passionate about his Dr. Bird presents NJC graduate Elisabeth Meinecke (who now works the NJC interns work and even more so about inspiring at Human Events) with her certificate of completion from the 12-week truly appreciate the next generation of reporters. In fact, long program. his commitin a city (Washington, D.C.) driven ment to their journalism educations. by egos and even larger egos, Stephen communication studies at Regent Ericka Andersen of Mike Pence’s manages to stay grounded and keep the University and was a full-time, tenured web team concurs: “I’m happy to know focus off of himself. professor at Radford University prior to I have a reference and a mentor in Dr. And it doesn’t go unnoticed. joining NJC. Bird.” Author Jed Babbin calls Stephen a “B- “My three and a half years with the Young America’s Foundation • Libertas 27 Igniting the Conservative Movement in Reagan Country: Leaders Advance Freedom at the Reagan Ranch Center B y A n dr e w C o f f i n , V i c e P r e s i d e n t a n d D i r e c t o r o f t h e R e a g a n R a n c h S peaking at the Reagan Ranch Center, Governor Mitt Romney told the gathered audience of students and Foundation supporters, “I salute you in the effort that you are carrying out—to reach young people in this country. You recognize we have work to do. Our conservative message will connect with young people if we tell them the truth and if they hear it clearly.” The mission that Young America’s Foundation is pursuing through our Schoolhouse for Reaganism on the West Coast, the Reagan Ranch Center, resonated with Governor Romney—as it has with the countless other conservative leaders who have come through our doors. Recent weeks mark an exciting period of success in establishing the reputation of the Center as an unparalleled meeting place for conservative inspiration, debate, and training. 28 Young America’s Foundation • Libertas Our annual celebration of the signing of the 1981 Economic Recovery Tax Act included a barbecue, Ranch open house, and program for President’s Club members and students. Foundation supporters Ray and Barbara Cullin personally witnessed the signing of the 1981 legislation by the President at the Ranch. (Ray served as the White House producer for NBC during the Reagan years.) The couple shared some of their memories of that day with the attendees. Foundation Vice President Kate Obenshain also made remarks before introducing the keynote speaker, Baja Fresh CEO David Kim. Mr. Kim recounted the benefits of Reagan’s historic tax cuts and reminded guests of the promise of capitalism, entrepreneurship, and free markets, saying, “Capitalism... is the fastest path to human freedom.” Thousands of students, supporters, and local community members have attended our monthly Reagan Ranch Roundtable luncheons, featuring speakers such as Pacific Research Institute President Sally Pipes, Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund, GOP Chairman Michael Steele, and authors Martin and Annelise Anderson. Visitors also toured the Reagan Ranch Center Education and Exhibit Galleries during a series of open house events. In addition, local attorneys, financial planners, and wealth managers attended an Estate Planning Professionals’ Luncheon with Foundation supporter Brooks Firestone. Guests also took part in a book signing with Reagan Ranch Board of Governors’ member Craig Shirley, highlighting his recently published book, Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign that Changed America. On the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a capacity crowd of 180 high school students attended a special event entitled “Voices from Behind the Iron Curtain” to remember this momentous day. Panelists included Russian immigrant and member of the Foundation’s President’s Club Daria Boxer; Chapman University professor Dr. Tibor Machan, who was smuggled out of Communist Hungry in 1953 when he was 14; Maria Quintana Thieman and her father, Dr. Joaquin Arturo Quintana, who fled Cuba in 1969; and Giselle RecareyDelgado, who was exiled from Cuba in 2008 for fighting for human rights. Students also gathered from across the country to Foundation Vice Presidents Kate Obenshain and Andrew Coffin meet with Baja Fresh CEO David Kim at the Reagan Ranch during the anniversary celebration of President Reagan’s 1981 Economic Recovery Tax Act. Liya Palagashvili from George Mason University takes notes during the Foundation’s Road to Freedom Seminar: Selling Your Freedom to Government in the Age of Obama held at the Reagan Ranch Center. attend the Road to Freedom Seminar: Selling Your Freedom to Governement in the Age of Obama and the West Coast Leadership Conference (see related articles on pages 22 to 26). These two programs drew The Wall Street Journal’s John Fund addresses a sold-out crowd at a Reagan Ranch Roundtable luncheon. students from 54 schools across the country to learn about conservative principles from some of the top minds of the Conservative Movement. During the Road to Freedom Seminar, students The Santa Barbara NewsPress covers Congressman Joe Wilson’s West Coast Leadership Conference address. Young America’s Foundation • Libertas 29 Young America’s Foundation welcomes the leadership, alumni, supporters, and students of The Fund for American Studies to the Reagan Ranch. Members of the California legislature and their spouses tour the Reagan Ranch Center’s exhibit galleries while in Santa Barbara for a Joint Legislative Summit. Students and supporters gather near the Knapheide Family Berlin Wall exhibit in the entryway of the Reagan Ranch Center. 30 Young America’s Foundation • Libertas heard from Hillsdale professor and former Young America’s Foundation intern Ivan Pongracic, Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund, Reuters reporter Jim Pethokoukis, author Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Chapman University professor and columnist Tibor Machan, President of the Foundation for Economic Education Lawrence Reed, and Foundation Director Kirby Wilbur. Speakers discussed the myths of the Great Depression, the morality of capitalism, the lessons learned from the fall of the Soviet Union and the Berlin Wall, how Ronald Reagan restored America’s economy by signing the largest tax cut in American history, and more. The Foundation also hosted like-minded organizations at the Center and Ranch, including The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) and the Heritage Foundation. Participants in TFAS’s Leadership Network toured the Reagan Ranch Center before enjoying a luncheon program in the David Louis Bartlett Outreach Center. TFAS President Roger Ream emceed the program which included welcoming remarks from Reagan Ranch Board of Governors Chairman Frank Donatelli. The Heritage Foundation also worked with Young America’s Foundation on two events, including a screening of Heritage’s latest documentary, 33 Minutes, with special guest United States Senator Jim Talent. The Southern California Committee for Heritage also organized a talk and book signing with Matt Spalding, author of We Still Hold These Truths: Rediscovering Our Principles, Reclaiming Our Future. Members of the California legislature visited the Center and the Reagan Ranch during their Joint Legislative Summit in Santa Barbara, organized by State Senator Dennis Hollingsworth and Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee. Frank Donatelli welcomed the group on behalf of the Board of Governors, and President Reagan’s Secret Service agent John Barletta discussed the Foundation’s mission and the history of the Reagan Ranch with these public servants. Throughout the past year, thousands have attended events at the Reagan Ranch and Reagan Ranch Center, and with each visitor, our shared cause is advanced. Every guest leaves with a better fundamental understanding of the principles Reagan championed—by hearing from leaders of the Conservative Movement, spending time in the Reagan Ranch Center’s Education and Exhibit Galleries, and walking in the footsteps of President Reagan at his beloved Rancho del Cielo. ———————————— For more information on upcoming Reagan Ranch Center programs, please visit www.yaf.org or call the Reagan Ranch Center at 888USA-1776. Senator Jim Talent headlines a special screening of the Heritage Foundation’s documentary, 33 Minutes, in the David Louis Bartlett Visitors Center at the Reagan Ranch Center. “Resist” posters advertise the theme of the 2009 West Coast Leadership Conference—hosted at the Reagan Ranch Center. Local media cover Young America’s Foundation’s special panel commemorating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. A Conversation with Brit Hume Veteran Journalist Inspires National Journalism Center Interns ———————————————————————————————————————— By Lauren Smith, National Journalism Center Program Officer O ne of the strongest elements of the National Journalism Center (NJC) program is the interaction interns have with esteemed journalists and experts during the weekly seminars. These intimate sessions provide opportunities to ask unfiltered questions of professionals and receive honest answers in return. Previous speakers have included legendary columnist Robert Novak, renowned economist Dr. Walter Williams, NJC alumna and bestselling author Ann Coulter, and many others. Fox News senior analyst Brit Hume recently addressed the NJC interns, who gathered shoulder-toshoulder in the National Press Club as Mr. Hume shared remarks, answered questions, and met informally with the eager, budding journalists. He addressed objectivity, media bias, and reporting on government and the White House—topics of much interest to the journalism interns studying and working in our nation’s capital. Mr. Hume also took the group on a journey through his four decades of work in journalism. His first job after graduating from the University of Virginia was in Hartford, Connecticut. While the Hartford Times was a “traditional paper,” the lessons that Mr. Hume learned from working there built the foundation for his career in journalism. The Hartford Times was gradually dying, but the standards were very high and they were very old fashion. In those days, the idea of editorializing on the news pages was considered a much greater sin than it is now. The attitudes have changed... The Hartford Times grounded Mr. Hume in the values of accuracy and objectivity, and Mr. Hume offered his thoughts on objectivity in today’s newsrooms: 32 Young America’s Foundation • Libertas The kind of objectivity in which we talk about is probably impossible…If you are a thinking person, and you’re out covering news events, you’re going to form some opinions about them…You’re going to like some ideas better than others. In other words, you’re going to have biases. We all have them. We’re human beings. So the trick…is to be professional about it. To learn—and it’s not that hard to do—and to recognize our biases…To begin our work each day with an awareness of them. If you do that, and you’re conscious of them, it’s not that hard to check yourself, screen your thoughts, screen your writing, watch your words to be careful the bias does not creep in and affect your work and coverage. Mr. Hume spent more than threequarters of his journalism career working for two major television networks—ABC and Fox News—and noted that he learned more about his personal values and ethics with each assignment he was given. As do many journalists, he began his career as a “conventional liberal.” “That was just the way I looked at the world,” said Hume. “We all did.” Mr. Hume attributed his shift to conservatism to “an accumulation of experiences, some of them professional and some of them personal.” Covering Congress, the White House, and many other bureaucracies in Washington made him more aware of public policies and the impact they have on people and the economy. He also shared how President Reagan’s economic and foreign policies played a role in his conversion: I was dubious of the whole Reagan program. I wondered a lot about it, and I read a lot about it, and it began to make Fox News analyst Brit Hume offers insights about his career and life as a journalist with National Journalism Center interns. “In those days, the idea of editorializing on the news pages was considered a much greater sin than it is now. The attitudes have changed...” a lot of sense…[We]had lower personal income tax rates than the rest of the world and with inflation tamed, we had an almost uninterrupted boom for a quarter of a century. And I began to think that that theory of the economy was the right one, and I also came to think, just watching the results that unfolded during the 80s, that it really was possible to confront Communism and that Communism could be defeated. And it was. During an extended question and answer period with the NJC group, Hume offered additional insights into his work. He noted he reads the Wall Street Journal daily, as it offers “everything the New York Times would give” him “plus it has a vastly richer editorial page.” The Fox News analyst also said he visits the Merriam-Webster online dictionary “nearly every day,” not to check his spelling, but to choose his words carefully—advice he preaches “to the correspondents at Fox News continually.” Mr. Hume’s remarks and openness about his career and personal life undoubtedly inspired the young audience, and his advice will not soon be forgotten by the National Journalism Center interns fortunate to attend this unique session with one of today’s leading journalists. Young America’s Foundation • Libertas 33 Make Freedom Your Legacy! Never before has America seen so great an internal threat to our freedom. President Obama is launching an all-out assault on our liberties. He has gained control of our health care, investment banks, and the American automobile industry. The Left will restrict more of our liberties unless conservatives do more to educate and inspire the next generation of America’s leaders. There is no better place to inspire conservative leadership than at the Reagan Ranch. Presidential homes serve a critical function in teaching the history and ideas of America’s great Presidents. George Washington’s Mount Vernon is where students of history learn about our first President who helped establish America as a great nation. Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello is where students learn about the author of the Declaration of Independence and our third President, whose zeal for liberty and limited government continues to inspire Americans today. The Reagan Ranch is where students learn about our 40th President who revived our economy by lessening the burden of government and extended freedom to hundreds of millions because of his peace through strength principles. Our students tell us they are not just better educated about Ronald Reagan after visiting the Ranch, but they are also more committed to protecting America’s freedom. Ronald Reagan spoke of the need to institutionalize freedom. He said in his farewell address from the Oval Office, Our spirit is back, but we haven’t reinstitutionalized it. We’ve got to do a better job of getting across that America is freedom—freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise. And freedom is special and rare. It’s fragile; it needs protection. You can help institutionalize freedom by remembering Young America’s Foundation in your estate plans. Updating your plans to reflect your priorities enables you to control your legacy. If you die without a will, the government will decide how to distribute your estate for you—and take its share! Currently, the death tax rate for 2011 and beyond is 55% or more for estates of more than $1 million. There is no tax on gifts to Young America’s Foundation. Tell your attorney to make freedom your legacy by adding this language to your will: I give, devise, and bequeath to Young America’s Foundation, tax identification number 23-7042029, 110 Elden Street, Herndon, Virginia 20170 (insert percentage, amount or nature of gift, or remainder of estate) to be used for educational purposes. You will be honored at the Reagan Ranch on Freedom Wall for your legacy gift. Please call Kimberly Martin Begg, Esq., director of planned giving, at 800-USA-1776 to request a free information packet, to schedule a visit to the Reagan Ranch for yourself or your financial and legal advisors, or if you have any questions. National Headquarters, F. M. Kirby Freedom Center, 110 Elden Street, Herndon, Virginia 20170, 800-USA-1776, www.yaf.org The Reagan Ranch Center, 217 State Street, Santa Barbara, California 93101, 888-USA-1776 A n I n t e r v i e w w i t h A i s s a Wa y n e Rancho del Cielo, John Wayne, and the Fight for Freedom Today Photography property of Aissa Wayne B y B r y a n t C o n g e r, D e v e l o p m e n t O f f i c e r A young Aissa Wayne enjoys time with her father, John Wayne, on the set of The Alamo. I n 1947, newly elected Screen Actors Guild President Ronald Reagan found himself in the middle of a turbulent union meeting. Emboldened by the growing pro-Soviet sentiment in Hollywood, leftist activists were in the middle of a loud and aggressive campaign coordinated by communist sympathizers to seize control of the union. In the midst of the chaos, Ronald Reagan heard a call for adjournment to end the attempted takeover. When the leftist bloc demanded the identity of the person who moved for adjournment, Ronald Reagan immediately looked to John Wayne and said, “Why, I believe John Wayne made that motion.” John Wayne immediately stepped forward and bellowed, “I sure as hell did.” Within minutes, the meeting was over and the radical campaign had been thwarted. Young America’s Foundation • Libertas 35 A n I n t e r v i e w w i t h A i s s a Wa y n e To millions of Americans, including President Reagan, Ronald Reagan were good friends, in part, because they John Wayne championed the courageous American shared those conservative principles that withstand and individualism of the characters he played and the causes transcend the test of time. he advocated. A staunch opponent of Communism and Visiting Rancho Del Cielo was a great reminder of the a fearless supporter of freedom worldwide, John Wayne man that Reagan was and of the principles he advanced. struck up a 30-year friendship with Ronald Reagan which When Young America’s culminated with President Foundation’s students and Reagan’s visit to Wayne’s supporters visit the Ranch, childhood home in Winterset, they often gain a deeper Iowa. understanding of President Young America’s Reagan’s character and Foundation had the pleasure principles. What new of hosting John Wayne’s impressions of our 40th daughter, Aissa Wayne—an President did you leave author and accomplished with after your tour? attorney—and her Oscarwinning husband Scott he Ranch tour was Conrad, along with their conducted by a great team of “yaffers” who friends, Kurt and Dana Dietel, told many intimate stories at Ronald Reagan’s Rancho about Reagan’s character del Cielo. Aissa Wayne stops near the resting place of President and about his daily life on Young America’s Reagan’s longhorn, Duke, at Rancho del Cielo. the Ranch. Not only did Foundation thanks Aissa for I find the Reagan stories kindly sharing her thoughts He also said don’t ever consider impressive, but the way they on her visit to the Ranch, her were told and the enthusiasm father, Ronald Reagan, and yourself “better” or “above” expressed by the staff the Foundation’s mission to was also inspiring. These reach increasing numbers anyone else, and similarly, young people were very of young people with proremember there is no one familiar with the man, and freedom ideas. they shared his view about “better” or “above” you either. ———————————————— America’s greatness. The simplicity and “That’ll serve you, darlin’…” Young America’s unaffected atmosphere of the Foundation is honored Ranch was striking. This was to have hosted a number home to the most powerful of unique and important man in the world, yet, the furnishings could not have guests at Ronald Reagan’s Rancho del Cielo. What been more down-to-earth and humble. Even the bed was sparked your interest in taking a tour? a simple bed that could have been purchased from the y husband, Scott, and I learned about your organization Sears catalog. The kitchen was also basic and simple. I from our good friends, Kurt and Dana Dietel. They wondered how the Reagans managed to entertain heads of state with such basic amenities. It was apparent that described their visits to the Reagan Ranch with such they worked at keeping their home theirs. They did positive enthusiasm and showed their optimism about not appear to need fancy appliances to deal with the you, the generation of future leaders. We wanted to see, firsthand, what this courageous group had banded together occasional needs of public life. Their humbleness is on display at Rancho Del Cielo, as the Reagans appeared to to achieve and what the Reagan Ranch was all about. enjoy life’s simplicity. There is a peace about that concept. I was impressed and encouraged by your determination A large log-built holding fence for horses surrounds the to stand up and speak out for liberty, freedom, and the front of the house. This was hand-built by President Reagan, conservative principles advanced by Ronald Reagan—the yet another sign of the man and his independent nature. It same principles that have made America a nation of free and prosperous citizens. As you pointed out, my father and was apparent that Reagan loved working with his hands— T M 36 Young America’s Foundation • Libertas A n I n t e r v i e w w i t h A i s s a Wa y n e Photography property of Aissa Wayne building things and fixing things around the Ranch. It was a most liberty and happiness for American citizens. powerful juxtaposition to see the hard-working physical side Today, and for more than 50 years, the Left has of the man whom I have always known as having a great promoted the concept that you should not be responsible intellect and graceful presence. or accountable for yourself and your actions and that we Horse-back riding was a large part of Ronald Reagan’s life. are all collectively responsible for everyone else. Liberals His garage was filled with assorted tools for building, handyare promoting the practice of redistribution of individual work, and riding. He and wealth, detracting from the Nancy, we were told, rode most great American work ethic. every day together when they My dad and Ronald were at the Ranch. Reagan were bonded by the A deeper understanding of fact that they both fought for Reagan, the man, was brought the principles of freedom and to light by the amazing Young liberty throughout their lives. America’s Foundation team Each man used his life’s work members who led our ranch to communicate and offer tour. They shared Reagan his part in the war between Ranch stories with a certain liberty and tyranny. We live in familiar confidence showing a free society today because of a visceral understanding of our parents and their parents. President Ronald Reagan and We owe our children the his message. I so commend same. We must speak out, Young America’s Foundation Aissa Wayne appears in The Alamo in 1960 with fight for, and do anything in Joan O’Brien and John Wayne. for advancing conservatism, our power to maintain our preserving the Ranch, and precious freedoms. Just as my father remains bringing the true and deeper meaning of its surroundings to When President Reagan an icon of the great American its visitors. was asked why he wanted President Reagan and your father had a lot in common. What are some of their shared values that stand out to you? M principles and spirit, so does Ronald Reagan remain a symbol of American strength, humility, and honor. y dad and Ronald Reagan were the kind of men that strived to be the best they could be to themselves, their family, and their country. They both had a pureness of heart and a relentless desire to make this place better after they were gone. I believe they achieved their goals. Both believed in God. Both believed in good and bad, right and wrong. Both chose to be on the side of good, not evil, and both had the courage to stand up against and fight evil at all costs. There was no other choice for these guys; they would always choose right over wrong. They would not ever allow words, semantics, or popular theory distort their truths. My dad never refused to listen to another angle. He explained how valuable it is to listen to others and to pay attention to the opposing theory. He used to say that listening and evaluating all sides inevitably strengthened his belief that the basic principles of conservatism produce the to leave the peace and comfort of Rancho del Cielo for a shot at the White House, he said, “To protect what it represents, freedom.” How do you believe the Ranch communicates the sense of freedom that your father and President Reagan shared? R ancho Del Cielo is a place where President Reagan made his home. There was nothing fancy there. But there were signs all over of President Reagan’s greatness juxtaposed with his tremendous humility as a man. This was his humble home. He did much of the work on the Ranch with his own hands. Regarding humility, my dad always said, “Keep your word…Tell the truth…It’s more valuable than any contract or law.” He also said don’t ever consider yourself “better” or “above” anyone else, and similarly, remember there is no one “better” or “above” you either. “That’ll serve you, darlin’…” These are simple lessons of kindness and courtesy toward your fellow man. What I learned is that we are Young America’s Foundation • Libertas 37 A n I n t e r v i e w w i t h A i s s a Wa y n e (From left) Dede Wood, Kurt and Dana Dietel, Paul and Kay Lupo, Steve Wood, Linda Lee and Eric Baumgarten, and Aissa Wayne and Scott Conrad enjoy their visit to Rancho del Cielo. all unique individuals—responsible for ourselves and our family. If left to our own devices (with no government intrusion) we will do pretty well for ourselves, and we will willingly take care of those less fortunate. The Ranch reminds me of Reagan’s humility and his devotion to our great land. It is a reflection of the life of one of the greatest leaders of all time. Just as my father remains an icon of the great American principles and spirit, so does Ronald Reagan remain a symbol of American strength, humility, and honor. Both your father and Ronald Reagan had a tremendous impact on our country. Unfortunately, many university professors discredit the ideas that both men held and belittle the accomplishments of President Reagan. How do you believe Young America’s Foundation can play a role in fighting for conservative values on college campuses? Y ou are doing this by maintaining an active and positive presence on college campuses throughout the country— by hosting lectures, conferences, and seminars which teach the positive message of true conservatism. It takes courage to be a thinker and to take a stand for what you believe when it is not popular. It requires no effort to adopt someone else’s ideas. There is no doubt that it takes courage to go “against the grain” in today’s climate. It takes courage to remain steadfast and strong in the face of today’s liberal media, left-wing textbooks, and radical professors being the so-called “mainstream” resources for information. It takes what my dad called guts. That’s what each of you have: guts. It’s also called 38 Young America’s Foundation • Libertas “grit.” That’s what my dad had, and that’s what you have. You are helping to save our country. Two of the most defining qualities about Ronald Reagan were his inherent optimism and belief in the ingenuity of individual Americans. Are there any words of encouragement you would like to share with Young America’s Foundation’s student activists? A fter meeting the Foundation staff at Rancho del Cielo, I know how Young American’s Foundation and the students you reach value and appreciate living in freedom and liberty. You understand why America is the greatest country that ever existed. Your work will contribute directly to protecting our country from collapse from the ideas of the elites, our enemies, and from those who are attempting to rationalize and marginalize our American principles. Today’s atmosphere can be confusing for young people because it’s not popular to espouse personal responsibility, and often there isn’t much of a reward from their peers. The work Young America’s Foundation is doing, setting examples for today’s young conservatives, is so important. Young America’s Foundation’s activists are advancing the conservative principles upon which this great country was founded. You are preserving the chance for those who follow you to live in freedom, to utilize their talents, and to explore their unique ingenuity. You are paving the way for the free pursuit of individual happiness. Thank you for helping to promote our country, our liberty, and the American way of life. Thank you for having courage. You are an important part of the future. You are great Americans. Young America’s Foundation Libertas magazine www.yaf.org NON PROFIT ORG US POSTAGE PAID HERNDON, VA PERMIT NO 6551 Vol. 31 • No. 1 Spring 2010 National Headquarters F.M. Kirby Freedom Center 110 Elden Street Herndon, Virginia 20170 800-USA-1776 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED S tudents from 16 states and 44 schools enjoy a special visit to Ronald Reagan’s Rancho del Cielo during the 2009 West Coast Leadership Conference in Santa Barbara, California.