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Spring 2011

Inside: Governor Sarah Palin and Vice President Dick Cheney Headline Reagan 100 Birthday Celebration

Vol. 32 • No. 1

May 9, 2011

Ron Robinson Foundation President

Dear Friends, You may have observed the increasing rancor in public debate. More government decisions are riddled with controversy. The Presidency no longer commands the respect of either party’s pundits. Public officials require more security. An ideological reporter even moved in next door to Sarah Palin in the hopes of besmirching her family’s reputation. What is the cause of this deteriorating environment, and will it ever end? A significant reason for such rancor is the shift away from limited government. The Founding Fathers gave the Federal government a few, enumerated powers. They reserved the rest of life’s decisions to the states and to the people. This is the essence of limited government. However, today the Left wants unlimited government. In the past two years, the Obama Administration sponsored an orgy of government overreaching. Government now decides which investment firms succeed and which ones fail. Lehman Brothers may go under, but other firms receive subsidies. The Obama Administration’s car czar forces some bond holders to lose their investments while politically supportive unions receive billions in bailouts. Some successful car dealerships have been ordered to shut while other, less successful but politically connected, dealerships have expanded markets. Some car lines are forced to cease operations as government decides the size and styling of new models. Students can no longer receive private loans for college. Government controls that business completely, and it won’t be long before bureaucrats begin to add “politically correct” stipulations to student loans. Worst of all, government no longer leaves personal health care choices to the patient, his or her family, and the family doctor. Government imposes itself as the “decider” of all future medical decisions. The last example of government expansion should be the brightest red flag for anyone worried about civility in public life. Any family that has gone through end-of-life or other crucial medical decisions knows the wrenching and divisive nature of those decisions. They can permanently scar family relationships. Washington is now going to insert politicians into that personal and sometimes volatile situation and hope to maintain civility!?! Most decisions are better left to individuals and their families. At least they have themselves to blame, not their elected officials, when they get unexpected results from their decisions. The history of totalitarian regimes teaches us that, no matter the original intentions, unlimited government always leads to great division and discord. If we have any hope to restore civility, we must first reign in our government. We must protect Americans’ right to choose how to spend the income they have earned without bureaucrats or politicians imposing their schemes.


Ron Robinson President

C o ntents Lee, Thiessen, Reagan, and Stein Inspire Students in Santa Barbara


Leading conservatives bring pro-freedom ideas to more than 200 participants at the West Coast Leadership Conference.


By Katie Taran, Program Officer

Attorney General Cuccinelli, Senators Thompson and Sessions, and others headline the Foundation’s signature student conference in Washington, D.C.


A River and a Church: The Making of a Leader How Ronald Reagan’s experiences in Dixon, Illinois, shaped the young man who would become one of our nation’s greatest Presidents.


Governor Sarah Palin and Vice Dick Cheney join 350 Foundation students, supporters, and other leading conservatives to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s birth.

Governor Jindal discusses topics from his new book—Leadership and Crisis—including the economy, the Obama administration’s assault on freedom, immigration, and more.

Conservative Activism: 101


By Paul Kengor, PhD, Professor and Author

Palin and Cheney Headline Reagan 100

Leadership and Crisis: Bobby Jindal’s Perspective

By Governor Bobby Jindal, Louisiana

By Jessica Jensen, Editor


Best-selling author, recent Foundation spokesman, and Human Events Editor Jason Mattera shares how he got his start in the Conservative Movement. By Katie Taran, Program Officer

450 Attend the 32nd Annual National Conservative Student Conference


Foundation Alumnus Jason Mattera Leads Human Events Team


Discover how you can take back your campus, advance freedom, and inspire your peers with conservative ideas. By Patrick X. Coyle, Vice President

The Schultes Sponsor Dos Vistas Acre to Honor Family Foundation supporters Henry and Dundie Schulte share why they decided to sponsor the Dos Vistas Acre at the Reagan Ranch. By Bryant Conger, Development Officer

By Kate Obenshain, Vice President

On the Cover: Governor Sarah Palin and her family visited the Reagan Ranch during Young America’s Foundation’s Reagan 100 Celebration Weekend in Santa Barbara, California. While at Rancho del Cielo, Governor Palin rode on the same trails President Reagan enjoyed during his time at the “Western White House.” (Photograph by Jensen Sutta)

Also in this issue: • David Limbaugh addresses Reagan Ranch Roundtable Luncheon – page 4 • Remembering Those Killed on 9/11 – page 4 • European MP Daniel Hannan Warns of the Dangers of Socialized Healthcare – page 6 • How You Can Honor Ronald Reagan – page 11 • Learn the Untold Stories of the Individuals Who Launched the Conservative Movement – page 31 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


Spring 2011

Publisher: Ron Robinson; Editor: Jessica Jensen; Publication Design: Jonathan Briggs; California event photographers Jacqueline Pilar, Kevin Steele, and Jensen Sutta; Washington, D.C event photographer Spencer Anderson. This document and all herein contents, images, stories, graphics, and design, fall unto Copyright © 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 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.

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

Frank Donatelli Chairman Judge William Clark Co-Chairman Edwin Meese Co-Chairman Governor George Allen 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 Mark Larson 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 Mrs. Gene Waddell

Thomas Phillips Chairman Alex X. Mooney Executive Director Peter Barnes Kellyanne Conway Terry Eastland David Gracey Rich Lowry Matt Robinson Tom Winter



David Limbaugh Headlines Wendy P. McCaw Reagan Ranch Roundtable New York Times best-selling author and syndicated columnist David Limbaugh addressed a capacity crowd at the Reagan Ranch Center. Limbaugh drew parallels between the problems facing our nation today and the problems Ronald Reagan confronted. He noted, “It’s a worldview war that we’re engaged in, and it’s going to continue. We’re never going to stamp out liberalism. We’re always going to have to fight it, and that’s what we’re going to try to do.” Highlighting topics from his bestselling book, Crimes Against Liberty, Mr. Limbaugh not only provided an in-depth analysis of President Obama’s policies since taking office but also the motives behind the President’s actions and statements. “What [Obama] is doing can all be traced back to his narcissism, his arrogance, his self-importance, and his left-wing extreme ideology. He actually David Limbaugh, author and columnist, addresses a believes he is on a mission from God, i.e. himself, to fundamentally capacity crowd in the David Louis Bartlett Outreach change the United States of America.” Limbaugh argued that “you Center during the Wendy P. McCaw Reagan Ranch don’t try to fundamentally change something that you love.” Roundtable luncheon. He concluded by encouraging those in attendance to “stay active, stay vigilant,” and to remind the elected leadership that “the only way you build a big tent is the way Ronald Reagan did—by principled leadership, by sticking by your conservative ideals, and governing in accordance with them.”

9/11: Never Forget Project Reaches Campuses Nationwide

Students from the University of Florida’s Air Force ROTC Color Guard participate in Young America’s Foundation’s 9/11: Never Forget Project and present the colors near the flag memorial created to remember those murdered by radical jihadists on September 11, 2001.

For the eighth year in a row, Young America’s Foundation worked with students to take the lead in remembering the 2,977 people murdered by radical jihadists on September 11, 2001. Without the efforts of campus conservatives, most schools would completely ignore the anniversary. The Foundation worked with students in 36 states, providing them with 9/11: Never Forget materials, logistical advice, and other resources to create displays of 2,977 American flags. Students, community members, and even the occasional professors regularly approached the organizers of more than 180 displays, expressing their gratitude for the memorials and for bringing Young America’s Foundation’s Never Forget Project to their communities. Of his flag memorial at the University of Texas – Austin, student organizer Tyler Norris noted,

We had a football game on campus, so we set the flag memorial up at 4:00 a.m., and we finished just before the tailgaters began to arrive. We had more than 100,000 onlookers, as the flag display was en route to the stadium. It was rewarding to return to the display after the game to see it surrounded by folks queuing up to get pictures in front of the flags and the UT tower...The display was better than we could have hoped for!


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Scenes from the 9/11: Never Forget Project Scottsdale Christian Academy, Scottsdale, Arizona

College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout, Missouri College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout, Missouri

University of California, Santa Barbara

Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina

Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts

Remembering the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 September 11, 2011, marks the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. You can make sure your campus and community remember those murdered by radical jihadists one decade ago. Young America’s Foundation encourages students, families,

Milton High School, Alpharetta, Georgia

businesses, and community members to take part in the 2011 9/11: Never Forget Project. Contact Patrick X. Coyle at 800-USA-1776 or to receive 9/11: Never Forget Project materials and information on how you can create a flag display to honor those killed on September 11, 2001.

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European MP Daniel Hannan Exposes the Dangers of Socialized Healthcare By Ben Afshar, Sarah T. Hermann Intern Scholar More than 200 guests congregated at the Reagan Ranch Center in Santa Barbara, California, to listen to British member of the European Parliament Daniel Hannan speak on the dangers of continuing down a path of European socialism. The dinner event was a part of the ongoing Wendy P. McCaw Reagan Ranch Roundtable Series, and guests included Foundation supporters, students, and community members. Mr. Hannan, impressed guests with a strong Daniel Hannan, a member of the European Parliament representing South understanding of American history, heritage, and East England for the Conservative Party, addresses a sold-out Reagan public affairs. He began by speaking about the Ranch Roundtable audience and discusses the dangers of government lasting accomplishments of President Reagan. controlled health care. “This is the kind of [leader] that your Founders envisaged: a man who would never allow his office to go to his head,” he said. “So thank you, all of you, for what you are doing to preserve the legacy of a great Californian and an American who embodied the spirit of his nation. Thank you for teaching a young generation that they are the inheritors of a great tradition. There is almost nothing so valuable as the work of Young America’s Foundation in terms of communicating to people, to young people, that they are not simply a random set of individuals, born to another random set of individuals, but that they are the guardians, the custodians of a great tradition.” Mr. Hannan spoke of the dangers of an engorged government and increased government spending, both in the United Kingdom as well as in the United States. “When we talk of stimulus packages putting money into the economy, we have reversed the reality,” Mr. Hannan said. “What a stimulus package does is it takes money out of the economy and concentrates it in the hands of a government bureaucracy. As it expands, that bureaucracy takes individuals out of productive work and puts them in relatively unproductive roles.” Mr. Hannan concluded his well-received remarks with advice and praise. “You are teaching young Americans that they are the guardians of an extraordinary tradition,” Mr. Hannan said. “You’re teaching them to honor the vision of their founders, to respect the most sublime constitution designed by human intelligence. You are very privileged to be the keepers of that heritage. Hold it intact and pass it on safely to your children.” UCLA students (from left) David Melby, Laura Taft, Katie Mellon, Anneliese Mondorf, and Jolynn Earl enjoy hearing from European MP Daniel Hannan in the David Louis Bartlett Outreach Center at the Reagan Ranch Roundtable dinner.


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Senator Mike Lee, Marc Thiessen, Ben Stein, and Others Headline West Coast Leadership Conference By Katie Taran, Program Officer


he American people sent a message to Washington, D.C., late last year, and more than 200 participants descended on Santa Barbara, California, to learn how to send the same message to their professors. Young America’s Foundation held our annual West Coast Leadership Conference at the Reagan Ranch Center, where students from 17 states and 49 colleges and high schools immersed themselves in the Conservative Movement. The event kicked off with author, talk-radio host, and President Reagan’s son, Michael Reagan, discussing the new Reagan

Senator-Elect Mike Lee speaks at the West Coast Leadership Conference and offers insights on how conservatives can continue to advance freedom.

Revolution. Dr. Wayne Thorburn, long-time Foundation director and author of A Generation Awakes, continued with that topic by adding his own insights into the rise and future of the conservative activist. The afternoon concluded with a panel discussion on how to take November’s energy into 2011 and beyond. Talk-radio host and Reagan Ranch Board of Governors member Mark Larson emceed the panel, which included California GOP Chairman Ron Nehring, consultant Jon Fleischman, and strategist Arnie Steinberg. Chairman of the Reagan Ranch Board of Governors Frank

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(Right) Reagan Ranch Board of Governors Chairman Frank Donatelli emcees the opening banquet at the West Coast Leadership Conference.

(Above) Best-selling author and Foundation alumnus Marc Thiessen meets with UCLA student activists in the Reagan Ranch Center Exhibit Gallery. From left: Darren Ramalho, Cynthia Judson, Lydia Mazuryk, and Katie Mellon.

(From left) Tyler Warman from Canyon High School, Alexandra Weiting-Lukowski from Carmel High School, Levi Rosdahl from Prescott High School, and Amanda Huntington from Carmel High School participate in a special rooftop reception at the Reagan Ranch Center.

Donatelli emceed Friday evening’s Ronald Reagan Banquet, which featured speechwriter to President George W. Bush and Foundation alumnus Marc Thiessen. Mr. Thiessen, author of Courting Disaster: How the CIA Kept


Kimberly Squire (left) from Pepperdine University and Emily Baudraun (right) from the University of California, Santa Barbara enjoy an afternoon at President Reagan’s beloved Rancho del Cielo.

America Safe and How Barack Obama is Inviting the Next Attack, offered a frightening exposé on why America is in a growing danger of another 9/11. The following day attendees were introduced to Utah’s conservative

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senator-elect, Mike Lee, who discussed how conservatives and Tea Parties can work together to limit the size of government. Lee also expressed his appreciation for Young America’s Foundation’s mission, noting, “It’s

(From left) Jon Fleischman, Arnie Steinberg, Ron Nehring, and Mark Larson headline a West Coast Leadership Conference panel and discuss how to motivate activists in 2011 and beyond.

Young America’s Foundation’s director of planned giving, Kimberly Martin Begg, introduces Dr. Wayne Thorburn, long-time Foundation Director and author of A Generation Awakes.

one of the things I love about this organization…It really points to the youth of our country as perhaps our greatest strength.” Westmont College professor of entrepreneurial finance Dr. David

President Reagan’s son, Michael, shares stories about his father with the conference attendees—most of whom were born after Ronald Reagan left office.

Newton and president and CEO of CKE Restaurants, Inc. (Hardees and Carl’s Jr.) Andy Puzder gave the students a crash-course in economics based on their new book, Job Creation: How It Really Works and Why Government

Doesn’t Understand It. Congressman Tom McClintock followed with a talk on what Congress needs to do to get off the road to ruin. The weekend continued with a visit to President Reagan’s beloved Rancho del Young America’s Foundation • Libertas


(Above) Lucy Darby from Pacific Coast High School and Michelle Kee from Santa Ynez Valley High School take their picture with actor and author Ben Stein. (Below) Representative Tom McClintock (CA – 4) offers insights into what Congress can do to restore America’s economy and advance freedom for future generations.

Schaeffer Crawford from The College of the Desert in Palm Desert, California, stops near Lake Lucky at the Reagan Ranch.

Cielo. Foundation Vice President Kate Obenshain energized the crowd with stories about students waging the battle for conservatism on their campuses. Author, commentator, and actor Ben Stein then took the stage just steps from Ronald Reagan’s ranch home to address


the group on the triumph of freedom. “This house is history; it is an incredible honor just to be near it,” Stein said. “It’s not an empire. It’s not the Forbidden City. It’s not Buckingham Palace. It’s just the home of an idea far more majestic than any of the ideas that came from those places—that man, under God, is in charge of his own destiny.”

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Five student panelists also shared their experiences and what it takes to be an effective activist on campus. Many students, including activist Ben Afshar from Santa Barbara City College, felt tremendously motivated after hearing from the student panel. “Listening to their experiences as activists really inspires you to do more on your own campus,” Afshar said. “Everyone will leave here invigorated and determined to continue the spread of conservative values.”

Freedom Is the God-Given Right of All His Children: Make it Your Legacy Freedom is on the precipice in America. Barack Obama is winning key battles to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.” He knows—as President Reagan did—that young people are the key to the long-term success of his agenda.

That’s why the Left is launching the most expensive, most comprehensive, and most targeted campaign in American history to win over young people. You can join forces with Young America’s Foundation to counter the Left’s influence and pass on Ronald Reagan’s freedom philosophy. Even though Ronald Reagan is no longer with us, there is still one place where young people can come face to face with all that Reagan stood for: hard work and its rewards, perseverance, humility, hope, love of family, and love of country. Our students tell us they are not only better educated about Ronald Reagan after visiting the Ranch, but they are also more committed to protecting America’s freedom. Ronald Reagan’s words inspire young leaders to embrace and strengthen the freedom movement. He said:

Freedom is not just the birthright of the few, it is the God-given right of all His children.

You can help protect future generations’ God-given right to 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 2013 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 on Freedom Wall at the Reagan Ranch for your legacy gift. Please call Kimberly Martin Begg, Esq., director of planned giving, at 800-USA-1776 to request a free information packet or if you have any questions. National Headquarters, F. M. Kirby Freedom Center, 110 Elden Street, Herndon, Virginia 20170, 800-USA-1776, The Reagan Ranch Center, 217 State Street, Santa Barbara, California 93101, 888-USA-1776

Thompson, Sessions, Cuccinelli and

Senator Fred Thompson addresses more than 450 participants at the closing banquet of the 2010 National Conservative Student Conference in Washington, D.C.


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Others Inspire Young Conservatives

Vinciane Ngomsi from Truman State University participates in the question and answer session with a conference speaker.

32 nd Annual National Conservative Student Conference By Jessica Jensen, Editor


illiam F. Buckley Jr. called Young America’s Foundation conferences “major events for conservative students throughout the country.” The 32nd annual National Conservative Student Conference was no exception. More than 450 participants from 38 states, the United Kingdom, France, and Canada—representing more than 135 colleges and universities—came to The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., for a week-long introduction to conservative ideas. The level of excitement only increased throughout the week as many conservative leaders took the podium. Students heard from Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers about her fight against the left-wing agenda in the House of Representatives. “We can start anew and make America a great leader in this century as it was in the last century,” she said. Foundation Vice President Ron Pearson introduced Rodgers and secured her participation. Conference speakers included Dr. Burt Folsom, Marji Ross, Rich Lowry, Ken Blackwell, Bay Buchanan, Jason Mattera, Kirby Wilbur, John Miller, Matt Kibbe, Dr. Walter Williams, Ed Feulner, Dr. Robert George, Wayne Thorburn, Mark Kennedy, Senator Jeff Sessions, Kate Obenshain, Sally Pipes, David French, Tim Goeglein, Frank YoungAmerica’s America’sFoundation Foundation• •Libertas Libertas Young


32 nd Annual National Conservative Student Conference



3 1) Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli discusses his lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal government’s takeover of our health care system. 2) Foundation President Ron Robinson presents long-time conservative activist David Horowitz with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Conservative Student Conference. 3) Speaker Newt Gingrich signs copies of his latest book, To Save America, for conference participants and is assisted by his wife, Callista.

Donatelli, Michelle Easton, Governor George Allen, Herman Cain, and other leading conservatives. Many speakers signed books and greeted attendees after their talks, allowing students access to the nation’s leading conservatives. Fifty-eighth Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich shared his ideas as well. Discussing the Declaration


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of Independence, he noted, “It’s a right to pursue happiness, which doesn’t mean a right to be happy, doesn’t say you are entitled to sue if you are unhappy, doesn’t suggest we need a federal department of happiness, it doesn’t propose that we need happiness stamps for the under happy, and it doesn’t suggest that politicians should take from the too happy to give to

32 nd Annual National Conservative Student Conference






4) Students from more 135 campuses gather for the National Conservative Student Conference in Washington, D.C. 5) Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers offers insights about promoting a conservative agenda on Capitol Hill. 6) Radio host and former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain delivers an energetic speech on standing up for conservative values and ideas. 7) The Heritage Foundation’s president, Dr. Ed Feulner, addresses Young America’s Foundation’s 32nd annual summer conference. 8) Princeton University’s Dr. Robert George meets with conference attendees following his speech entitled “Social and Economic Conservatism: a Marriage of Principle.”

the unhappy so that we can have a redistribution of happiness.” Many of the speakers discussed defending freedom from the Left’s constant push for larger government. “Everything government does to increase its power comes at direct expense of your freedom,” warned Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli whose

stirring conference address later aired on C-SPAN, reaching 100 million homes nationwide. Senator Fred Thompson was the final speaker of the conference during a banquet held in conjunction with the Foundation’s annual Rawhide Circle Retreat for supporters. Thompson spoke about the need to change the culture of Washington and the importance of taking Young America’s Foundation • Libertas


32 nd Annual National Conservative Student Conference






1) Students from 38 states enjoy the week-long conference where they learn from some of the nation’s leading conservatives, including best-selling authors, professors, media personalities, and public policy officials. 2) Nationwide media, including C-SPAN, Fox News, and NBC’s Washington, D.C., affiliate, cover the National Conservative Student Conference. 3) The Alliance Defense Fund’s chief counsel, David French, addresses the importance of protecting students’ rights and academic freedom on campuses nationwide. 4) Activist Bay Buchanan meets with a conference attendee following her speech on using debate to successfully advance conservative principles. 5) Students enjoy learning about the importance of limited government, traditional values, a strong national defense, and free enterprise at the 32nd annual National Conservative Student Conference.

action. He even talked about his return to acting, joking that after spending eight years in Washington he “missed the sincerity and realism of Hollywood.” As the conference came to a close, students said they gained immeasurably from the experience. Mike Cunningham from Purdue University


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stated, “This has been the most inspiring and thought-provoking week of my life! In a time when conservative ideas are made to seem unpopular and wrong on campus, this conference has inspired me and given me the courage to stand up for conservative ideas.”

a “A River and a Church: The Making of a Leader” ————————————————


By Paul Kengor, PhD Young America’s Foundation thanks Dr. Kengor for allowing his inspiring speech to be printed in Libertas.


oday, I want to talk to into this understanding I will you about two very share today. Here, I will try, real and very important for the first time, to bring symbols from the youth, them together—which is the adolescence, of Ronald where they belong. The tale Reagan. One was from the that emerges is dramatic, natural world, made of mud admittedly sentimental, but and water, the other a physical it is reality, and it is history— structure, made of bricks unacknowledged history. and mortar—and both were I will begin it, as I do The products of God and God’s Crusader, with the river—a creation; one was a river and story from the river. the other a church. Both, too, were central to understanding * * * where Ronald Reagan came from and what he ultimately Stepping out of his house became; they formed a leader. the morning of August 2, It is not an exaggeration to 1928, Ronald “Dutch” draw a line straight from that Reagan was expecting river and that church to the another scorcher. As he A young Ronald Reagan stands outside in his hometown, Dixon, Illinois, in the 1920s. White House, and to Reagan’s walked across the street to dual objective of rescuing the Graybills’ to catch his America from the malaise of the 1970s and rescuing the ride to the river, he noticed that it was yet another muggy world from the scourge of atheistic Soviet communism. Thursday in Dixon, Illinois. It was a typical mid-summer The connection is quite clear, quite moving, and quite afternoon in the Midwest, humid beyond any reasonable unrecognized by history. expectation, and with the advent of air conditioning still The genesis for this talk is itself a product of two years in the distance, the best form of escape could be creations, albeit far from perfect—my first book on found in a Ford automobile with windows open amid a Ronald Reagan, God and Ronald Reagan: A Spiritual breezy drive to the river at Lowell Park. Life, and my second work on the man, The Crusader: At Lowell, there were shady trees, cool water, and Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism. Given the people, all kept under the watchful eye of seventeen-yearfrailties, flaws, and limitations of the human mind, it took old Dutch Reagan. Already tall, he hovered above the me two separate books to (I hope) get it right, to stumble swimmers in a ten-foot-high chair perched on the grassy Young America’s Foundation • Libertas


A River and a Church: The Making of a Leader ––––––––––––––—————–––––—––––––––––––––––– Speech by Paul Kengor –––––––––––––––––––——————–––––––––––––––––

banks. His height was emblematic of his swimming unorthodox method was effective: Reagan never lost one. prowess, and a key factor in his swimming successes. At And then there was another type of swimmer, a more the YMCA in January, Reagan had sprinted to victory in unusual “rescue”—young girls. “I had a friend who nearly the 110-yard free style by a half-length of the pool. When drowned herself trying to get him to save her!” said one competing in the annual Water Carnival at the Rock River woman, recalling an occurrence that was far from isolated. on Labor Day, he took first in the longest competition— On afternoons like this August 2, Reagan felt like the the 220-yard River Swim. He still holds the record for burning sun would never set. Mercifully, it finally obliged, swimming fastest from the park to the river’s farthest bank quickly growing dark until the swimming section, which and back. So adept were his swimming skills that he was was surrounded by tall, full trees and lush, thick hills was allegedly approached by an Olympic scout who invited covered in shadow. This meant that the area Dutch surveyed him to work out with the team preparing for the 1932 got darker quicker than the rest of flat, open Illinois. games—an offer Reagan said he refused because he could With nighttime upon the beach, it was now officially not give up his summer pay. after hours. A party of four, two girls and two boys, On this August day, the river’s rough waters and were looking to have some fun. They giggled as they undertows were particularly active. surreptitiously slipped into their Scattered throughout the choppy bathing suits down shore. They Such episodes forged in waters were hundreds of swimmers, entered the beach area from the side and through the spectacles that rested and quietly made their way into the the young man a supreme atop his nose, Dutch gazed at the deceptively gentle surf, in defiance confidence that never left clusters of people, aware that he could of beach rules. Among them was not slack off for a moment. Reagan’s him, one that would forever Dixonite James Raider, who was not regular pattern for patrolling the waters the proficient swimmer he figured. was tested on such a chaotic summer affect Ronald Reagan’s It was 9:30 p.m., the end of another afternoon. According to the Dixon very long day, and Dutch and Mr. actions, from Dixon to Telegraph, on a day like this Ronald Graybill were closing up the bathhouse Reagan often watched more than 1,000 Hollywood, and eventually when they heard splashing in deep bathers at a time, with no assistant. water: James Raider had been sucked all the way to Washington. His most difficult concern was under. Another member of his group toddlers who ventured too far out tried to save him but could not and was (there were legions of them) and forced to abandon efforts when he, too, adults cocky enough to think they almost drowned in the swift current. could conquer the depths of the treacherous river. Toddlers Dutch sprinted to the water and dove into the darkness. who did not listen were an easy nab for Reagan, who With only the stars to light the way, Reagan relied on was vigilant in pulling them back right away before they himself, on his inner eye, the one that knew the way better disappeared into the murky water. Dutch always followed than anyone else. There was a major struggle in the black with a quick lesson to the child about wandering out. water. Witnesses recall noisy splashing, some yelling, Unfortunately, the adult swimmers were not as easy. They and arms flailing in the air. Suddenly, a mass of human were bigger and stronger. If not secured in the right position, appendages began moving in their direction. The lifeguard they tended to pull and grab, putting the lifeguard’s own life wrapped one arm under the victim’s arms and dug water in peril. A panicky six-foot-frame was the worst foe. profusely with the other, kicking his feet under the current Among them, the end of the summer brought brawny as rapidly as he could. Raider was brought ashore. Young farm boys to the water, just finished with the annual Ronald dragged him onto the grass. harvest; they invariably underestimated the river, not Artificial respiration was started. The party was no giving it the respect Reagan learned to grant it. Once in longer in a partying mood; the festive tone had been muted the death grip of a current, they became exhausted, went by a sense of horror. They watched, hoped, and probably vertical, and began struggling and clawing frantically. On prayed. Raider responded, and there was a collective sigh more than one occasion, Dutch belted them with a right of relief. An exhausted Raider was transported to his home cross to the jaw in order to facilitate a safe rescue. The with an unexpected new lease on life. Ronald Reagan


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A River and a Church: The Making of a Leader ––––––––––––––—————–––––—––––––––––––––––– Speech by Paul Kengor –––––––––––––––––––——————–––––––––––––––––

headed home as well. When his parents, Jack and Nelle, was a source of unity for Jack, Nelle, and Dutch and his asked about his day, he might have shrugged that it was brother Neil; the entire family visited the park together, as not especially unusual. It was, after all, the second near one, whereas they never attended church together, since drowning in two weeks. Jack was Catholic and Nelle was Protestant. This early rescue gave Ronald Reagan one of his first That first summer, the Reagans drove to the park in the tastes of notoriety: the front page of the Friday, August 3, Model T, as the youngest Reagan, nine-year-old Dutch, 1928, Dixon Evening Telegraph carried a top-of-the-fold dreamed about working there one day. headline that read “James In the spring of 1926, as Raider Pulled From the Jaws of a sophomore in high school, Death,” about the rescue made Dutch’s big chance arrived. the previous evening by “Life There was a vacated lifeguard Guard Ronald ‘Dutch’ Reagan.” job at Lowell. The teenager It informed residents that Dutch applied through beach owner had notched his 25th save. Ed Graybill, who had doubts This was Reagan’s first about Reagan’s age. Graybill front-page headline. He shared first checked with Dutch’s the top-of-the-fold with King dad: “Give the kid a chance,” George, who was reportedly Jack Reagan prodded. “He enthusiastic about the Kelloggcan do it.” Graybill hired Briand Pact to “outlaw war,” him, and never regretted his and with the customary story decision. His wife, Ruth, later on election fraud in Chicago. remembered of Dutch: He was a news story for the first time—thousands more would Even as a high school follow. He had made the front sophomore, he was a page, as a hometown hero, perfect employee. He early in life. And this would was my boy. He was not be an isolated occasion for wonderful—dependable the Dixonite: The Telegraph and polite. I never heard continued to broadcast one complaint about Reagan’s heroics as he him. He always knew continued to make saves, each his duties. We never had time updating Dutch’s rescue a basket of clothes left tally to the wonderment and due to a body being at amusement of the locals. Such the bottom of the river. episodes forged in the young That was because we Ronald Reagan—pictured in Lowell Park, Illinois, man a supreme confidence had a good lifeguard…. in 1927—saved 77 lives during his seven summers that never left him, one that He was dependable and as a lifeguard at the Rock River. would forever affect Ronald firm…. He would give Reagan’s actions, from Dixon to out orders—“stay inside Hollywood, and eventually all the way to Washington. the lifeline”—and he meant it. When the beach was not busy, he taught kids to swim. And if he A River was in a jovial mood, he’d start walking like a chimp and give us a little entertainment. When the Reagans arrived in Dixon in 1920, they fell in love with Lowell Park. In fact they probably visited the Prior to Reagan, there had been baskets of clothes left park before they visited the church that would become a behind. Several people had drowned in the river in the second home to Reagan and his mom. In fact, the river immediate summers before Reagan’s arrival. This sense Young America’s Foundation • Libertas


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of purpose played a formative role in Reagan’s life. Of once listened to Reagan reminisce about those summer all his jobs prior to adulthood, Reagan most enjoyed “my days, believes that the lifeguarding instilled in the young beloved lifeguarding,” as he later referred to it—“maybe man a basic respect for the dignity and sanctity of human … the best job I ever had.” It was a job he did not consider life, which later manifested itself in President Reagan’s work, despite toiling riverside seven days a week, ten to opposition to abortion, abhorrence of the prospect of twelve hours per day, typically 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., for nuclear war, and empathy for the suffering citizens of the a mere $15to $16 a week plus so-called “meals,” which so-called Captive Nations behind the Iron Curtain. usually meant something from the snack stand. It was a More fundamentally, the rescues did wonders for grueling schedule, but despite its difficulties Reagan kept Reagan’s self-esteem. Not many youngsters have saved it up, continuing it for seven summers until he finished his a life, certainly not 77 souls in so risky a fashion. What education at Eureka College in 1932. better reinforcement to a man’s self-worth than such For seven summers, Ronald was the rock at the Rock incidents? How many people have directly saved another River, always watching, always alert. During his sevenhuman being? How many individuals have done so more year tenure, Reagan saved the lives of 77 people as a than seventy times, salvaging lives out of the grim pull of lifeguard, a number he held dear. dark water? All of this happened in “One of the proudest statistics of my real life for Ronald Reagan, not in Nelle taught him that life is 77,” he said many decades later. movies. Here were the seeds of his Saving a drowning victim is not can-do attitude. “all things were part of an easy task under any circumstance, but it was especially difficult in the God’s Plan, even the most A Church treacherous Rock River with its disheartening setbacks, Of course, there were other swirling currents and murky, dark influences to Reagan’s confidence. water. Downstream from the river and in the end, everything Downstream from the Rock River sat was a dam. When the sluices were worked out for the best.” the First Christian Church on 123 S. opened, the normally slow current Hennepin Avenue. The faith that he quickly picked up its tempo. Reagan He never abandoned acquired there, under the nurturing of remembered the “deeper thrust” that belief. Rev. Ben Cleaver and his mother—it this created in the water. The area was Nelle who was the most surprised swimmers by sloping off formative figure in his life—became just a few feet from the edge. Dutch a fundamental source of Reagan’s learned that the shortest route from confidence. He was sure that God had a plan for his life and shore to shore was never a straight line but a swooping guided him daily along a preordained path that was just upstream arc. This swift-moving body of water is so thick, and right, and which made him confidently optimistic. Nelle with currents so strong and dangerous, that swimming taught him that “all things were part of God’s Plan, even there today is banned and has been for years. the most disheartening setbacks, and in the end, everything worked out for the best.” He never abandoned that belief. Forging a Teflon Confidence Appropriately, the First Christian Church resided The object here is not to transform Ronald Wilson between Reagan’s home and the river. Each Sunday in the Reagan into a superhero, nor to focus on the positive 1920s, Nelle and Dutch walked the seven blocks to the to the complete exclusion of any negatives. The point is doors of the church. On especially cold days, they might that these very real rescues, these feats of physical daring take the Model T. (of which this is a short list), impacted him greatly. They Nelle ensured that Sundays were strictly about God, formed an indelible mark on his psyche. And they shaped and she and the boys had a full church agenda. Moon later him not just as a person but, one day, as a president of detailed the schedule: “Sunday school Sunday mornings, remarkable ambition. church Sunday morning, Christian Endeavor Sunday Generally, these experiences taught Reagan quite a bit evening, church after Christian Endeavor, and prayer about life. A later close friend, Bill Clark, who more than meeting on Wednesdays.”


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Growing up in Dixon, Dutch was caught up in the They recalled how he employed testimonies of faith fervor of his mother’s faith. Nelle included him in Bible from current sports figures who were Christians. He also readings held at their home with church members and richly incorporated Christ’s parables, which he saw as a took him to conferences to hear religious lectures. Young particularly effective method to drive home key points. Reagan also did numerous recitations at the church and Reagan didn’t stop teaching until September 1928, outside the church as part of Christian outreach with his when he moved on to Eureka College. Even then, church mother—to nursing homes and hospitals, for instance. records show that he came home from college—a 100Some of these acts were solo mile, then two-hour-plus performances. Either way, drive—for the remaining three the local paper, the Dixon Sundays that September to Telegraph, raved about the teach his class. That last class young Reagan’s abilities. netted a grand twelve cents in Mom and son took the collections. In the two-andshow on the road to other a-quarter years he taught the churches. In July 1925, a large class, Dutch didn’t miss a audience in nearby Tampico single Sunday. (Ronald Reagan’s birthplace) The young Reagan was greeted the Dixonites at their also a leader of several prayer old church. A reporter from meetings before the church. the Telegraph made the trip Biographer Anne Edwards as well and noted, “Each found: “Parishioners of number Mrs. Reagan gave the church like to recount was enthusiastically encored; how Dutch could make the Ronald Reagan was encored Bible seem personal, like a several times.” ‘phrase might just have been But church was about written.’” much more than performance. Reagan was an active At fifteen, Dutch began participant in church activities teaching his own Sunday in general. The bulletin for school class to a group of Easter Day and Week services boys. He lectured in the for 1926 lists 15-year-old same furnace room that he Dutch and Frances Smice plastered and painted a few as the “leaders” starting years earlier. He cherished the Easter Day services. They class, and the boys responded. kicked off the Annual Sunrise Ronald Reagan left Dixon, Illinois, in 1928 for Eureka College where he eventually joined the school’s football team. “He became a leader among Prayer Meeting at 7:00 a.m. those boys,” said childhood Reverend Cleaver counted on friend Savila Palmer. “They looked up to him.” Lucille Reagan for activities and prayer meetings. Patterson, who taught the girls’ class while Reagan taught Years later, older members of the congregation were the boys, recalled: “I can still see the row of upturned “genuinely surprised” when Norman Wymbs told them faces as he sat on a table and held them all spellbound. how young Dutch had been at the time. In fact, young There were no discipline problems.” He had a knack for Reagan was so advanced in his faith, and so serious about communication. his church role, that congregation members thought he These boys, many of whom were older than Reagan, might become a minister. later described him as “their supremely self-assured Through church activities, he also continued to hone teacher.” Reagan biographer Norman Wymbs, who 60 his public speaking skills. As a high-school senior, the years later interviewed Reagan’s pupils, was startled to budding orator branched out. He became a toastmaster, find that they remembered specific lessons Dutch taught. emceeing a number of large church-affiliated events. Young America’s Foundation • Libertas

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Religion played a vital, unappreciated role in Reagan’s The Dixon “Inheritance” key to success in radio, acting, and public policy: he began speaking and performing in church. The Great The adult Reagan was certain that God carefully Communicator found his first audiences at the Dixon planned things, introducing the forks in the road and congregation. This is yet another way that the Reagan of the right people here and there—again, a theological history took form in a church. conviction he learned from Nelle. Key figures entered in In addition, a sharp impact on Dutch’s faith at the and out. Ben seemed to fit that bill. As fate would have it, church came from Rev. Ben Cleaver, who became a father he came to the Dixon church in 1922. So did Dutch. He figure to young Reagan. Like Nelle, Ben taught Reagan spent eight full years in Dixon, as did Dutch. He played about missionary work, spreading the gospel to the world, an integral role in Reagan’s life during its most formative patriotism, the American founders, stage. They shared the 1920s about America as a special place, even together—Reagan’s adolescence, his [That Printer of Udell’s] as a kind of beacon. On the latter, it training. Then, they departed. In is possible that Ben may have even would convince the eleven- the case of the future President, Ben talked to Reagan about America as fulfilled his mission. year-old Reagan that a divinely appointed as a model to There were other religious other nations, perhaps even a Shining man looking to change influences, including other seriously City Upon a Hill, since Ben himself religious individuals, committed the world—including the was heavily influenced by Disciples people of faith too numerous to of Christ figures who pushed such detail here. There were also crucial principal character in the themes. resources. novel, who on the final page One of the most pivotal, lasting Likewise, Reagan likely heard a lecture or two from Ben about the heads off to Washington as contributions of Nelle were the evils of Bolshevism, as Ben was a reading materials she chose for her an elected official to change son, especially a turn-of-the-century committed anti-communist. In one case in 1928, the Dixon church even Christian novel by Harold Bell Wright the world—does not check hosted a guest familiar with religious called That Printer of Udell’s, which persecution in Russia, a Jew named his faith at the office door. was the most influential book of B.E. Kertchman. Reagan’s youth. It further instilled Both Ben and Nelle were intensely in him the necessity to draw clear interested in global events, including lines between good and evil, to the status of the church abroad, and both—as well as the separate right from wrong, and, most significantly, to be congregation in general—were missions-oriented. Reagan’s a “practical Christian”—meaning a Christian whose faith mother, in fact, headed the missions committee at the First is a constant, integral part of everything a Christian does Christian Church. personally and professionally. That book would convince Given all of these factors, then, it is highly probable the eleven-year-old Reagan that a man looking to change that Ronald Reagan first learned about the Bolshevik the world—including the principal character in the novel, persecution of religion as a teen at that church in who on the final page heads off to Washington as an Dixon, Illinois. Later, this atheist-communist assault on elected official to change the world—does not check his Christianity would be among the strongest reasons for the faith at the office door. adult Reagan’s opposition to Soviet communism, and why These Disciples were Ronald Reagan’s roots—his he would one day, as President, declare the Soviet empire “inheritance,” as he put it. Many years later, he wrote to be not merely a bad empire but an Evil Empire. As of his adolescence in Dixon: “There was the life that Reagan later told his audience in the “Evil Empire” speech, has shaped my body and mind for all the years to come as a Christian he was “enjoined by Scripture and the Lord after.” He wrote to Ben Cleaver in 1973: “One thing I do Jesus to oppose sin and evil with all [his] might.” That was know, all the hours in the old church in Dixon (which I something he learned as a boy at that church, from that didn’t appreciate at the time) and all of Nelle’s faith have pastor, and from that mother. come together in a kind of inheritance without which


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I’d be lost and helpless.” The town, said Reagan, was “a small universe where I learned standards and values that would guide me for the rest of my life.” And the people in that town, as he later told the Cleaver family, provided him an “unshakable” faith that gave him “a peace beyond description.” The most lasting effect of these influences was how they instilled in Reagan the conviction that God has a special plan for everyone and America as a whole. To Reagan, that conviction became a charge for himself, his country, and his world.

however, were as decisive as the way they impacted his confidence. These cold waters of Illinois forged a confidence in Reagan that ran far deeper than Rock River. It was this confidence that transcended his actions, weaving its way into every aspect of his life. Its pervasive nature exists throughout his biography—from the Gipper all the way to the Oval Office. This confidence became the bedrock of Reagan’s personality, an unappreciated intangible that helped him achieve his goals. His was not a mere confidence but an unshakable one. Indeed, pundits The in the 1980s Confluence called Reagan the Sometimes “Teflon President” two indomitable because, like a forces come Teflon frying pan, together to create nothing unseemly an even stronger, appeared to stick to third force; rivers him. He just shook certainly can do or washed it off. this. He was seemingly Ronald Reagan invincible. “I’m had a confluence amazed at this Ronald Reagan honed his public speaking skills as a young boy in Dixon, Illinois, of sorts in his early Teflon Presidency,” and upon graduating from college, he utilized his talent as a sportscaster for WHO radio in Des Moines, Iowa. life; it was where CBS Evening the Rock River met News anchor the First Christian Church at 123 S. Hennepin. It seems Walter Cronkite awed. “Reagan is even more popular than so fitting, almost poetic, that the church that so influenced [Franklin] Roosevelt, and I never thought I’d see anyone Reagan was perched alongside the Rock River, and that its that well-liked…. Nobody hates Reagan. It’s amazing.” founding members were at one point baptized in the river. Even the President’s fiercest critics usually liked him as a Reagan himself was baptized inside the church in June person. And even the Soviets remarked upon his “‘Teflon’ 1922, but received another baptism of sorts upstream at qualities,” as they put it, and “protective ‘Teflon’ coating.” that beach at Lowell Park. The river would help shape him That Teflon quality can be ascribed to Reagan’s confidence. through its religious and personal significance. He had two Historian David McCullough has argued that baptisms which took place on the banks of the river, one the quality most essential to Presidential success spiritual and one sacrificial. The water of the Rock River is “invisible”—an intangible for which there is no forever changed Reagan, and he followed its currents measurement. He cites the integrity of George Washington, not only down stream to the First Christian Church but Lincoln’s “depth of soul,” Truman’s character. “What’s eventually to the oceans of the world. essential is invisible,” McCullough deciphered. Indeed, There were many ways that this confluence affected there was a hidden nature to Reagan’s unbending Reagan, as a person and eventually as a President. None, confidence. And yet, that vital intangible became essential Young America’s Foundation • Libertas

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to the pursuit of his goals vis-à-vis the USSR. uncommon fortitude in his vision but also in the boldness to It took someone of this immense confidence to predict pursue the provocative policies that he felt were necessary to and believe that he could win the Cold War, that he could achieve that vision. The steps he authorized were extremely defeat the USSR, an Evil Empire that by the late 1970s, daring, but Reagan was unwavering in his belief that he prior to Reagan arriving at the White House, was not losing could lead America to victory in the Cold War. the Cold War—quite the contrary. Reagan believed he could In the face of boisterous criticism, he never shied away win, at a time when no one else believed he or his country from his inner voice. It was the voice of Ben Cleaver, and could win, and certainly not so fast. Nelle Reagan, and Harold Bell Wright Reagan, however, was dead certain. from the pages of That Printer of The steps he authorized As Presidential candidate Reagan told Udell’s, telling him to be a practical Richard V. Allen (his future national Christian, to bring his faith into his were extremely daring, but security adviser) one January 1977 work, to stand up to evil, to not Reagan was unwavering day in California: “Dick, my idea of compromise or accommodate an American policy toward the Soviet aggressive, expansionary, atheistic, in his belief that he could Union is simple, and some would say murderous ideology and empire. It simplistic. It is this: We win and they was the voice that led him to James lead America to victory lose. What do you think of that?” Raider’s rescue in the murky depths in the Cold War. Once he secured the Presidency, he of the Rock River. It was the voice pursued that course, and nothing that led him to seek another save—to could deter him from that route— pursue Cold War victory when few there was evil out there, and he, as put stock in the possibility, and amid Christian was enjoined to oppose it with all his might. One naysayers all around him. evening in March 1983, at dinner, his wife, Nancy, and her Indeed, a rescuer rescues. And America and much of friend, Stuart Spencer, were chiding him for his bellicose the world—certainly Captive Peoples behind the Iron language, for having called the Soviet Union an Evil Curtain—needed to be rescued from the scourge of Soviet Empire. Reagan waved them off: “It is an Evil Empire,” he communism, from an ideology that took the lives of more instructed them. “And it’s time to close it down.” than 100 million people in the 20th century, twice the total of those who died in the century’s two world wars. And it Such self-certainty, amid defeatists and ridiculers was that grandest of rescues that awaited Ronald Reagan who insisted Reagan was not only a naïve dreamer but a off the banks of the Rock River. dummy, Ronald Reagan persevered. This required not only

About Paul Kengor, PhD Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College in Grove City, Pennsylvania, and a regular speaker for Young America’s Foundation. He is also executive director of the Center for Vision & Values, a Grove City College think-tank/policy center and a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution. Dr. Kengor has authored numerous books including God and Ronald Reagan, The Crusader: Ronald Reagan & the Fall of Communism, God and Hillary Clinton, The

Photos courtesy of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library


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Judge: William P. Clark, Ronald Reagan’s Top Hand (with coauthor Patricia Clark Doerner), among other works. His latest book is Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century (ISI Books, 2010). Dr. Kengor is also a regular columnist for Townhall and the American Spectator. To bring Dr. Kengor to your campus, contact Young America’s Foundation Vice President Patrick X. Coyle at or 800-USA-1776.

Governor Sarah Palin and Vice President Dick Cheney Headline Reagan 100 Birthday Celebration By Kate Obenshain, Vice President

Reagan Ranch Board of Governors Chairman Frank Donatelli interviews Vice President Dick Cheney during the Reagan 100 Celebration Weekend closing dinner banquet.


n February 4 and 5, Young America’s Foundation held an historic celebration to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s birth.  Students, loyal Foundation supporters whose generosity made the event possible, and luminaries from the Conservative Movement gathered together for the gala event. Governor Sarah Palin and Vice President Dick Cheney headlined the weekend-long program as the keynote speakers for Friday and Saturday evenings, respectively. Their presence, combined with the celebration itself, led to the largest event held at the Reagan Ranch Center in Young America’s Foundation’s history. Overflow seating

Governor Palin pauses to look out over the Santa Ynez Valley during her visit to Ronald Reagan’s Rancho del Cielo.

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1) Governor Palin reflects on the importance of advancing freedom and preserving Ronald Reagan’s ideas during her nationally broadcast keynote address at the Reagan 100 Celebration Weekend. 2) Governor Palin and her children—Willow, Bristol, and Trig—enjoy a morning at the Reagan Ranch. 3) Students participating in the Summit to Restore Freedom on Campus energetically greet Governor Palin.

was opened up to accommodate more than 350 attendees at the Reagan Ranch Center. Press from across the country vied for coveted spots in the main ballroom, with Fox News, C-SPAN, and CNN broadcasting Governor Palin’s and Vice President Cheney’s speeches live. Additional press reporting on the weekend included Time magazine, CBS News, New York Times, ABC Radio, AP, Bloomberg, Christian Broadcast Network, Politico, Reuters Photo, Santa Barbara News-Press, Los Angeles Times, Washington Examiner, Washington


Times, and other outlets. Prior to her evening address, Governor Palin and members of her family visited Rancho del Cielo with Young America’s Foundation President Ron Robinson, Vice Presidents Andrew Coffin and Kate Obenshain, and President Reagan’s close friend, riding partner, and retired Secret Service agent John Barletta. During her rousing speech in the David Louis Bartlett Outreach Center, Governor Palin reflected on her afternoon at the Western White House:

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I cannot tell you how really

humbling this is for my family and for me to get to be here. Today, out at the Ranch, it was simply overwhelming and inspiring…There we were riding horses along the trails that he had cleared, feeling the breeze in my face, being able to feel that warm southern air overhead... I knew instantly why Ronald Reagan loved that Ranch. I knew instantly why it was he felt so inspired in that place. The Ranch is unmistakably the home of a western conservative






4) Governor Sarah Palin addresses more than 350 attendees at the Reagan Ranch Center for Young America’s Foundation’s Reagan 100 Celebration Weekend. 5) Andrew Coffin, Foundation vice president and director of the Reagan Ranch, offers remarks to Reagan 100 attendees during a special session held on the lawn of Rancho del Cielo. 6) Foundation supporters (from left) Beth Burger and Bebe Carlisle explore Ronald Reagan’s adobe ranch home. 7) Radio host and Reagan Ranch Board of Governors member Mark Larson interviews veteran ABC News reporter Sam Donaldson, who made an unexpected visit to the Reagan Ranch during the weekend celebration. 8) Dozens of media outlets gather inside the Reagan Ranch Center to cover the keynote addresses by Vice President Cheney and Governor Sarah Palin.

who celebrated our pioneering spirit. Today, there are hundreds of places that bear his name, but the Ranch is one of the few where truly, when you are there, you can distinctly feel his spirit. This is his home of course. This home was his refuge—his still point in a turning world. Young America’s Foundation was also honored to welcome Reagan administration alumni, including Attorney General Ed Meese, Frank

Donatelli, T. Kenneth Cribb, Judge Bill Clark, and Michelle Easton for the program. Other special guests included authors who have written extensively on President Reagan: Peter Schweizer, Lee Edwards, Lou Cannon, Wynton Hall, and Craig Shirley.  Best-selling novelist Brad Thor, movie director Stephen K. Bannon, talk radio host Mark Larson, Foundation Director and Washington State GOP Chairman Kirby Wilbur, the Wall Street Journal’s John Fund, and President Reagan’s close friends Dennis LeBlanc and John Barletta also

participated in the weekend’s events. Surprise guest and occasional Reagan-nemesis Sam Donaldson arrived at the gate to Rancho del Cielo in hopes of being able to commemorate the anniversary.  He was greeted by Foundation President Ron Robinson who noted that Donaldson’s presence was a testimony to President Reagan’s broad appeal, both as an individual and a visionary. As part of the Reagan 100 Celebration Weekend, Young America’s Foundation also welcomed more than 40 students from across the (continued on page 21)

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1) Students from around the country meet with Governor Sarah Palin at the Reagan Ranch Center during the Summit to Restore Freedom on Campus—a three-day-long seminar hosted in conjunction with the Reagan 100 Celebration Weekend. 2) Vice President Cheney speaks with loyal Foundation supporter Wendy McCaw. 3) Radio host and Reagan Ranch Board of Governors member Mark Larson interviews President Reagan’s close friends, Dennis LeBlanc and retired Secret Service agent John Barletta. 4) (From left) Filmmaker Stephen K. Bannon, Foundation Vice President Kate Obenshain, best-selling author Brad Thor, and author and Foundation Director Wynton Hall participate in a Reagan 100 panel on “Freedom’s Future.” 5) Students participating in the Reagan 100 Celebration Weekend review their photos with Governor Sarah Palin.


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Foundation Premieres Inaugural Film, Still Point in a Turning World: Ronald Reagan and His Ranch Young America’s Foundation unveiled our inaugural film, Still Point in a Turning World: Ronald Reagan and his Ranch, in Santa Barbara during the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s birth. Written and directed by Stephen K. Bannon, the film is the definitive examination of Ronald Reagan’s beloved ranch and its reflection of his philosophy and values. Ronald Reagan’s Rancho del Cielo, the “Ranch in the Sky,” was not just a respite from the chaotic world that his Presidency encountered but also a living embodiment of the timeless values he held dear. The Ranch was where hard work and self-reliance showed themselves in the principles he championed for all Americans: Freedom, Prosperity, and Victory. Given unprecedented access to both the Ranch and the Foundation’s film archives, the filmmakers explored Rancho del Cielo as few have, giving viewers a glimpse of why it “cast a spell” on the man who became one of the greatest Presidents in American history. After viewing the film, one student attendee noted, “The movie showed how the Left belittles our country and its great people. Reagan’s words, on the other hand, were so empowering...that I cried.” To view the film’s trailer, visit:

country to learn how they can become stronger activists on their respective college campuses. The Summit to Restore Freedom on Campus, sponsored and attended by Bill and Nan Bensyl, drew students from Furman University (South Carolina), Santa Fe College (Florida), Indiana University, DePaul University (Illinois), the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, University of California, Los Angeles, and other

campuses nationwide. Participants attended the Reagan 100 Celebration panels and dinners and also gained valuable campus activism advice from Foundation President Ron Robinson, Foundation Director Peter Schweizer, Vice Presidents Kate Obenshain and Patrick Coyle, and Reagan Ranch Board of Governors member Mark Larson. The weekend concluded with the screening of Young America’s Foundation’s inaugural film, Still

Point in a Turning World: Ronald Reagan and His Ranch (see related story above)—which Governor Palin referenced in her speech. The Reagan 100 Celebration Weekend provided an inspiring and memorable weekend for all involved, and Young America’s Foundation especially thanks the supporters who made the weekend’s events possible. To view videos from the Reagan 100 Weekend Celebration, visit

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A l u m ni S p o t l i g h t

From Campus Activist to Human Events Editor Former Foundation Spokesman Credits YAF for Launching His Conservative Movement Career


An Interview with Jason Mattera


By Katie Taran, Program Officer

and spent the summer working with the legendary reporter Robert Novak. Young America’s Foundation is family; there’s no other way to describe it.

Human Events Editor and best-selling author Jason Mattera first became involved with Young America’s Foundation as a student at Roger Williams University.

Libertas: What was your earliest

involvement with Young America’s Foundation? —————–———–———————— Mattera: I believe I was an 18-yearold freshman in college. Patrick Coyle helped me organize a campus lecture with Ann Coulter at my college, Roger Williams University. That began a long relationship with the Foundation— from my activism days in college, to being the Foundation’s media spokesman after graduation, and now being a campus speaker as the editor of Human Events. In addition, in 2003, I participated in the Foundation’s National Journalism Center internship program


Libertas: Who was your favorite speaker as a student and why? —————————––––——— Mattera: Ann Coulter was my favorite speaker, handsdown. We brought her to Roger Williams University twice, and she rocked it both times. Every student should try to bring Ms. Coulter to his school at least once. You won’t forget the experience—liberals turn into deranged animals at the mention of Ann Coulter, so you can guess how unhinged they became during her live appearance. It was great!

minded peers and hearing from great conservative leaders. Libertas: How did your work with the Foundation prepare you for a career in the Conservative Movement? —————–———–———————— Mattera: YAF was my entry point into the Conservative Movement. If it wasn’t for YAF, I wouldn’t even know that the Conservative Movement existed. To use a baseball analogy, Young America’s Foundation is the Conservative Movement’s farm team because it introduces students to the concepts of limited government and free enterprise and equips them with the tools necessary to pursue a passion to fight for conservative ideas. Libertas: What is your favorite conservative book or author? —————–———–———————— Mattera: If there is one author I could read endlessly all day, it would be Thomas Sowell. Besides my father, Sowell has impacted my worldview

Libertas: What did you most enjoy about working for Young America’s Foundation? ———————––––——— Mattera: Learning under Ron Robinson. He’s a superb communicator and excellent strategist. I loved going into Ron’s office before a television appearance to devise the best ways to hammer the Left in a debate. I still call him for guidance now. I also really enjoyed the National Conservative Student Conferences. As Young America’s Foundation’s spokesman from 2005 There’s nothing like being to 2009, Mattera frequently appeared on Fox News and around so many likeother media outlets.

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more than any other person. His book, Vision of the Anointed, is my all-time favorite. So, after students read Obama Zombies, they should devour every word that Dr. Sowell has ever written. Libertas: Your “ambush videos” of leftist leaders in Congress quickly gained tens of thousands of viewers on YouTube and elsewhere. What was your favorite video you made during your time with Young America’s Foundation?

Mattera meets with best-selling author and fellow National Journalism Center alumna Ann Coulter at a Foundation event in Washington, D.C.

Mattera delivers a humorous and lively speech at Young America’s Foundation’s 2010 National High School Leadership Conference.

—————–———–———————— Mattera: I have many favorites, but

having Barney Frank try to explain his innocence on how he didn’t know there was a brothel in his basement certainly tops the list. In fact, Congressman Frank was so flustered that he walked into the wrong office, realized that it wasn’t his, and was forced to return to my barrage of questions. It was great. Libertas: What advice would you give to young people eager to advance conservatism on their campuses and in their communities? —————–———–———————— Mattera: Never back down. Ever. You will get called names, your grades

“Never back down. Ever. You will get called names, your grades may suffer, and you won’t be the most popular kid on the block. That’s okay. Leadership is not built in the face of popularity; it’s built in the face of adversity.”

Jason Mattera’s first book, Obama Zombies: How the Liberal Machine Brainwashed My Generation, quickly became a New York Times best-seller.

may suffer, and you won’t be the most popular kid on the block. That’s okay. Leadership is not built in the face of popularity; it’s built in the face of adversity. Be bold, be courageous, and have a great time making liberals squirm. You won’t regret it. Libertas: Your first book, Obama Zombies: How the Liberal Machine Brainwashed My Generation (Regnery, 2009), quickly became a New York Times best-seller. How can we stop leftist leaders from creating even more “Obama Zombies” in the future? —————–———–———————— Mattera: Increase the voting age to 35! Okay, okay…I kid. The key to slapping the “Obama Zombies” back to reality is to make conservative ideas relevant to their lives. When you

speak, communicate in terms of Apple products and all the social networking sites that young people use. That’s free-market capitalism in action, and they need to make that connection. Libertas: Where do you see yourself in ten years? —————–———–———————— Mattera: Employed, hopefully, but you never know with this Obama economy! I really love leading the Human Events team.

Young America’s Foundation • Libertas


Leadership and Crisis B y G o v e r n o r B o bb y J i n d a l

The following column includes excerpts from Governor Bobby Jindal’s address at the Reagan Ranch Center on November 20, 2010.


In Louisiana, we have done t is a great honor to speak things differently. for and be in affiliation When I was running for with the Reagan Ranch and governor, I promised we would Young America’s Foundation. create a new Louisiana that Alexis de Tocqueville said, would enable us to give more “America is great because it is opportunities to our children. good, and if America ceases to When I was inaugurated, I be good, it ceases to be great.” promised our people that we That famous quote sums would wage wars on corruption up a very important truth that and incompetence. We passed I believe President Ronald some tough legislation that forced Reagan believed as well: our officials to disclose their finances; country is great because regular this was crucial for businesses people truly believe it is so. to begin to trust and invest in In my office in the capitol Louisiana again. building, I have George Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal addresses a capacity We also enacted the largest Rodrigue’s original painting of crowd of Foundation supporters and students at the income tax cut in our state’s President Reagan sitting upright Reagan Ranch Center in Santa Barbara, California. history. If you want to discourage on his horse. It is a constant an activity, tax it. If you want to reminder of why we are here encourage an activity, don’t tax and what we are here to it. That basically summarizes my accomplish as we try to turn economic philosophy. our nation around. I made it my goal to tackle In November the American our education problems by people expressed their empowering teachers and giving frustration with the priorities families a choice of which school of the current administration. to send their students. The people want the private We also helped shrink sector economy to grow government by eliminating and access to good paying unneeded government jobs. This jobs. However, the Obama led to huge economic growth by administration is bailing encouraging infrastructure and out car companies and Students from UCLA meet with Governor Jindal and his job creation in the private sector. implementing Obamacare, wife, Supriya, in the Reagan Ranch Center Exhibit Gallery In my book, Leadership and resulting in increasing following his speech. From left: Deepak Shani, Samantha Crisis, I discuss some very key government control over the Schuette, Shiv Samtani, Katie Mellon, Cynthia Judson, and points including the unnecessary private sector and our daily lives. Lydia Mazuryk. red tape and incompetence of the Currently, our nation has federal government. trillions of dollars of debt, and In Louisiana, we have recently seen government spending is up to 26 percent. Obama administration and liberals in Congress are focusing on all the wrong two major disasters, and both were The Chinese will not buy our debt things, and the American people are equally as disastrous with regard to the forever. Interest rates will go up, and noticing. government’s response. When Hurricane the value of a dollar will go down. The


Young America’s Foundation • Libertas

Katrina hit and so many families were without power and running water, one of our local sheriffs called the federal government to ask for some assistance. The officials said they were too busy and told the sheriff to email his requests. When we were dealing with the oil spill, the federal government was not receptive to the innovative ideas suggested by the people to more effectively clean up the oil, nor was the government helpful when the cleanup began. At one point, we were told

“Healthcare is too personal to have the government interfering with its delivery.”

to bring our barges back to port for inspections of valves, safety jackets, and fire extinguishers. Twenty-four hours after we docked, the government officials apologized because the boats had already been inspected. The right hand didn’t know what the left was doing. Healthcare is another great concern of mine. Obamacare is costing the people hundreds of billions of dollars in tax increases, and 16 million people are being added to an unreformed Medicaid and Medicare system. I am most concerned not as a policy maker but as a father. When my son had open heart surgery, I didn’t want a faceless bureaucrat telling my wife and me which doctors to see and what kind of coverage we were allowed. Healthcare is too personal to have the government interfering with its delivery. Immigration is another topic I address in my book. My parents are a great example of the success that can come out of legal immigration. My parents moved to Louisiana when my mom was pregnant with me so that she could study nuclear physics at Louisiana State University. My dad immediately opened a phone book and started calling companies looking for a job. My parents have lived the American dream. They knew that if they worked hard and applied themselves, embracing American values, they could create a life that would provide their children with great opportunities. My dad knew that every day he woke up in America, he was already better off than the rest of the world.

Artist George Rodrigue’s painting, “Ronald Reagan: An American Hero,” hangs in Governor Jindal’s office in the Louisiana state capitol. To prepare for the commissioned painting, Rodrigue traveled to Rancho del Cielo in 1988 to photograph President Reagan on his horse. He later presented the painting to President Reagan at ceremonies in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Photograph courtesy of Wendy Rodrigue

I close with my great hopes for America’s future. We are the greatest nation on Earth, and we should not have to apologize for that. We should be proud. The world is safest when America is strongest because we use our power to pursue freedom and liberty. Foreign leaders of democratic, pro-free market nations understand that. We are so fortunate to have the great men and women of our military who love and support this great nation and truly serve to keep America as great as it is. I believe that our best days are ahead of us, not behind us.

Governor Bobby Jindal is the 55th governor of Louisiana. He also served as assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for President George W. Bush and represented Louisiana’s first congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2005 to 2008. He is the author of Leadership and Crisis (Regnery, 2010).


Emily Badraun assisted with the compilation of this text. Emily is a Sarah T. Hermann Intern Scholar at the Reagan Ranch Center and a student at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Young America’s Foundation • Libertas


By Patrick X. Coyle Vice President

et’s face it. Conservatives aren’t likely activists. Generally, we want to be left alone and let others run their own lives. Unlike many leftist leaders, such as the Clintons who wanted to run the country early on in their lives, most conservatives look forward to successfully pursuing career goals, raising families, and living prosperous lives. Conservatives are not prone to participate in demonstrations and boldly confront those with whom we disagree. Unfortunately, this temperament doesn’t always translate well when conservatives choose to advance our ideas on campuses. Too often, young The Campus Conservative Battleplan and the Conservative Guide to Campus Activism offer valuable advice and guidance for today’s student activists.

conservative activists lack the tenacity, perseverance, and boldness of their counterparts on the Left. Furthermore, students constantly hear liberal ideas from their professors, through texts assigned by those same professors, and by guest speakers. Conservative ideas are rarely shared or promoted. President Obama, himself, has been relentless in his outreach to young people by speaking on college and high school campuses an average of once every 12 days since he took office. It should come as no surprise, however, that President Obama is using the campus forum to energize his base and gain new, young recruits. It was in the classroom and on the campus where he and so many of his liberal accomplices learned and developed tactics for advancing socialist policies.

Students at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, participate in Young America’s Foundation’s 9/11: Never Forget Project.


Young America’s Foundation • Libertas

Today, many young conservatives are energized by the new leadership in the House of Representatives. However, if you think that the trend towards more government control will be reversed because of what happened last November, you are mistaken. The Left is well-organized, well-funded, and well-aware that their socialist agenda depends on their ability to indoctrinate your peers. Now, more than ever, you must actively promote conservatism on campus. Young America’s Foundation is your resource for doing just that, and we share the following activism tips to help you take back your campus!

Sarah T. Hermann Intern Scholar Adam Tragone raises Young America’s Foundation’s “I Love Capitalism” poster at the “9/12 March” on the National Mall.

Students at Fordham University in New York City pose in front of the Berlin Wall they constructed to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Liberal by Osmosis?!

Leftist students are encouraged by entrenched liberal professors and administrators to demean conservative students, attack conservative speakers, and shut out alternative viewpoints. Leftist students know their administrators and faculty members are on their side, so it is not surprising that they regularly and eagerly disrupt and attack the few campus speakers that offer conservative perspectives. Those new to conservative activism may be intimidated by the idea of walking into the “lion’s den” and directly confronting the Left. You need to remember that conservatives do represent the majority of opinion in society at large—if not on your campus.

You must remind your peers that there is a real world which exists outside of their academic bubble and rejects the Left’s collectivist worldview. However, if the freshmen on your campus go through the next four (sometimes five!) years without ever hearing conservative ideas, they will become liberal by osmosis.

The Ronald Reagan Model of Campus Activism

To make a difference on campus, Young America’s Foundation encourages you to follow the Ronald Reagan Model of Campus Activism—a model which emulates Reagan’s successful methods and approach for confronting and then defeating the Soviet Union. President Ronald Reagan’s

predecessors attempted to appease the Soviets with policies like Deténte or convergence. Their hope was to avoid confrontations—to “live and let live” even though the Communists’ goal was to defeat and subjugate the Free World. The Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter eras saw freedom slowly losing ground to Communism. Ronald Reagan reversed this trend, in part, because his goal was to prevail— and not just coexist—with the Soviets. His style of denouncing the Soviet Union as an “Evil Empire” and calling for Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall led to the collapse of Communism. Young America’s Foundation’s “A Real Revolutionary” buttons featuring Ronald Reagan are sent to students nationwide as part of our annual “Freedom Week” initiative.

(Left) Students at Washington University in St. Louis hand out fliers promoting an upcoming Foundation program.

(Right) A large, hand-painted sign announces popular Foundation speaker Ann Coulter’s lecture at Ohio University.

(Above) Students activists at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo hand out more than 600 of the Foundation’s “Obama: Epic Fail” fliers during a free concert on their campus. Similar stickers (pictured above) were distributed to students attending CPAC in 2010 and 2011.

Young America’s Foundation • Libertas


Similarly, campus activists should not want to appease the Left. Instead, you should directly challenge liberal initiatives and work to advance conservatism through activism projects such as Young America’s Foundation’s 9/11: Never Forget Project, Freedom Week, “No More Che Day,” and other tried-and-true initiatives. (Young America’s Foundation’s guide, the Campus Conservative Battleplan, offers many specific activities to organize at your school.) However, promoting conservative ideas and following the Reagan Model does not mean you cause controversy for the sake of causing controversy. Ronald Reagan did not attack every left-wing program. Will there be instances when it will be necessary to confront and expose the Left at your school? Absolutely. Just make certain your attacks will not


draw more attention to the Left’s event, program, or initiative.

Make the Left Respond to You!

Ideally, you want your club to develop your own programs and ideas that, with proper promotion, will force the Left to respond to you. Once you begin speaking out, leftists will verbally attack you and your group, and campus administrators will create needless roadblocks to impede your activities. When the opposition responds in this manner, it only underscores your effectiveness. When the Left states that you are “hateful” or “promoting hate,” use their own language on them. They are the students who can’t sit through a lecture by a conservative speaker without yelling insults. They are the students and the administrators who want to silence conservative ideas and withhold school funding from conservative groups and activities. Do not allow the campus Left to get away with their hypocrisy!

Freedom Needs Your Protection

It is up to you to ensure your classmates are exposed to conservative ideas. You cannot rely on others to take on this vital task. Your professors are tired leftists who silence dissent. The mainstream media does not accurately portray conservative issues, and most older conservatives do not have access to broad audiences of young people you can reach on your campus. When you look back on your time in high school and college, you will cherish your days as an activist. You will know you made a difference on your campus by promoting conservatism, organizing rallies, hosting speakers, and challenging liberal ideas. You will have advanced and protected freedom. Take advantage of this unique time in your life to make a lasting impact at your school. Conservative ideas will only be heard if you take action. Young America’s Foundation will help you get started. The rest is up to you!

The Che

was an che Guevara terrorist and international During his vicious rer. unism on mass murde to impose commAmerica, che campaigns hout Latin children. countries throug and motivated the castro nds of men, women, and Guevara trained executed thousa the squads that red by che and and firing ’s regime ge were murde risy photo monta cruel, murderous hypoc used in this wn. truth of che’s Infante. All individuals the Luis Gonzalez wn and unkno , revealing s courtesy of 76 Photograph cuban regime his countless victims—kno Publishing. 20170, 800-uSA-17 92, 2007, Sentinel Street, Herndon, Virginia g pages 70 and ledgin elden Fontova, center, 110 acknow by Humberto Idolize Him, Foundation F.M. Kirby Freedom rs, Who America’s Headquarte the Useful Idiots 2007 Young . • National Guevara and 76 • © copyright the Real Che America’s Foundation 888-uSA-17 Source: Exposingto learn more about Young california 93101, g Santa Barbara, Visit www.yaf.or State Street, center, 217 reagan ranch

(Above) Students at Santa Fe College in Florida display the Foundation’s “Victims of Che Guevara” poster (pictured left) as part of Young America’s Foundation’s annual “No More Che Day” campus initiative.

Young activists join thousands for the “Rally for Troops, Rally for America” on the National Mall—an event sponsored by Young America’s Foundation and Citizens United Foundation.


Young America’s Foundation • Libertas

Students at Santa Fe College celebrate Freedom Week with a Berlin Wall display and Young America’s Foundation’s “Resist The Tyranny of Socialism” poster.

The Foundation’s “Keep out Kagan Day” flier encourages students to voice their opposition to President Obama’s antiROTC Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan.

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Young America’s Foundation’s bumper sticker, “Big Government = Big Problems” is distributed to students nationwide to help them oppose President Obama’s socialist agenda.

S u p p o r t e r PRO F I L E

Preserving Freedom and Honoring Family

Libertas: As you noted, you sponsored the Dos Vistas Acre at the Reagan Ranch to forever preserve the exceptional and quintessentially American legacy of your father, Rudi Schlute. Can you share more of his story? —————–———–———————— Schulte: At a very young age, Rudi recognized America was the land of –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––—— opportunity, and he came here as soon Interview By Bryant Conger, Development Officer as he was able to. As a boy he loved reading stories about the Wild West, cowboys, and Indians, and that magic pulled him across the enry and Dundie Atlantic as well. Schulte are great friends In 1954, when he was and supporters of 21-years-old, he brought my Young America’s Foundation mother—who was pregnant at and recently sponsored the the time—and me—then one Dos Vistas Acre at the Reagan year old—on the long journey by Ranch. We are thankful for the boat to the United States. opportunity to interview this My father had been the generous couple and share their youngest master watch maker in story—and the story of Henry’s Germany, and when he arrived father, Rudi Schulte—with in the United States, he began Young America’s Foundation’s making a living by repairing supporters, friends, students, watches for $40 per week. Later, and alumni. he worked in the aerospace industry and became involved Libertas: Your sponsorship Foundation supporters Dundie and Henry Schulte meet with in Chuck Yeager’s project in the of the Dos Vistas acre of best-selling author Michelle Malkin following her address at breaking of the sound barrier, but the Reagan Ranch was an the Reagan Ranch Center in Santa Barbara, California. he saw even greater opportunity. important commitment that Risking much, Rudi quit his steady that America was his country, going so kicked off the 100th anniversary year of job to help his neighbor develop and far as to never buy a foreign car and Ronald Reagan’s birth. Why did you create small medical devices. After a doing all he could to buy American. step forward with your leadership gift to while, doctors inquired if he could make Because of the connection with Young America’s Foundation? some prototype products. Rudi’s designs the Reagan Ranch, my father’s strong —————–———–———————— became widely successful, and his new conservative values, and his love of the Schulte: Dundie and I have been career took off. He eventually employed land, Dundie and I felt it would be a active supporters of Young America’s more than 400 people making medical great tribute to my father to place his Foundation for nearly five years. We devices including the hydrocephalus name on an acre of the Ranch while, at strongly feel your mission is necessary to shunt, catheters, heart valves, breast the same time, supporting a cause we keep America great. care deeply about: fighting liberalism and implants, and the Jackson Pratt—a device My father, Rudi Schulte, owned used worldwide today. supporting self-reliance and freedom. the property adjacent to the Reagan He neither expected nor wanted to I, too, had the opportunity to shake Ranch and had met the President several the President’s hand and think he was the get something for nothing. He worked times. They shared the same philosophy hard, and because of that work he was best leader this country has ever had. We even though my father was a German rewarded—but not without giving back. immigrant. Rudi had always felt strongly need to keep his principles alive.

An Interview with Dos Vistas Acre Sponsors Henry and Dundie Schulte


About Henry and Dundie Schulte Henry and Dundie Schulte have lived in Santa Barbara for more than 50 years and have been married for 37 of those. They have two daughters, Amber and Marya, and two grandchildren, Daxton and Daylon. Dundie is a retired school bus driver and enjoys quilting and spending time with the grandkids. Henry manages their 2,000 acre avocado ranch and enjoys golf, surfing, and photography.

Young America’s Foundation • Libertas


S u p p o r t er P R O F I L E

The Dos Vistas Acre—sponsored by Henry and Dundie Schulte—includes a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean and the Channel Islands as well as the Santa Ynez Valley.

Rudi’s company and the products he developed saved many lives, and he provided hundreds of jobs. Rudi recognized early on that, if he came to America, he would be able to accomplish something that his homeland could not provide. Rudi also had a great love of the land and eventually owned nearly 7,000 acres. He developed this land with avocados and a variety of other products including macadamia nuts and abalone. He, like Ronald Reagan, found a sense of peace with working the land and the outdoors. Libertas: How do you and Dundie see your gift to Young America’s Foundation as helping preserve the American principles that Rudi Schulte believed in? —————–———–———————— Schulte: Our young people are being indoctrinated through the education system and the media with leftist principles my father did not believe in.  And as mentioned, he would never have taken any kind of handout. Young America’s Foundation educates young people about what it means to be American, to take pride in that knowledge, and to spread the word that family, work, and a higher belief is what makes us great. Libertas: The 100th anniversary year of Ronald Reagan’s birth provides a


the rising stars in the Conservative unique opportunity to put freedom on Movement. the offensive and reach hundreds of thousands of students with President We can accomplish this with the help of Young America’s Foundation Reagan’s principles. Do you have any and our youth on campuses nationwide. words of encouragement for supporters who wish to preserve freedom for future We must provide today’s young people with knowledge and skills generations? —————–———–———————— and inspire them to get involved in the Conservative Movement. We Schulte: If we’re ever going to push need them to reach even more young back against the socialist direction the Americans to ensure the United States current administration is taking us—and remains the exceptional country that against the media and those who demonize anyone they don’t agree with— Rudi Schulte believed it to be. now is the time to step up. We have momentum on our side. The majority of Americans don’t like the huge spending and tax increases—or “investments” as they’re now being called. Now, more than ever, we need to unite and support those governors, congressmen, and senators who are attacked for standing up for Henry Schulte’s father, Rudi Schulte, and Henry’s grandmother, freedom. We Theresa Schulte, meet with Ronald Reagan at the Reagan Ranch, must also support which was adjacent to Rudi Schulte’s ranch.

Young America’s Foundation • Libertas

“Biographies good enough for movie material.” —The American Spectator


ontained in the pages of Funding Fathers: The Unsung Heroes of the Conservative Movement are stories that have rarely been told. They are the stories of the generous people who stood behind some of the Conservative Movement’s most significant books, institutions, and leaders but received little recognition or gratitude from the Movement itself or the country they shaped.

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Young America’s Foundation Libertas magazine


Vol. 32 • No. 1 Spring 2011 National Headquarters F.M. Kirby Freedom Center 110 Elden Street Herndon, Virginia 20170 800-USA-1776 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED


oung America’s Foundation’s supporters who make annual, cumulative gifts of $1,000 or more are listed on Freedom Wall at the Reagan Ranch. Here, future generations recognize and thank the many great Americans who give generously to ensure that the Reagan Ranch is preserved for all time as a living memorial to Ronald Reagan and the Conservative Movement he led.

Libertas 32.1  

The official publication of Young America's Foundation. (Spring 2011, Issue 32.1)

Libertas 32.1  

The official publication of Young America's Foundation. (Spring 2011, Issue 32.1)