On April 21, students and members of the community gathered in the Dreyfus University Center Theatre at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point to hear prominent conservative figures speak about the current political climate.
The first speaker, James T. Harris, is a conservative radio host out of Southeastern Wisconsin. Harris grew up in a Democratic household and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“They [the university] challenged my thinking. I was going to vote Democrat because that’s what we always did.” However, Harris couldn’t get past the idea of voting for abortion. “I was thinking with my head and not my heart.”
Harris talked about the difficulties of going through life as a conservative African-American and the continual criticism and threats he receives.
“Someone told me once that as an African American you’re not supposed to go to tea parties. I answered, ‘You’re right. I don’t consider myself an African-American. I consider myself an American of African descent’…We’re Americans,” Harris said.
Harris used to be a high school history teacher and never understood why students didn’t like history until he realized that it was boring. It was boring, he said, because all of the stories were being taken out.
“History is not a timeline. History is a dramatic cycle. History has seasons…our last season of spring was in the 1940s after World War II […] We are in winter right now and the issue is undeniable […] the problem is debt,” Harris said.
Harris said that the younger generation has yet to realize this. “The reason we have a tea party movement is because people understand this!” he said.
Harris used a metaphor from “Lord of the Rings” to describe what students must do to fight the debt. He said that college students are hobbits and that they must throw the ring (the debt) into the fires of Mount Doom and not be tempted by the ring.
“Let’s fight the fight as if our lives depended on it, because it does,” Harris said.
S.E. Cupp, a conservative political commentator and host of her own television show on Glennbeck.com, spoke next with her presentation entitled “Young and Liberal=Dumb and Liberal.”
Cupp, who speaks at many college campuses around the United States, said, “Every time I try to think of why colleges are so fundamentally liberal, I get stuck.”
Cupp continued to say that college is supposed to be a time of self-exploration but “there’s nothing self-exploratory about copying other people. Oh you don’t like Bush? How original […] You can’t actually find actual rebellion on college campuses anymore. What would be rebellious is a protest for fiscal responsibilities.”
“We are all naturally born conservatives,” Cupp said. “We are born wanting to survive and thrive.” Cupp said that she doesn’t know why “instead of thinking for themselves, young liberals let other people think for them.”
The biggest issue that Cupp addressed was the same as Harris: the debt.
“Our kids are going to be broke,” Cupp said.
She also talked about changing the standards society places on kids, especially when it comes to higher education.
“We don’t know how to make anything anymore. Not everyone should go to college […] I don’t think you have to be a Harvard graduate to know the meaning of life or have values […] I think we’re making a dumber society,” Cupp said.
When asked about liberals, Cupp stressed the need to sit down and talk scientifically about the issues. “We agree more than we discuss,” Cupp said. “We agree on the same fundamentals.”
Cupp expressed her worries on the future of the GOP (Republican Party) in the upcoming 2012 election.
“I’m not excited,” Cupp said. “President Obama has already won unless we change our game plan.”