In the Heart of the Beast

Amanda Carpenter
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Posted: Jul 08, 2008 12:14 PM
Organizers for Campus Progress, a sister group to the liberal Center for American Progress, were kind enough to invite me to participate on a panel about the youth vote this morning that followed a rousing presentation by John Edwards.

Yes, I was the only conservative on the dias.

They had a great crowd (I hate to guess the number) but it was very impressive, in the hundreds.  I made some brief remarks about the youth energy on the GOP side and how it mainly was focused behind Ron Paul's campaign. Most of the questions from the college students, however, were about immigration policy and Hispanic outreach. I spoke about respect for the rule of law, why amnesty is bad and need for a border fence. These thoughts were rewarded with noisy boos and some shouted accusations of being a racist. There'll be a replay of it all on CSPAN 3 this weekend if anyone is interested in watching the sparks fly.

On a brighter note, a handful of students approached me after we finished to confide they too were conservatives and were just attending the lefty conference to check it out. And, a number of the liberal students thanked me for coming into the heart of the beast to present a different viewpoint.

All in all, it was a great event and CAP should be congratulated for getting that many students to sit and listen to discussions about politics on a beautiful, summer day. But, I gotta tell you, their turnout doesn't compare to the ruckus and fun at CPAC this year.