A group of Linfield students joined approximately 9,000 other conservatives from across the nation in Washington, D.C., for the 36th annual Conservative Political Action Conference, February 26-28.
Because this is the first year the Republican club organized a trip to the conference, it drew names from a hat of people interested in going for fairness, senior Josh Planton said. The six spots were filled by seniors Chris Schuldt, Keldy Winters and Planton, juniors Ashlee Carter and Clinton Moore and freshman Rachel Mills.
The conference was a mixture of panels, workshops and speeches from political figures and conservative media moguls, such as Ron Paul, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Steele and Mike Huckabee, Planton said.
He said there were panel discussions about traditional issues such as the Second Amendment, tax reform, education and new issues such as online poker, which the government is trying to tax and make transferring funds online more difficult.
“My favorite workshop was the leadership workshop where we learned some techniques that other schools use and some tips on running for a cabinet position,” Carter said.
This year was an important year to attend the conference because the Republican Party lost the election as well as seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate, Planton said.
Nick Buccola, assistant professor of political science and adviser of the trip, said attending the conference was a valuable experience for students because it allowed them to share their political ideas with their peers from across the nation.
Planton said he enjoyed the conference because it demonstrated the unification of the party as well as its diversity.
“The conservative movement can’t be captured in one definition,” he said.
Moore said he also appreciated the array of causes political figures and conservatives supported at the conference.
“I enjoyed going around the exhibit hall and talking to people about their respective causes because everyone there was so passionate about what they believe in,” he said.
Carter said the conference showed the dedication and passion of the Republican Party after it lost the presidential election.
“This experience showed me how dedicated and passionate the Republican Party is even after the outcome of the presidential election,” Carter said.
She said she especially enjoyed seeing the historical monuments of our country and hopes to attend the event next year.
Although this is the first time Linfield students have participated in the conference, they are ready to plan next year’s trip, Buccola said.