We asked our Spring 2018 intern, Emma Hurst, for her thoughts on NeW and conservatism. Emma is a senior at the Catholic University of America and an active participant and original member of the university’s NeW campus chapter.
Q: How did you hear about NeW?
A: I heard about NeW after I was approached to help start a NeW chapter at my college, The Catholic University of America. I was asked to be the Vice President of the chapter focusing on communications. I was very excited to join a movement that understood the importance of conservative women’s inclusivity in modern feminism.
Q: Why is NeW important?
A: NeW is important because women need a forceful reminder that it is more than okay to be conservative. Modern America advocates strongly for the equality of women. Now, more than ever, women are raising each other up and holding others accountable to do the same. While this is a great movement in so many ways, it is unfortunate that women are only raised up and praised if they adhere to a particular kind of liberal feminism. We see women like Lena Dunham and Chelsea Handler praised for their unwavering feminism, but people turn a blind eye when they ruthlessly bash conservative women like Kellyanne Conway, Nikki Haley, and Ivanka Trump. Their brand of feminism is open to everyone and everyone should be a feminist, as long as you are not a conservative. NeW is so significant because it reassures conservative women that their voices are just as important as liberal feminists. Conservative women deserve a seat at the table of the modern feminist movement. NeW operates as an imperative platform that assures others conservative women are here to stay.
Q: What is the most important conservative issue in your opinion?
A: In my opinion, the most important conservative issue is three themes that coincide with each other. To me, as outlined in Barry Goldwater’s The Conscience of a Conservative, individualism, limited government, and freedom are the most essential conservative issues. Individualism focuses on each person’s responsibility for their own success. Both economically and morally, it is individualism that provides a solid foundation for a strong nation. Individual economic success should not be heavily punished through excessive taxation or government encroachment.
The importance of limited government continues to be lost in a society who turns to the government to provide for them in all areas of their lives. Nevertheless, the Constitution was written “endorsing the principle of limited government, (16)” something, since the New Deal era, Americans have continuously grown away from. Too often, as the public demands more from the government, we forget America is not a democracy, but rather a Republic. A Republic with a Constitution which establishes “a system of restraints against the natural tendency of government to expand in the direction of absolutism.” (18) Yet, the government continues to grow. The bureaucracy regulations increase and society demands more action from the government. Thus, maintaining the fundamental conservative principal of limited government in modern America is just as important now than at America’s foundation.
Finally, the conservative issue of preserving freedom is the last of my essential conservative issues. Freedom concerning taxation, state’s rights, personal liberty and freedom around the world deserve to be emphasized. Goldwater explains this issue best as he explains, “for the American Conservative, there is no difficulty identifying the day’s overriding political challenge: it is to preserve and extend freedom.”(14) Goldwater’s statement is just as true today as when he wrote it in 1960. The entirety of issues that face conservatives and conservatism are nothing without the maintaining of freedoms. The principals and ideals of the nation were created with the basis of freedom to enhance them. The issue of freedom and personal liberty must continuously be at the focal point of American politics. If freedom is strayed from, other conservative issues become obsolete.
Q: If you could offer advice to college students, what would it be?
A: My advice to college students would first be: DO THE READING. However, outside of assignments, I would encourage students to be unapologetic in their personal beliefs. Too often conservatives do not speak up on principals in which they believe in fear of public backlash. If you believe something, stand by it! Do not be afraid to defend yourself. You have a right to your opinion. Do not let others belittle you for it!
Q: Why where you interested in interning for NeW?
A: I was interested in interning for NeW because I was so impressed with the community after discovering the organization. NeW’s obvious inclusivity was an important factor when deciding to apply. Too often in DC internships, interns are underappreciated and undervalued. I knew, just from starting a chapter on campus, that NeW truly values their members. I recognized, just from being a member, that I would be valued and appreciated as an intern. I was excited to apply and hopefully become a more important part of this already great community! I’m looking forward to a productive semester!
Q: What do you hope to gain from your internship?
A: I hope to gain irreplaceable professional experience from my internship as I finish up my last semester of undergrad. I hope to become even more confident in my conservative principals and advocate for more women to gain that same confidence. I seek to maintain strong professional relationships and fully embrace all that NeW has to offer me!
Q: How do you currently advocate for conservative principles on campus?
A: Last semester I assisted in starting up a NeW chapter on my campus at The Catholic University of America. I was approached by my friend, and NeW campus chapter President, Brianna Howard, to check out NeW and see if it was something I wanted to be involved with. After instantly adoring the organization we, along with our other eboard members, worked to get NeW recognized officially on campus. Once we were recognized by the Office of Campus Activities as an official university organization, we held tabling info events, and our first general meeting with Andrea, from the NeW DC office, as a quest speaker. This semester we are excited to start brainstorming all new activities to bring to our members on campus. It should be a great rest of the year!