We asked our Spring 2018 intern, Meg McEwen, for her thoughts on NeW and conservatism. Meg is a junior at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia, where she studies political journalism.
Q: How did you hear about NeW?
A: I first heard about NeW when I was approached by a friend who now works for the Heritage Foundation. She told me about NeW and connected me with the Director of Programs, Alyssa Condrey. I became interested in the projects that NeW was spearheading, like the Gentleman Showcase, and wanted to be a part of NeW’s conservative vision.
Q: Why is NeW important?
A: NeW is important because it empowers conservative women across the nation to value and embrace their conservative beliefs, even in the face of liberal opposition. As a campus club organization, NeW brings conservative women together, providing solidarity in environments that may be hostile to conservative ideas or may only promote one side of the story. NeW also provides reading material that promotes conservatism, arming conservative women with knowledge. I have become increasingly aware of the fact that we live in a time of extraordinary groupthink, a time when the news tends to be incredibly slanted towards the left. I recently read Sheryl Attkisson’s book, the Smear, for one of my political journalism classes. I was utterly shocked by the ruthless ways that liberal organizations coordinate a constant flow of agenda to news networks, highlighted especially by the 2016 election according to Attkisson. Unfortunately, transactional journalism is at a record high today, and networks tend to lap up the agenda faster than conservative news networks can debunk them. NeW, as an ideological bulwark, plays a key role in the ideological battle in America by encouraging open discussion and conversation about conservative social values, the true meaning of a limited democracy, the importance of a free market economy, and the corruption that may inherently permeate various political organizations and news networks.
Q: What is the most important conservative issue in your opinion?
A: It is difficult for me to define the most important conservative issue, but I tend to place immediate value on social and human rights issues, like abortion. America as a nascent nation formed from ideas like “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” I believe that the issue of legalized abortion, based on the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, stands at the heart of the clash between conservatism and liberalism because it reflects a defining turn from virtue. Now, the individual prioritizes self over human rights, even to the point of ending another human life in favor of public stature. Tocqueville expounds in Democracy in America on the importance of cultural mores, or the habits of heart within a culture. Tocqueville sees a distinct correlation between religion and virtue, and he believed that the spirit of freedom must be bridled by the spirit of religion. The issue of abortion reflects a turning point in the mores of America as individuals prioritize self-interests above the interest of a weaker demographic. As Christianity as a basic tenet of Americanism becomes more eroded, we are witnessing an erosion in our value of human life. I view this as a tragedy, and I believe that the discussion will never stop being relevant to conservatives as long as abortion remains legalized.
Q: If you could offer advice to college students, what would it be?
A: My advice to college students would be to carefully consider your personal beliefs regarding everything – including religion, ethics, science, and politics. College provides many opportunities for personal reflection, as it marks the first period in our lives when we leave our household and start out on our own paths. Arm yourselves with knowledge, with facts backed up by reputable news organizations that do not inflate the truth, ignore the truth, or twist the truth. Prepare yourself to recognize manipulative ideas and the people behind those ideas. We need to know why we believe what we believe, and the best way to do that is to get plugged into an organization like NeW that provide informative, truthful reading material.
Q: Why where you interested in interning for NeW?
A: I wanted to use my various skills and gifts to further the conservative conversation, and I knew that NeW would give me the opportunity to do that. I love being a part of an organization that unabashedly tries to shape culture using fresh, powerful tools on social media. It’s been incredible to watch the various ways that the team has already been able to encourage conservative men and women to own their values.
Q: What do you hope to gain from your internship?
A: I hope to become a more thoughtful professional as I move my skills from the classroom to the real world. I hope to learn from the social media strategists at NeW through their effective social media campaigns.
Q: How do you currently advocate for conservative principles on campus?
A: I led a student action team (SAT) with Generation Joshua in Florida to campaign for Republican senator Marco Rubio during the 2016 elections. As a grassroots campaign, we door-knocked, made phone calls to voters, and talked to people about our personal conservative opinions. I have been an active participant of Patrick Henry’s College Republican chapter for the past three years, attending meetings, providing my signature for candidates, and door-knocking. Last semester, I created a video for the Loudoun County Republican Committee that showcased various components of their political operations. I also campaigned for conservative Republican candidates Josh Thiel, Jill Vogel, John Adams, and Ed Gillespie during the 2017 election in District 10, VA. My campus tends to lean heavily conservative, but I still actively participate in discussions regarding conservatism in and out of class.