Clare Clifford

State University of New York at New Paltz

I come from a very long line of Democrats in my family. One side would hail John F. Kennedy as an Irish Saint, and the other side called Bill Clinton a “fine young gentleman.” However, with a turn of events my family couldn’t foresee, my dad turned out to be a very conservative man.

My sister and I got into politics from watching famous speeches and debates. I loved knowing my opposition, having the upper-hand on already knowing what he or she would say prior to the debate. I think my love for politics really blossomed when Barack Obama was campaigning for his first term in 2008 and my sixth grade teacher was trying to make 11 year-olds be informed on politics in an "unbiased" (aka severe left wing) manner, starting off with the "not-so-heated topic" of abortion. From that point forward, studying current events has consumed my free time and debating is my natural instinct. So yes, conservatism means pro-women, pro-life, pro-liberty, pro-capitalist, pro-guns, pro- everything this democracy needs, and more. After coming to this Retreat, I am not just one New Yorker viewed as crazy for being a conservative, but a woman among thousands who can also happily say that yes, THIS IS WHAT A CONSERVATIVE LOOKS LIKE.

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