Shortly after move in day, Spencer Brown and I became political partners-in-crime. We have been to the U.S.S. Wisconsin where Mitt Romney announced Paul Ryan as his running mate, just about every Romney-Ryan campaign rally in the Hampton Roads, volunteered with the Republican party, watched President and Vice President debates, phone banked, met former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, attended CPAC, and are both interning for different campaigns in Virginia this election cycle. Spencer is a Minnesota native finishing up his freshman year at Regent University where he is working towards a bachelors degree in Government.
Julia: As a young person, what got you interested in politics?
Spencer: I owe a lot to the people in my hometown. My first campaign experience was with a close friend’s dad, and it’s all his fault that I’m addicted to campaigns today. Also, my government and history teacher in high school, Mrs. Haas, inspired me to go as far as I could in government. Her support, encouragement, and letters of recommendation helped me get where I am today. My high school as a whole also supported me from kindergarten through my senior year, and thanks to them I can write speeches, compose photos, do (some) math, and always relate it back to my faith.
Julia: With a good portion of young people today siding with Liberals, what made you have Conservative principles?
Spencer: I never saw being a true liberal as an option. I stand for life, which is non-negotiable. But I’m not just a single-issue voter, I also disagree with their emphasis on lack of personal responsibility, compared with a welfare state, and their economic views are fundamentally flawed. If I were a liberal, I would have to believe that I didn’t have the right to breathe my first breath, that I don’t need to work hard in life because the government will take care of me, and that I should do whatever it takes to make sure no one does better than me. Sounds like a pretty miserable life.
Julia: President Obama has done a great job appealing to the younger demographic, something Republicans are trying very hard to do- they even made “The Next Generation” their main theme at CPAC. Yet, 95% of the speakers and panelists at CPAC were over 40. What will it take for the GOP to be more accepting of young people?
Spencer: I think the conservative movement is very pro-young people. I have those in older generations come up to me at many events I staff or volunteer at, and they always express their appreciation for my involvement. I don’t think it’s an issue where those already in the party aren’t accepting, it’s a problem where young people haven’t been reaching out or getting involved. It’s a common excuse to blame the majority for what’s wrong, but if you don’t like the majority, you have to change it yourself, by outnumbering the opposition.
Julia: It’s still over 3 years away, but who are your 2016 prediction for both parties?
Spencer: For the democrats, I know a lot of people would like to see Hillary, but I don’t think she’ll take another run at it, at least as long as the DNC can crank out a good slate. I think any young Democrat with executive experience as governor or an advanced position in the federal government (Obama’s cabinet, US Senate, etc) would have a good chance. For the GOP, I think Nikki Haley of South Carolina would be a smart choice, otherwise I’d be happy with Rubio, Santorum, a few of the veteran campaigners and politicians.
Julia: Any favorite up and comers in the GOP?
Spencer: I think Mia Love of Utah still has a good chance at making it beyond local office – her first attempt was a loss by less than 1% – definitely worth taking another run. I’d also like to see Rebecca Kleefisch run for something when she’s done at lieutenant governor of Wisconsin.
Julia: What do you think is the most serious issue facing young people today?
Spencer: Apathy. If my generation doesn’t pull its head out of the sand soon and realize that we’re the ones having our futures tossed around, we’ll not have another chance like the one we currently have for awhile. It’s almost to the point where young people who support Obama must either be totally ignorant, or complete fools. There’s no other case like this, where such a large and vital demographic to the future of our nation has voted directly in conflict with its own best interest.
Julia: What’s your stance on same-sex marriage?
Spencer: We need to separate the issue so that it’s divided between a religious ceremony and a legally binding contract. Because of the free nature of our nation, it is not my right to tell you what to practice, and this is also a nation that places freedom above all else, meaning that my church shouldn’t have to accommodate another person’s point of view if it conflicts with our beliefs. I wish I could say that I knew both sides of the coin could coexist, but the fact is that whenever a little leeway given, it is taken way too far. Look at the Health and Human Services Contraception Mandate – the Affordable Care Act was bad enough, but for the government to tell a catholic hospital that they have to contradict a tenet of their faith or face charges is just wrong.
Julia: Immigration has been a big issue in recent elections. How should Republicans handle this issue?
Spencer: We need to continue to emphasize the legal and proper channels to become a US citizen, while also working to keep the American Dream alive by finding new ways and avenues to admit the next great generation into America. Giving all people inside US borders at a given time amnesty is not the solution. We do need to provide a path to citizenship for those who may have become residents against their will or outside of their control, but a program should be initiated to help counsel people as to the best way for them to pursue citizenship.
Julia: It seems like the Liberal media tells us who the next Conservative “up and comers” are, we love them, and then they do something that loses our trust (Chris Christie, Bob McDonnell, etc.) How do we avoid this problem?
Spencer: Well first, stop believing what the MSM tells us. If you find yourself being misled, find a new leader. If you don’t like what you’re being told, create a new narrative. And if you don’t have an up and comer to favor, be the one others can identify with.
Julia: Do you consider yourself a Tea Partier, Libertarian, Republican, Conservative, or Moderate?
Spencer: Definitely a conservative on the whole. I’d say I’m a conservative who tries to use the Republican party to accomplish conservative goals. If you look back through history, the large political parties have served mostly as carriers for ideas and movements. Since the people within the party set the agenda and the platform, it’s rather short-sighted to say you only associate with a party.
Julia: How do Republicans get the votes of those who hate anything to do with politics?
Spencer: The best way to get a person interested in something is to show how they are affected by the issue. If a person sees that their future is at stake, they are likely to take a side and fight for it in an attempt to protect their future. If the Republican party can illustrate and bring home the devastating impacts of the last 5 years worth of Obamanomics, we have a good chance of getting more people on our side and out to the voting booths on election day. Beyond ideological, in the last election, we saw practices that increased voter contact, interaction, and involvement. New methods and more volunteers than ever before knocked on doors and made phone calls to millions of Americans. All we need is the right message to resonate with the voters, and the system is in place to get it out, and work our way to victory, again.
Julia: Would you ever consider running for office?
Spencer: I would consider running for local office, just something where I could really make a difference and stay out of the 24/7 news cycle and the constant critiquing. If it’s only my constituents in the back of my mind when I’m making decisions, I’m sure to make the best choices.
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