Utah Republican Mia Love wowed the crowd of more than 1,500 at the fourth annual Western Conservative Summit with her message of self-reliance and optimism.
“You will give back,” Love said, quoting her father’s admonitions to realize her dreams and reach out with a message of hope and a return to core American principles that prove that the American dream is still within reach.
“What we’re all fighting for, and that is the next generation, that’s our children,” Love said.
“It is us, the people on the ground level, that’s going to build this nation, not Washington,” Love declared.
Love’s immigrant parents instilled a sense of responsibility for working hard and for giving back, she said. Her father’s words resonated as she moved through school and into elected office.
Love contrasted those words of resilience and individual achievement with her opponents, who she described as the intellectual elites who preferred to manage other peoples’ lives.
“Their message is, ‘we are here to make your life easier,'” Love said, but that is only good for the short term.
Love, instead, put forward her message of optimism and hard work, and encouraged attendees to share those values as well.
“We are not interested in making your life easier in the short term. We’re interested in making your life better,” Love said.
This way, Love said, Americans would not despair of the country’s current circumstances.
“Our best days lie ahead of us,” Love said.
Love pointed to the darkest days of the Civil War and President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. She argued that freedom is always fragile, but that the American dream is not dead.
A positive message would help conservatives tell their stories, Love argued.
“That is the America I know, that is the America we know,” she said.
Love, mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, has decided to challenge Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT) again in 2014 after falling less than 1000 votes short of unseating the seven-term incumbent in 2012.
Fourth Congressional District Republican Rep. Cory Gardner introduced Love, dubbing the gathering the “epicenter” of political life across the country. If elected, Love would represent the 4th Congressional District of Utah.
Love followed Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker, for Friday night’s keynote address. Walker encouraged the attendees to take leadership at the state level and to continue to pursue education reform in his remarks, calling out the efforts in Douglas County by name. He also urged Colorado conservatives not to give up on their state, noting that Republicans have made significant gains in Wisconsin–the birthplace of the progressive movement.