(CCU Student) This past Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend my first Tea Party in the State of Colorado. I woke up at 5:00 to get down there and help out with former CCU student Mark Barrington (now running for state House) set up his campaign tent, as well as chat with different organizations about their movements pertaining to the Tea Party. I encountered three scenarios that I want to share with you regarding the legitimacy of the Tea Party: The number of Jane Norton supporters, the smear campaigning that the Tea Party promotes, and the potential danger that the Tea Party poses to not only the State of Colorado, but each of the fifty states in the upcoming midterm election.
I was in literal shock on Thursday to see representation of Jane Norton supporters. I was under the impression that the Tea Party was about individuals striving for lower government and lower taxes; and when I saw Jane Norton support, I was very puzzled. This is a candidate who supported Referendum C, which raised taxes and cost Coloradans thousands of dollars, it promoted big government rather than slow expansion of government, and it was highly non-transparent as spending went into a programs covering 83% of categories involving state government. In addition, Norton has been primarily donated to by large lobbying corporations, and has strong ties to many lobbyists even within her own families. This is a candidate who will place lobbyists before Coloradans, and will vote to expand government and raise taxes, and Coloradans are showing up at a Tea Party (which stands for the contrary to her beliefs) to support her.
My next problem with the tea party is the way that it promotes smear campaigns to its supported candidates. They keep telling us about why we should not vote for the democratic candidate as opposed to why we should vote for THEIR candidate. This is not promoting and bi-partisan principle, and it surely is not helping to promote their endorsed candidate. While the Tea Party has been effective in addressing the needs of our country in the political realm, it has been ineffective in building a reputation of a group that runs a clean campaign that puts the constituents before its reputation. Rather than running smear campaigns against the democrats, why don’t we find ways to let people of Colorado know that their voice will be heard in the Capitol or in Washington? This is what will attract fundraising and voters, not a blame game the ends up running candidates in circles. I had a run in with Dan Maes, a candidate for the gubernatorial office of Colorado. I told him that I was interested in his campaign, but that I wanted to find his stance on a few of the issues before getting involved. I proceeded by asking him his stance on if he would accept stimulus money, and the healthcare bill. After a curt response to both questions, he fed me the following quote: “Look kid, I don’t have time to sit around and debate public policy. I have people to talk to, goodbye.” Never again will I support Dan Maes, and neither should you. This is a candidate that falls into the exact mold I have explained to you, which is the idea that Tea Party politics come before the constituents and their needs.
The final concern that I have about the Tea Party is the threat that they pose to the 2010-midterm elections. It has been rumored that Tea Party endorsed candidates will run as Tea Party candidates in November if they are unsuccessful in grabbing the GOP nomination. Problem is, many people out there are so fed up with republicans and democrats that they will simply vote Tea Party and steal away Republican votes. This now gives the democrats the nod, and once again, republicans will blow an opportunity to take control of increased spending and taxes. While I am a firm believer in many of the Tea Party philosophies, establishing themselves as a third party candidate will simply ruin our nation and bring us right back to expansion in government and increased taxes to millions of hurting American families.
(CCU Faculty) The Colorado Christian University chapter of the College Republicans sponsored a trip to the Colorado State Capitol for the 2010 Tax Day Tea Party. Twelve students attended the rally on the Capitol steps, joining thousands of other protesters.
Many news reports suggest various demographic biases (too white, too rich, too educated, too…). Tut as best we could see, the gathered group at the state capitol was a cross section of Colorado, with great ethnic, age and socio-economic diversity.
Another charge lodged against the Tea Parties has been that of radical extremism. While there were indeed a few signs that were off-color and a few outlandish claims made; these were a very small minority. And none were any worse than what was being promoted by the small gathering of “anti-Tea Party" protesters who were staged across the street. One sign actually called for the lynching of Sarah Palin! We will wait patiently for the media to cover that!
Most of the crowd was simply demanding greater protection of liberty; and less government, less entitlement spending, and less taxation.
Following the rally, the group headed into the Capitol building where they were led onto the Senate floor by State Senator Greg Brophy (R-Wray), who shared some of the history as well as the day to day workings of the Colorado Senate.
The group then toured State House where the House Sgt of Arms escorted the group onto the floor while discussing the history of the House Chamber. Finally, the group visited the office of State Representative Amy Stephens (R-Colorado Springs) who shared some of her experiences.
The day marked an excellent experience of both citizen education and activism.
(CCU Student) I as a CCU sophomore and Natasha Starceski as a senior were privileged to take part on March 21-23 in Washington, D.C. when 7,500 people gathered to attend AIPAC’s aptly named Policy Conference. During the conference, guests heard from: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Evan Bayh (D-IN), Quartet Representative and Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Professor Alan Dershowitz, Pastor DeeDee Coleman and Colonel Richard Kemp. The topic was the importance of the U.S. - Israel relationship.
The American Israeli Public Affairs Committee or AIPAC is known as “America’s Pro-Israel Lobby” and one of the top five most powerful lobbies in the country. To put that in perspective, AIPAC ranks alongside the AARP and NRA in lobbing effectiveness, all quite a feat in consideration of their smaller size and lesser funding. The real difference is in AIPAC’s grass-roots approach of equipping citizens and student-citizens to reach out and build meaningful relationships with their respective representatives.
You had to be there... taken inside the cavernous conference facility
Matt Lenell and Natasha Starceski help lead the Mideast Reconciliation Initiative, a newly formed student group at CCU engaged with issues relating to Israel, Islam, and the Middle East. They have taken part in several AIPAC college outreach activities since becoming interested in the subject during the CCU Washington Week study trip last May.
('76 Editor) Student conservative leaders from three colleges told a Centennial Institute forum last night that they sense growing receptivity among their generation for a right-trending political mood of self-reliance and limited government.
Issue Monday, our regular monthly series resuming in 2010, packed a CCU Business School classroom with an audience ranging from teens to senior citizens. Also present were two congressional candidates and a recent CCU graduate who is running for State House.
I served as moderator for the 90-minute session (linked here as a podcast) where Sean Doherty, Jimmy Sengenberger, and Megan Brophy related their political experiences, quizzed each other about lessons learned, and took questions from the audience.
Brophy, the daughter of Colorado State Sen. Greg Brophy, said her College Republicans chapter wants to tap CCU's potential to "become the Hillsdale of the West." Sengenberger, a regular contributor on this blog, told how his weekly Internet radio show helps him warn fellow students that "politics affects everything you hope to do or be." Doherty, who started a constitutional-themed newspaper on his campus -- which administrators tagged "extremist" -- drew on his marketing studies to recommend a "listen to the customer" approach for political outreach.
Click for the "Seng Center" online talk show hosted by Jimmy Sengenberger. Click for the Constitutional Reporter paper edited by Sean Doherty.
From right: Sean Doherty of Metropolitan State College, Jimmy Sengenberger of Regis College, Megan Brophy of Colorado Christian University.
('76 Editor) What's the practical meaning of Centennial Institute's goals about teaching citizenship, renewing the spirit of 1776, advocating for faith, family, and freedom? The Centennial Program Board, a new group that held its second monthly meeting on Jan. 19, helps me tackle those questions.
The board is made up of CCU students from all four classes -- including Lawson Cheek and Natasha Starceski ('10), Joni Mitchell ('11), JT Weinroth ('12), and Drew Goorabian ('13) -- plus faculty members Bill Saxby, Chuck King, and Greg Schaller along with retired pastor Jerry Nelson and businessman Kevin Miller and Wil Armstrong. Several of the latter are also Centennial Institute Fellows.
Got a suggestion for the Centennial Program Board in their advisory role with me, Director John Andrews? Email your thoughts to email@example.com.
New Year, New Day, New Time: Centennial Institute moves its monthly issue forum to a more convenient day and time. Join us for Issue Monday * January 25 * 7:00pm * CCU in Lakewood * School of Business 102. CONSERVATIVES ON CAMPUS 2010 A Student Panel from Three Colleges * Jimmy Sengenberger, Regis University* Sean Doherty, Metropolitan State College* Megan Brophy, Colorado Christian University Sengenberger does an Internet radio show on his campus. Doherty started a student newspaper on his. Brophy organized a College Republicans chapter on hers. Many on those and other campuses are doing likewise. Come and hear the untold story - learn how you can help. Are campus attitudes changing after a year of Obama?How can right-minded students make a difference, even when outnumbered?How can off-campus supporters do their part?Why should students make time for political involvement? No charge, all are welcome, but reservations are requiredRSVP with name & number in your party to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303.963.3424
Colorado Christian University is committed to developing the next generation of leaders. One of the Strategic Objectives of the school is "To impact our culture in support of traditional family values, sanctity of life, compassion for the poor, Biblical view of human nature, limited government, personal freedom, free markets, natural law, original intent of the Constitution and Western civilization."
As a means of furthering this objective, from January 4-8, eight students participated in a winter session class devoted to learning more about state and local government. A major portion of the class was dedicated to guest speakers, some of whom came to the Lakewood campus. The class also spent two days at the Colorado State Capitol. The guest speakers afforded the students a unique opportunity to hear from and question leading state officials. Listed below are the speakers who addressed the class, as well as the topics discussed.
Attorney General John SuthersTopic: Role of the Attorney General, current issues facing the state including the potential suit against the federal healthcare initiative
State Representative Glenn VaadTopic: Discussion on theories of representation, discussion on legislation being proposed in the current session concerning privatization of state maximum security prisons
State Senator Mike KoppTopic: Legislative procedures. Mock legislative session: how senate committees work on bills
State Supreme Court Justice Allison EidTopic: Role of the court, court administration, judicial philosophy, rules of Colorado courts: appointment and retention elections
State Representative Amy StephensTopic: Running for office, work of state legislators, role of faith in legislative duties
Colorado Appellate Court Judge Dennis GrahamTopic: History of Colorado’s judiciary, discussion of court procedures
John Andrews, Centennial Institute Director; former President of the Colorado SenateTopic: running for office, importance of serving, significance of state government, importance of states reasserting their Constitutional authority.
Mark Barrington: Candidate for Colorado State Representative, 26th DistrictTopic: Process of running for state office
Matt Arnold: Director of Clear the Bench ColoradoTopic: problem of judicial activism, process of removing state judges through retention elections,
Jeff Crank: Director of Americans for Prosperity: Colorado & talk radio hostTopic: becoming active in the political process & the work of Americans for Prosperity
(CCU Student) Remember the news of an uninvited and uncredentialed couple that snuck into the White House for the State Dinner? I’m starting to believe that couple happens to be Mr. and Mrs. Barack Obama.
The genius that brought you a whopping 1.4 trillion dollar debt, with his vast credentials, now brings you the following statement: “Choice, competition, reducing costs -- those are the things that I want to see accomplished in this health reform bill.”
Throughout his 2008 Presidential campaign, Obama told us that we wanted to insure every American with three things:• Quality, Affordable and Portable Coverage for All• New Health Initiatives, including for Autism and AIDS• Lower Costs for the U.S. Health Care System, including Drug Costs
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Harry Reid praise the bill, claiming that the bill would fulfill all promises made by Obama, and more. But, if you take a look at the numbers, you may believe differently than portrayed by these senseless public figures.
Our revenue for the 2009-year as projected by the government is roughly $4.64 trillion dollars. According to the latest bill, passed in the Senate and awaiting approval in the house, totals the cost of healthcare at $.87 trillion dollars. Divide the two together, and you will see that 19%, or nearly 1/5, of our economic revenue will be consumed by the bill’s cost. On top of that, Obama faces the $787 billion dollar stimulus package cost, plus the cost of sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. Now, I am very much in favor of the war, and in some regards the American Reinvestment and Recovery act; but this healthcare bill is absolutely ridiculous.
Let’s take a look at Promise #1.The senate bill states that individuals and families who do not buy into healthcare would pay fines of $750 and $2,250, respectively. I don’t see how that will ensure quality or affordability, but let’s keep going. The second part of the bill tells us that companies with over 200 employees would be forced into buying a healthcare plan, with no way to opt out under ANY circumstance. Companies with any less than 200 employees would not be obliged to buy insurance, but would face a steep fine of $750 per employee if they decided not to. Again, the integrity of his statement is becoming more and more compromised by the hour by what is reflected in the bill.
Promise #2 and 3 go hand and hand with number one, showing the lack of validity and follow through by the President. What I would like to talk about, however, is the statement he made about choice and competition. First of all, competition would be completely abolished with the house’s version of the bill, which includes a mandatory public option. The government would muscle Americans into buying into only the government’s healthcare, and over time, would eliminate any other option. Reducing costs would likewise become a distant memory, as on top of the $10,000 a year families are spending to pay the stimulus plan, the Congressional Budget Office states average families would face another $15,200 more in health care fines.
I believe the founding fathers would be rolling in their graves if they knew that the government was assuming roles in the auto, banking, health, education, and other various industries. We could follow the model that big government advocate Bill Clinton proposes, which states: "We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans." Or, we can expound upon the ideas that our founding fathers placed before us, which protect individual rights and liberties.
I believe that this healthcare bill will be a disastrous thing that will destroy lives, jobs, and economic revenue in this country. I guess Ronald Reagan was foreshadowing to us what role the government would play when he said, "Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."
The uncredentialed guest at the White House has fulfilled Reagan’s prediction, and in the process, broken just about every promise that he made to us during his campaign. This will not be affordable, better quality, or whatever other lying assurance that he fed us. Please take the initiative and write to your nearest congressman as soon as possible, and prevent our health system from heading into severe amounts of turmoil.
(Another in our series by CCU students on big lessons of college) We learn more by seeking the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from finding the answer itself. There are many people in our society, young adults especially, that are seeking their true purpose; living off the energy of grand ambitions and the thirsty desire to succeed. I know I am one of many individuals traveling somewhat blindly through life, wondering where my destination lies. It was not until inspired by this blog topic, ‘what are the most important things I have learned in college’, did I put the brakes on life and stop to think, what have I learned from my experiences as a college student? I have always been traveling on a rocky road at full speed ahead, but through this short journey through college, I have found the rearview mirror to be an indispensable means to feel both progress from the miles passed, and enthusiasm for the mileage still ahead.
(1) The first thing I have learned from my experience(s) from college life is the irrefutable value of a well-rounded education. Though tuition for the university system is at an all-time high, no such value could ever be placed on how important it is for me personally to receive not only a quality education, but one that is also furnished with the teachings and challenges that affect my everyday life. College (CCU) has provided me with so much more than facts, theories, and strategies; and those teachings that I have obtained range from and beyond the realms of my spirituality, my day-to-day attitude and behavior, and my unwavering commitment to follow the will of God and my biggest dreams.
(2) In addition to the value of education, I have also learned the true value and necessity for quality relationships. In life there is hardly anything as difficult as going it alone; having someone to lean on can make even the bitterest of life’s blows tolerable. Positive and uplifting relationships have inspired my growth both as a student and Christian during my undergraduate studies and will continue to do so as I weave and wander through life.
(3) Thirdly, I have realized the advantages of being more open-minded and open-hearted toward different opinions, ideas, and people. The vast arenas of learning and various relationships are immeasurable and should never be hindered by differences or judgment. I think being open-minded has often been viewed as being indecisive. But even the appearance of being relatively close-minded shuts down discussion, limits the number of concepts that are generated and considered and almost always results in a less than optimal decisions or results. As counter-cultural as being more open-minded may be perceived, this is one area where I will choose to swim against the current every time.
(4) And last but not least of my biggest college revelations, I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good! The sovereign God that has blessed me with the gift of life has also endowed me with the gift of love; a passionate love of learning and unconditional love for Him who so created us to view our world with wonder. May all the praise and glory be to Him!
(CCU Student) The general concept of attending college originally was presented to me in high school as a way to spend an exuberant amount of money in order to obtain a degree and practical life skills, all of this in order to potentially obtain a job sometime in the future. When it came down to choosing what college to attend after high school, I had good enough grades to where I could reasonably get into just about any college short of an Ivy League school. While I am not trying to downplay the importance of a good education, I wanted a college that was going to teach me more than just how to make money or be successful in an office setting. I wanted to nurture my faith and become a better man of God. Because I made the choice to go to CCU, I learned three important lessons that I learned not necessarily in the classroom, but through the people and social environment God has placed around me The first of these is that my education at CCU (or anywhere for that matter) is going to be what I make it out to be. I feel like anytime I talk to a graduating senior, their advice to me is that even though I can go to class just to get a good grade, the more I put into my education the more I will get out of it. I see this idea as a parallel of my spiritual life. God can provide me with the best church, friends, and environment, but when it comes down to it, I will get a lot more out of my relationship with Christ if I am willing to make it a priority and put more into it. Likewise, I can be getting the best education in the world but if I am not learning and growing as a man in Christ or if I am just attending class to make a good grade, it is going to be harder for me when I get out of school. However, if I am involved in a good church and am actively participating in a good Christian environment, then it will likely be easier for me to maintain my faith. While at the same time if I am presented with the best education and good job opportunities it will be easier for me to be successful. The second lesson I already knew to an extent, but grew to solidify and establish within my own life. I learned that I want to live life with God as my here and now reality, and not as some distant inference or philosophical ideal. While I believe I maintained a healthy relationship with Christ prior coming to college, I, like many Christians today, lived more through Biblical legalism then through a relationship with Christ. While I still have no overcome this completely I have come to realize that God’s word is not just a handbook of laws sent by some distant omnipotent being, but a guidebook sent by a loving Father who sincerely wants to see His children live up to the potential He created them to be. Like my father on earth, God wants the best for me and is there every day when I need Him. I know this may sound somewhat cliché at first, but recognizing that God and His word is not just some distant philosophy but the here and now reality was a huge step for me in my walk with Christ. The most important lesson I have taken from college so far is that the most significant way I can invest my time is in people. I see this as a very counter-cultural idea especially for anyone high school-college age group. Our entire lives up to this point have for the most part revolved around us. We need to get our grades up so we can get a good job or get into a good school, and we need to pad up our resume with our accomplishments in order to impress somebody in power. It is not difficult to see why living this way it can be easy to focus solely on yourself. I learned however that even if I do work hard to get the best internships and great grades, I simply will not be as fulfilled if I do not invest my energy in other people. Like most other parents in America, my parents would always have me finish my homework before hanging out with my friends. Now that I am in college, I realize that I need to set aside time and make it a priority just to see how life is going for somebody else. In no way am I advocating failing classes and skipping out on your extra-circulars just to see people. I am simply stating that when you are always on the go, it can be hard to make time for what is truly important at any stage in your life, and that is the people God has placed near you. Do not read this and think to yourself that a formal education is pointless and that you need to quit your job in order to hang out with your friends. I just have learned personally in my life I cannot live life solely trying to obtain my next goal such as an internship or good grades. When I look back at my college experience, I do not want to see someone who lived legalistically and whose main focus was to be as productive as possible, but someone who was able to affect and possibly completely change the lives of others.
JT Weinroth is a CCU sophomore from Sedalia, Colorado, and a member of the Centennial Institute Program Board.