For the last seven years the Clare Boothe Luce Institute, based in Virginia, has held a Conservative Women’s conference at the Reagan Center in Santa Barbara. The purpose of the Institute is to recruit and train young Conservative women for public service.
One of the events during the Conference is a tour of the Reagan ranch. A tour of the ranch should be on everyone’s bucket list. Reagan believed it was a slice of heaven and he was right. It’s impressive in it’s beauty but also in it’s modesty. The ranch house is very small and filled with mismatched comfy furniture and family photos. In the bedroom there is a stool at the foot of the bed for Reagan’s feet because the bed was too short for him. He built all the fences around the ranch house himself. Instead of a four star hotel in Martha’s Vineyard, this is where Reagan came during his Presidency.
The second day of the Conference consists of a series of speakers who represent the values protected by our Constitution. Their last conference had Catherine Engelbrecht of True the Vote and Congressman (her preferred title) Michele Bachmann. These two women have been intimidated, harassed, demonized and slandered in ways our Constitution was designed to protect us from.
I’ve attended each conference and, in the past, they have been attended by mostly middle aged women. Michelle Eastman, director of the Institute, has always brought a group of young interns with her and there was at least one college student at each table as examples of the work the Institute is doing. This year the room was filled with young college girls. This year each table had one or two of us “mature” ladies among the college girls. I was encouraged and impressed by seeing so many young Conservative women. My table had young women from Texas, Boston, Virginia and DC. These young women are navigating the indoctrination camps we call Universities and maintaining their Conservative principals.
The speaker for the final dinner was Stacy Dash, actress, Fox News commentator and author. Stacy has written a book about her journey from a poor NY neighborhood with two heroin addicted parents to becoming a Conservative commentator entitled, “There Goes My Social Life: From Clueless to Conservative”. She spoke about taking responsibility for your own life. She said neither race nor gender nor anything else should be an excuse for failure. Nor should we be protected from failure. It’s a learning experience and character building. She spoke about people using race and gender as excuse to not even try. As long as you blame others or “the system” you don’t have to take responsibility for your life. But if you do that you are destine to fail. She is an example of being determined to succeed and not being willing to allow any obstacle to stop her. To suggest only minorities face obstacles is a fallacy. We all face obstacles. People can and do find ways around them.
We all remember Stacy from her role of ‘Dionne’ in the 1995 hit movie, “Clueless” but when she posted on twitter that she was supporting Romney in 2012, she created a firestorm of the vilest threats and hate speech. I’m sure it was shocking to here but I think it shocked many of us. The level of hate directed toward a Black woman expressing Conservative views was breathtaking. I don’t know how she processed that much hate directed at her and still stood her ground. I think it demonstrates her commitment to face any obstacles and overcome them. She was not intimidated or discouraged. Stacy was certainly an inspiration to every woman in the room.