Last month, I attended my first ever CPAC. It was quite the experience, complete with one extended chat with Max Blumenthal. I’ve wanted to meet Max ever since he launched an attack on James O’Keefe. I figured maybe if I asked nicely he would issue an apology to James. But to my dismay, he didn’t feel like it at the time.
I guess attitude and environment really is everything because Max was clearly not ready to switch from confrontational mode to apologist in front of several cameras and dozens of on-fire conservatives in the middle of CPAC 2010.
My parents raised me with to have a “no fear” mindset and carefully select the environments I subject myself to. It has taken lots of trial and error in my life to perfect these skills, but nevertheless, its something worth understanding.
When I was 15 a lot of exciting things happened to me: I got into surfing, I got a car, I had an exciting job and I started home-schooling. (Quick note on the homeschooling thing: it was totally my choice and I had to beg my parents to allow it. Not hard to believe if you’ve done time in the Miami-Dade Public School system.)
These events created a combination of independence, responsibility, diligence, adventure and fun. Previously, I had longed for those things daily, within the confines of my middle and high school gates. This new part of my life was good and things were simple.
That is, until the summer before my freshman year of college when I ended up at a Young America’s Foundation conference in Washington, DC. There my little surf-bunny world was rocked–a part of me loved it and a part of me hated it. I have a competitive nature, and I found I had some catching up to do.
I was surrounded by hundreds of bright, passionate, young conservative adults from across the country who loved life and our nation. They had definite views on freedom and prosperity and were eager to share their knowledge and energy with their peers back home.
It was thoroughly inspiring and I was excited to be amongst such fine company. Prior to that I didn’t know any young conservatives. I did, however, know plenty of young avid “democratic candidate and policy supporters.” I refuse to call them young liberals because I don’t believe they understand what the term means, and thus I decline the opportunity to insult.
Young, truly devoted liberals, who can defend and properly communicate what they believe and formulate their own ideas to help their team are hard to come by. Very hard. Now, it is true, the Left in Washington has a giant stronghold in Hollywood. There are dozens of young actors/comedians/musicians/artists who side with the political left and promote their policies publicly, encouraging the average youth to behave and think as they do.
But what young warriors do the liberals have? I’m not asking about the automated liberal-spewing machines, or the professional foamers in the blogosphere. Not the kind of public-school-educated robots who grew up obeying Hollywood and defying their parents. I’m talking about leaders, the thinking types.
Ponder this for a moment: currently, names like Aaron Schock, Jason Mattera, James O’Keefe, Evan Baehr, Brendan Steinhauser, Lila Rose and Ben Shapiro are popping up on the public radar. Besides being under 30, this crew is desperately fighting for America on the conservative policy/political side of things, and the scary/really cool thing about it is they have the smarts, creativity, guts, and resolve to do so.
The only young liberal that I would consider in their league is the 25 year-old Ezra Klein of Newsweek. He is extremely intellectual, creative and effective at communicating his ideas to mass audiences. That’s right, his ideas. He doesn’t just parrot what the leftist elites in Washington are saying. And that deserves credit; it is hard to formulate your own thoughts on issuesand devote yourself to ensuring they are communicated accurately and efficiently.
He has earned himself the title, in certain circles, the youngest expert on health-care. It typically takes ages in a university library and a PhD, or ten-plus years of real-world experience with an issue to be considered an expert. Yet Klein has blasted through that stereotype gaining the same respect and admiration that his elders do, if not more, due to his age.
Us young guns have an enthusiastic energy unmatched by other age groups. So when something pumps us up and taps into that passion, it sticks and produces action.
Klein is a highly motivated individual who has definitely turned heads in Washington, and is well on his way to taking over. And he isn’t some malicious power hungry conspirator, working from the bad-guys version of the bat cave. He’s just a dude with a vision, and has the creative diligence to go out and make it real.
Not to mention, he made it on Jezebel’s Top ten sexiest everyday men of 2008 list, and is an avid health-food chef. Mix drive, intelligence, a national platform, looks and cooking skills and the nation has itself a new young liberal leader.
As much as I don’t agree with his political views, I do get where he is coming from. I dig his new media expertise, and actually, I could learn a lot from him since I’m new to the internet news/political world. Also, once-upon-a-time I wanted be a nutritionist, so the cooking scores extra points with me.
So here’s my challenge to Mr. Klein: how about it, Ezra? Will you make me dinner one evening? Let’s put our ideas to the test and see who wins.