The annual Young America’s Foundation National Conservative Student Conference is, without question, one of the most enjoyable and most important events of the year for young conservatives. Students hear from an outstanding lineup of speakers (and even from mediocre speakers like me), but they get more than conservative celebrity entertainment, they get a conservative education . . . in law, in policy, in free markets, and in culture.
After spending more than a decade fighting the authoritarian Left on campus, I understand more than most people that students aren’t just the activists of the future, they can set a national agenda now. In the last few weeks alone, I’ve been on a media whirlwind triggered by students who are responding to the intolerance and repression of the academy with a strong and clear argument for liberty and for the marketplace of ideas. No one can doubt the importance of academia to our culture and politics, and in many universities conservative students represent the movement’s only meaningful presence on campus (conservative professors are often absent or silent).