By Tina Henold, Chapter Leader from Toledo, Ohio
I attended my very first CPAC recently and wanted to share about it! The most special thing was that I got to spend some time with Senator Santorum. His speech really stood out because I feel he truly understands the challenges facing average Americans. He spoke about the “news of a good America” where the family is the center of all of our policies. He talked about painting a picture so that all Americans can see themselves as a part of that picture. He also said we need to end the divisive language that is fracturing our nation. By the end of the speech I was on the edge of my seat because I really could see myself in the picture that Senator Santorum painted! He has a genuine heart to work for Americans and a desire to work towards that goal of a “good America.” I also attended a special screening of "Our Sacred Honor" which was co-hosted by Citizens United and spent some time working with our wonderful Patriot Voices volunteer team at our booth. It was a very busy few days - here are some things of the things that I learned:
I discovered that there is a wide array of people who are as deeply concerned about this nation as I am. CPAC attendees were diverse! There were people of every age, military veterans, students, and small business owners. There were some who were well-spoken and those who struggle to find the right words. There were some who had no financial burden to go to CPAC and those who saved for almost a year in order to be a part of this amazing event. It was also an ethnically diverse group. I even met people from the Middle East and one young lady whose roots go back to Communist Romania. It is clear to me that we welcome all who love freedom and liberty!
- There are many young people who are actively working to preserve freedom in this great nation. I met interns, kids from high school and college – all who love liberty and came to learn how they can make a difference.
- I learned that the conservative army is BIG and getting stronger every day. At home fighting the daily battles of life and trying to eek out time to preserve liberty, it’s so easy to feel all alone. But I left CPAC encouraged beyond words that this is not the case – I am not alone!
- CPAC taught me the art of encouragement. As Conservatives it sometimes seems that we spend so much time tearing into those who are bent on the destruction of America that we have no time or energy left to encourage those who are in the trenches with us. This is a vital role to play and we must become not just proficient, but experts.
- America’s best days are ahead. This is the most exciting thing I learned! We all have a job to do to make this nation once again that shining light on the hill where freedom, liberty, and hope reign supreme. Our best days lie just ahead and if each of us is willing to put forth the effort, the time, and the sacrifice, then America can continue to be the land of the free and the home of the brave.