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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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I am a marketing major about to start my second year at Northern Michigan University, however, this will be my third year in college. I previously attended a small community college...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Pizza Cat Vol. 3
Deirdre Northrup-RiestererFebruary 26, 2024

NMU students visit CPAC to learn

Way up here in the U.P., Washington D.C. sure seems like a far off and remote place. When Northern students talk about politics, the concept of the federal government has a very “them” and not an “us” mentality to it. Perhaps this is a problem.

When students turn on their TVs or watch the news on their computers, our national leaders and issues seem a million miles away. Perhaps the apathy and frustration students have with the political process is because politics isn’t personal enough.

The Northern Michigan University College Republicans decided to reverse that trend by visiting Washington D.C. Last month, 12 NMU students travelled to D.C. where they met politicians, pundits, policy wonks and presidential candidates at the 39th Annual CPAC.

CPAC, which stands for Conservative Political Action Convention, is a nationally-renowned, three-day conference, where leaders of conservative and libertarian ideologies, leaders of the Republican Party and leaders of the various states and federal government meet to discuss the future of the nation. These leaders include presidential candidates, governors, congressmen, senators, foreign dignitaries, journalists and issue advocates. With more than 11,000 attendees from across the country, CPAC has become one of the largest and most important meetings in American politics.

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It was truly an educational experience for NMU students. The theme of the conference was “We Still Hold These Truths,” referring to the Declaration of Independence and the conviction that our Founding Fathers had in the idea of unalienable rights. Speakers spoke about the need to stay true to constitutional government and to pay heed to the ideas that made our country great.

Students heard from John Boehner, Speaker of the House of Representatives and presidential candidates such as Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Rand Paul as a surrogate for his father Ron Paul and Michelle Bachmann. Governors Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Rick Perry of Texas were also present. They provided a good argument for federalism and the importance of state government.

Some of the best speeches came from the “short list” of potential vice presidential picks. Senators Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Jim DeMint (S.C) received several standing ovations from the audience for their defense of American exceptionalism. Last but not least was Sarah Palin. Considered dead by many political observers, the former vice presidential candidate drowned out Occupy Wall Street protestors who attempted to disrupt her speech. The energy and enthusiasm from her voice led the audience to several standing ovations.

Alongside these high profile speeches were smaller breakout sessions. In a more intimate setting, College Republicans met with and had conversations with Daniel Hannan, a member of the European Parliament, Samuel Wurzelbacher, known famously as “Joe the Plumber” from the 2008 campaign, Daniel Bongino, a former Secret Service agent running for Congress, Michael Medved, a conservative radio show host and many others. Students also had the chance to attend a job fair, with dozens of think tanks and policy groups taking application and recruiting interns.

Students visited the Capitol building, the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress, the Washington and Lincoln monuments and the WWII and Vietnam memorial. Northern students also had the exceptional privilege of meeting the U.P.’s Congressman. Congressman Benishek was kind enough to show NMU students his Capitol office. He introduced his staff and also explained his votes.

The NMU College Republicans learned a lot and they are now eager to bring the knowledge and the arguments being heard in our nation’s capital here to Northern. Most importantly, the College Republicans made politics personal, and brought the far out concept of national government to a concrete and real conception. If any student is interested in joining the College Republicans, email them at [email protected].

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