Campus Conservatives Look to the Future

To the editors:

As someone who has been a conservative at Harvard for the past four years like Mr. Lacaria, I must contest his account of the state of conservatism on campus (“The Elephant in the Room,” Fifteen Minutes magazine, Oct. 8). More than ever before, Harvard conservatives and the Harvard Republican Club are making new inroads on campus—from inclusive events that challenge the status quo to activism that changes the course of our nation’s history. Being a conservative is absolutely not about “conserving what cannot be conserved” or lying there to wait for things to revert back to the way it was in the past. In the last four years alone, as president of Right to Life and of the Republican Club, I have witnessed the transformation of the campus conservative movement to a more dynamic, diverse, and welcoming force. We are fighting for pregnancy and newborn/infant services on campus alongside Radcliffe Union of Students and the Women’s Center. We have co-sponsored events with BGLTSA and this month, we have a political debate on LGBT issues and the roles conservatives are playing in battling homophobia and promoting equality. In the last year, the Republican Club has featured three anti-poverty speakers challenging conservatives on issues of social justice. Conservatives are not living in the past and imagining ourselves in a fictional world that will never come to pass again. That is not conservatism.

In order to win in 2008 and beyond, we need to continue to innovate and define ourselves in terms of America in the 21st century. We have gay marriage in three states, alternative fuels are now a necessity—not an innovation, and more Americans are finding themselves turned off by the mantra of the Bush doctrine. In order for conservatism to win at Harvard, let alone America, we need to be better spokespersons for our movement and our party and the campus conservative movement has been doing exactly that.

Cambridge, Mass.
Oct. 10, 2008

The writer is president emeritus of the Harvard Republican Club, and President Emeritus of Harvard Right to Life.

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