The Dead Dogma of Trans Rights Advocates

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Living on a campus where the student body is always brimming with ludicrous outrage, a second-year student should be resigned to the fact of life that a protest is never far away. In recent weeks, the American University (AU) populace has focused its white-hot spotlight of rage onto Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) and its upcoming spring speaker, Milo Yiannopoulos.

For the purposes of full disclosure, it’s important for my reader to note that I serve as Treasurer for the YAL chapter here at AU, and I was a part of the decision-making process that led to Yiannopoulos’s speaking arrangement. I’m writing of my own accord and my views do not necessarily reflect those of any other members of the executive board, or YAL as a whole.

Much of the controversy surrounding Yiannopoulos revolves around his various statements concerning the transgender community. He recently penned an article entitled, “I Am So Done With The Trans Outrage Brigade: Why I’m Supporting ‘Drop The T’” and included some admittedly inflammatory statements such as, “If you ask me, when a guy says he needs to cut part of himself off for the world to make sense, we should start with his head.”

Understandably, this has generated a lot of anger from the trans community at AU. They have used this sentence to justify banning Yiannopoulos from appearing on campus, in that he is an advocate for violence against trans people. However, not more than a couple sentences later, Yiannopoulos explains, “I say all this in language designed to provoke the self-appointed arbiters of speech.” The politically correct student base obliged and played right into his hands.

Yiannopoulos does not advocate for violence any more than any person who has hyperbolically said, “I’m gonna kill you” in an argument. The Left’s focus on the extreme nature of his language represents a clear attempt to dismiss him without having to address some of the real arguments he makes. This is a disturbingly popular trend within the community at AU, and is most common when transgenderism is injected into an argument.

One of the most common arguments I have heard when trans people are discussed is that any skepticism directed towards trans people is transphobic and that, as a cisgender person, I cannot possibly understand anything about the decisions trans people make and the issues they face. Any intermediate school debater will notice that this is not, in fact, an argument, but a line of attack.

Even to the most well read Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) major, is it really so incredible to believe that some people might be confused about these theories? They are proposing that sex and gender are completely different and that people can be biologically male, but identify as a female. They also propose that gender is not a question of male or female, but a nebulous cloud, or spectrum, of various options. However, trans advocates will meet skepticism with epithets despite the obvious outlandish nature of the claims.

If I were to ask a trans rights advocate what it meant to “identify” as a woman, and I have numerous times before, I would be met with the claim that I should not deny the experiences of trans people, just because I do not understand them. They will ignore the obvious irony that my question was, in fact, to try and better understand the experience. This is a fairly basic question at the heart of all this, and I have not once received a direct, specific answer.

Another question that should be fairly basic for trans advocates is that if gender is not a binary construct, then what are the other options, and what does it mean to identify as a non-binary option? Again, I will be told that I am narrow-minded for thinking in binaries, without, of course, any concrete argument as to why binaries are inherently wrong. Even if I wanted to think outside of the binary, I have not been given any semblance of a justification for doing otherwise. Claiming that binaries are bad does not answer a single question about why that is so, and conveniently cloaks a fundamental lack of logic.

The trans advocates on this campus have risen to the epitome of arrogance with their tactics. Their refusal to directly address the claims of their political opponents echoes the warning that English philosopher John Stuart Mill issued in his book, On Liberty, where he proclaims that refusing to hear out a “devil’s advocate” is to mistake one’s personal certainty for absolute certainty. This is arrogance in its purest form.

However, the social tyranny stretches beyond mere dismissal. Not only is not believing what trans advocates believe incorrect and bigoted, it is also, in their minds, akin to promoting violence. They say that standing idly by to allow people like Yiannopoulos to express his opinion is to condone the murder of trans individuals. Opponents of trans rights advocates cannot merely be wrong. They have to be accomplices to murder. Otherwise, trans advocates would have to address the arguments point by point, and they know they simply cannot do it.

Let’s say, however, for the sake of argument (because America is built on dialogue and argument) that there may be some merit to this argument that trans skeptics condone murder. After all, there were a record number of trans people murdered in 2015. How many, you might ask? Twenty-one. For perspective, more people were killed by being bitten by ants, and over twenty times as many people dies from rolling out of bed. There is simply no epidemic of trans murders, and the assertion is both ridiculous and lazy.

The assertion, unfortunately, was furthered by the presence of a group called Dark Matter on campus a few short weeks ago. They are a South Asian transgender duo of poets, and they made much the same claim in their performance. They also ridiculed the white, cisgender community for “stealing the gay movement from non conforming Black and Brown people.” They also asked that people interested in being allies to their cause “get the hell out of their way.”

The arrogance to think you solely own a movement, unrelated to race, because of your race rivals that of claiming dissidence is complicity in murder. However, no one publicly took issue with their arrival out of fear of being labeled any number of bigoted terms by the leftist thought police that set up the event. Their sentiment also echoes some of Yiannopoulos’s claims that the transgender community is attempting to phase out members it does not deem fit from their movement, (as Yiannopoulos is a gay man) and is why he advocated “dropping the T” from the LGBT acronym. Dark Matter continued their arrogant tirade by asking, “What the hell are you going to do to fight to make sure that trans people are no longer murdered?” While, the truth is, there is not much anyone can do, because they’re not actually being murdered very much at all. These claims that that they fear constantly for their safety are utterly ridiculous and meant to intimidate others from voicing opposition.

An aside, once again, for full disclosure: I am currently romantically involved with the author of the article I hyperlinked concerning Dark Matter’s performance at AU.

The suggestion that trans people may suffer from some sort of mental illness is met with the same vitriolic attitudes. The argument I have heard most commonly is that transgenderism is real, because these people kill themselves because they aren’t accepted for who they truly are and it is not because of a mental illness, but because of a deeply held identity. To be frank, regardless of whether or not the suggestion of mental illness has any merit, to offer mass suicide as proof that mental illness is not in play would be laughed out of almost any other discussion on mental illness.

The Leftists who like to claim they are the side of science rebuff renowned psychiatrists like Dr. Paul R. McHugh, the former psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Dr. Joseph Berger, a life fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, who both suggest that trans people suffer from a form of mental illness and are removed, in part, from reality. I suppose, though, that they too must be transphobic, and must not know anything about psychiatry. Again, regardless of the merits of the claim, there is a substantive discussion to be had, that trans rights advocates don’t want to have.

Trans advocates turn their hatred not only to the cisgender community, but to members of their own movement as well. I have heard various assertions that Caitlyn Jenner (formerly Bruce Jenner) has internalized transphobia for her endorsement of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) in the presidential race. The same claims have been made about Yiannopoulos, that he must be internally homophobic to believe what he does as a gay man.

I am hard pressed to think of anything more conceited than believing that anyone who disagrees with your perspective must hate themselves inside. Of course, if you confront the Left and challenge their claim on principle, and ask them about members of the Jewish community who support Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction measures against Israel, the Left will rail against you. They will put down your experience and hastily, lazily, and incorrectly redefine Zionism to fit their narrative, even though it conflicts with the principle of their previous arguments.

The argument over Israel and Palestine is one better left for another time, but it illustrates a key point that has been demonstrated throughout this article. Trans advocates have no principles. Their attacks drip with arrogance and are caked with vitriol. When they do try to make an argument, they often lack substance and will quickly and undoubtedly resort to personal attacks to divert from the real point.

As absolutely miserable as it has been trying to deal with all this butchering of civilized debate and free speech, I am oddly okay with this. As Mill warns in On Liberty, a point must be held up for debate or “it will be held as a dead dogma, not a living truth.” The repeated attempts to dodge discussion on this issue will render the Left’s position worthless, if it has not already, and I very much look forward to that day, so I can focus on more important issues like the future of our economy or the prospect of a nuclear Iran.

However, in the interest of civility and dialogue, I invite each and every reader who has hated everything I have had to say to this point to come to hear Yiannopoulos speak on April 21st when he comes to campus. Don’t try to drown him out with screams or fake blood. Listen, and come prepared with substantive, challenging questions to preserve the continued discussion of this issue you apparently hold so dearly. Only then, will you have proven me wrong.

 

 

The author can be contacted by email at ds1383a@student.american.edu and for comments related directly to this article, please title the subject line, “Milo Article”.

Battle of the Blogs: A Bipartisan Approach to Higher Education Policy

36-education_world_booksFor years, the Republican Party has defended the individual responsibility of parents and state governments to promote educational opportunity for all Americans. According to the Republican Party Platform, which was last altered in 2012, “education is much more than schooling. It is the whole range of activities by which families and communities transmit to a younger generation, not just knowledge and skills, but ethical and behavioral norms and traditions.” In February, President Obama introduced a plan that would give free community college to any student who completes high school and maintains a 2.5 grade point average. However, this plan is simply unaffordable and will not be successful in the short or long term. Furthermore, a bipartisan policy initiative is needed to promote higher educational opportunities.

While 89% of Democrats side with President Obama’s free community college proposal (Huffington Post), only 39% of Republicans favor the program. There is no one size fits all solution to education, as it has become one of the most prominent issues amongst millennials. In order to increase access and affordability, a policy suitable to both parties would be a step in the right direction.

After collaboration with my colleague Mr. Guntham on the other side of the aisle, the following policy shall be proposed before Congress: The government would fund two years of community college and guarantee three years of employment in the field of their respective associate’s degree for three years. After working for three years in the field for which the degree is held, individuals are afforded the opportunity to continue working or move on to earn a bachelor’s degree at a four-year university (where unless scholarship is awarded, funding is on their own). If the student does not graduate in two years or fails to work in a field similar to the degree for three years, then any admittance to a public institution will be revoked and the individual would have to repay the costs of their community college tuition.  Conservatives should embrace this policy because it preaches individual and fiscal responsibility while investing in the future.

Let’s talk about the basics of this proposal. A student wants to go to community college to become a soldier and begins by taking general education courses. Once this is done, the student works in the field and then advances to a four-year university where skills previously learned can be used towards earning a Bachelor’s degree. This soldier is now able to go into the Army as an Officer instead of a Private thanks to higher education. Although some question whether or not this would create a higher-skilled workforce, the soldier would earn an extra $2,850 per month now due to education. This plan has the potential to create a higher skilled workforce and drive American ingenuity.

This plan is a home-run for two key reasons: it leaves power to the states for those who opt in and it invests more in the American workforce. Instead of sending jobs to China, now is the time to invest in a highly skilled American workforce. Education is one major step that can help accomplish this. Now is the time for educational reform to help the U.S. regain its global competitiveness.

Read what my colleague Nick Guntham wrote below:

http://www.aucollegedems.org/battle-of-the-blogs-cost-of-higher-education/

Battle of the Blogs: Climate Change

Today, American politics is a disdainful struggle between increasingly polarized partisanship. Since many of us American University students are aspiring public servants, we’ll wield future influence over the solutions to our great nation’s problems. We must look not only to represent our best interests, but to reach across the aisle, build consensus, and ensure that substantive progress results from our political endeavors. To exemplify consensus building, the respective blogs representing AU College Democrats and AU College Republicans are collaborating to tackle controversial issues. This piece represents the Republican opinion on the alarming issue of climate change; its sister-piece represents the Democrat opinion. Although both pieces display contrasting opinions, the articles collectively forge an impactful and reasonable agreement. The AU College Republicans urge our viewers to also read the supplementary Democrat article, which is linked below this paragraph. Please enjoy.

AU Dem’s article: http://www.aucollegedems.org/battle-of-the-blogs-climate-change/

Our planet faces the potentially devastating threat of climate change. As planetary temperature increases, sea levels rise, and ecosystems adapt to rapid reformations, our two American political parties, the Democrats and Republicans, engage in an impassioned and polarized ideological battle. Typically, Democrats embody the sentiment that human activity causes climate change, which must be solved through strict environmental regulations. Republicans, on the other hand, acknowledge the existence of climate change, but believe it derives mostly from natural temperature cycles and minimally from human activity. Before delving into the climate change conundrum itself, I anticipate some readers will argue that Republicans dismiss all notions and scientific evidence of climate change. This is simply not true. At the beginning of the 2015 legislative session, the United States Senate voted on two amendments that defined climate change. The first proposition, which acknowledged the existence of climate change, passed almost unanimously with a 98-1 vote; only Senator Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi) dissented. The second vote, proposing and amendment to the first, identified the human race as the main climate change perpetrator. It failed to reach the sixty necessary votes at a 50-49 standoff. So yes, Republicans do believe in climate change, but they don’t attribute it to humanity.

Basically, Republicans oppose environmental regulations because regulations cripple businesses in a structurally stagnated economy. Environmental regulations, such as steep nonrenewable energy taxes, abruptly hinder business production methods. With the United States stuck in economic doldrums, imposing both restrictions and costly adaptions on businesses worsens our situation. Businesses struggle adhering to gargantuan fixed costs, such as the purchase of renewable energy sources, replacement of coal and diesel powered machinery for natural gas technology, and pollution containment, which effectively exterminate success in a competitive market. Would Republicans support implementation of some of the aforementioned improvements in the future? Absolutely. In fact, renewable energy potentially lowers long-term production costs. Former United States Rebpublican Congressman, Senator, and Virginia Governor George Allen spoke of the importance in renewable energy investment during his College Republicans speech at American University. Allen claimed that renewable energy, specifically hydroelectric power, nanotechnology, and solar energy and will reduce production costs and transform our relationship with the environment. Nanotechnology is an especially profound prospect, provoking Senator Allen and Democrat Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) to establish the National Nanotechnology Program. Senator Allen explains the vast benefits of nanotechnology research:

As a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Transportation, and Space, I held the first congressional hearings on nanotechnology. The committee quickly recognized that the fields of nanoscience, nanoengineering, and nanotechnology have the real potential to transform almost every aspect of our lives and commerce. Whether it is related to electronic devices, biotechnology, the health sciences, agriculture, energy, transportation, or national defense, nanotechnology will form the foundation for revolutionary discoveries and advancements in the decades to come, and will soon occupy a major portion of our economy.

Essentially, Republicans do invest in renewable energy sources. But currently, the short-term fixed costs of implementing renewable energy is too imposing for small businesses, therefore eliminating the long-term benefits of cheaper production and improved public health. For now, Republicans believe that returning to economic prosperity outweighs protecting the environment.

Realistically, there may be a middle ground between economic prosperity and environmental conservation. Texas Governor Rick Perry implemented the Texas Emissions Reductions Plan (TERP), which instead of establishing mandatory provisions, provides incentives to businesses that willingly reduce their carbon footprint. One of TERP’s provisions provides grants allocated towards businesses willing to replace heavy-duty diesel burning vehicles with alternative energy sources. Under Governor Perry’s leadership, TERP’s results are impressive. During Perry’s term, Texas’ population gained 5.6 million people, along with 1.3 million new jobs. Concurrently, Texas nitrogen oxide levels decreased by 62.5 percent, ozone levels by 23 percent, sulfur dioxide by 50 percent, and carbon dioxide by 9 percent. Perry attributed both natural gas and wind-power to his environmental success. Programs modeled after TERP should be ignition to bipartisanship regarding climate change. State governments will provide benefits to businesses that successfully reduce environmental damage. Since environmentally conscious businesses receive government subsidies and utilize renewable energy, they’ll enjoy long-term reduction in production costs and government-provided excess assets. As a result, the green businesses will prosper, successfully reducing climate change.

An immediate counterargument from environmentally conscious Democrats and liberals alike is that we don’t have time for incentive based policy. Environmentalists cite statistics depicting current climate change rates as the most rapidly accelerating in Earth’s history. Therefore, the environmental buffer effect, where the planet slowly adapts to changing climates, diminishes to a paltry nature. Earth’s former resilience won’t be exhibited in the presence of extreme temperature acceleration. Proponents of this information deem that strict regulations are the only solution to climate change. Who cares about the economy if we’re physically dying? My immediate reaction to these claims is that climatologists are recurrently wrong in their predictions. In the 1970s, scientists touted an alarming rate of “global cooling,” which didn’t happen. Of course, technology is vastly improved since the 70s, but the same fallacy happened again when climate change activist Al Gore claimed that the North Pole will be completely liquidated by 2014. Here we are in 2015, and the North Pole is still frozen. Climatology is a mercurial science; there are endless sources of error and blatantly wrong extrapolations in expert predictions.

Regardless of the current political climate, there is room for substantive bipartisan environmental policy. Currently, imposing environmental regulations are too dangerous for the fragile United States economy. Instead, programs modeled similarly to Texas Governor Rick Perry’s TERP will protect our environment while promoting market competition. Democrats and Republicans certainly can agree that environmental incentives for businesses willing to reduce their pollution footprints are necessary for both a sustainable planet and public health. Instead of bickering over the cause of climate change, we should embrace environmental incentives, and revel in their ensuing progress. As American University students and aspiring public servants, let’s champion the cause.

Battle of the Blogs

This upcoming week, the AU College Democrats and AU College Republicans will host “Battle of the Blogs.”

On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, both the AU Dems’ blog and the Conservative Conscience will produce articles regarding three hotly debated topics. Each blog will define its respective party’s stance, and ultimately end with a concurring suggestion for bipartisan reform. Please tune in!

Our CPAC Predictions

Ted Cruz

Conservative Conscience columnists Tom Hebert and Andrew Magloughlin ventured to CPAC with the American University Young Americans for Liberty chapter. Before Tom and Andrew recount their CPAC experiences, some general notes must be shared. Among potential Republican presidential candidates, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz drew the largest audiences in descending size, respectively. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush also garnered a large crowd; however, he faced turbulence from an organized libertarian protest. During Bush’s speech, more than one hundred faithful Rand Paul supporters marched out of the CPAC ballroom in rank and file. As the protestors exited the room, cacophonous chants of “U-S-A” and “no more war” erupted from the hallways. Multiple disgruntled GOP faithful directed threats toward Bush during his speech. No other candidate faced visible public disconnects. In this analysis, only relevant candidates are included. If you hoped for an analysis of Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum, or Donald Trump, Andrew and Tom are sorry to disappoint.

Governor Jeb Bush

Tom: Considering the overt hostility of the crowd when Sean Hannity mentioned Bush’s name in his earlier speech, Bush did quite well. The ultimate battle between rigid ideological purity and pragmatic conservatism was on glittering display here. Self-identifying as a “practicing, reform-minded conservative,” Bush stood firm on his record as governor of Florida, and defended his controversial positions on immigration and education with eloquence and facts. Facing scorn from conservatives, Bush is a known Common-Core advocate. More controversial is Bush’s desire to naturalize the existing eleven million illegal immigrants in the United States after securing the border. Bush claimed that if the United States raises its economic growth rate to 4 percent, there would be more than enough jobs for Americans and immigrants to coexist. Bush flexed his muscle on foreign policy when talking about how to defeat ISIS, much like his father and brother before him. Even amid reports of Bush bussing supporters in, and a sizeable walkout by libertarian-leaning Rand Paul supporters, Bush seemed to win over the lion’s share of the crowd.

Grade: B+

 

Dr. Ben Carson (Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon)

Andrew: The Ben Carson campaign “came out swinging” early Thursday morning with a mass distribution of T-shirts, posters, pins, and collapsible “Run-Ben-Run!” banners. Carson delivered a substantial speech addressing the pressing needs to appeal the Affordable Care Act, support Israel, toughen sanctions on Iran, destroy ISIS, and create American jobs. While Carson isn’t known for his charisma, his passion showed during his speech, and flourished during his meet-and-greet event later that morning. Carson was one of two Republicans to address climate change in a substantive manner. While Carson denounced environmental regulation, he encouraged firms to improve production efficiency. Also, Carson recognized that optimizing the use of natural resources would improve business growth. Carson claimed (roughly, as his meet-and-greet transcript isn’t available): “People think that you can either save the environment or create jobs. It’s not one or the other. Improving efficiency will help business, and we can do so while growing the economy.” While Carson is far from a frontrunner, both of us were impressed. Keep an eye out for Carson as an advisor to Republican medical policies in the future.

Grade: B+

 

Governor Chris Christie

Tom: I take the contrarian position on Christie’s performance. Most major media outlets reported Christie’s twenty-minute exchange with Laura Ingraham as yet another pitfall in a month-long slide for the New Jersey governor. Conveniently, none of these reporters mentioned the electricity of the crowd when Christie recounted his battles with teacher’s unions, or his firm pro-life stance. Christie is not a relevant candidate because of his treacherous record as New Jersey governor, but most of us like the entertainment value he brings to the table. Considering a crowd who probably disdains him as much as Bush, Christie did pretty well at emphasizing his conservative credentials.

Grade: B

 

Senator Ted Cruz

Tom: Senator Cruz gave the most galvanizing speech at CPAC by a longshot. Despite the overwhelming presence of Rand Paul supporters in the audience, Cruz managed to keep the crowd on its feet for most of his speech. Cruz’s trademark fire-and-brimstone rhetoric demanded for removing executive power from Washington and returning it to the people. In addition, Cruz emphasized a federalist approach in dealing with gay marriage and marijuana legalization, and vowed to abolish the IRS if he were elected. Along with most other speakers, Cruz promised to “repeal every single letter of Obamacare,” as well as fight ISIS will all our military has to offer. This principled populism combined with a definite vision of leadership won over the hearts and minds of most in the crowd; Cruz is, without question, the best orator the Republican Party has ever seen.

Grade: A

 

Senator Rand Paul

Andrew: Senator Paul, now a three time CPAC straw poll champion, reveled during his timeslot Friday afternoon. As always, Paul focused on the need to cut government’s influence and establish civil liberties. Included in these liberties is the barring of metadata from the NSA and the right to a fair and speedy trial. Paul, by a large margin, addressed more specific policy solutions than any other candidate, such as his soon-to-be introduced “Read the Bills Act,” which forces congressmen to read all proposed legislation, the largest tax cut in American history, and two constitutional amendments proposing term limits for both federal judges and congressmen and disabling Congress from excluding itself from legislation. Paul then hammered Hilary Clinton for her failures in Libya and demanded her permanent retirement. When Paul proclaimed: “This country needs a new leader,” chants demanding for “President Paul” erupted in the crowd. Most importantly, Paul attempted to abridge his existing gap with the public regarding foreign policy. Instead of avoiding the subject, Paul called for a nimble and powerful military directed by leaders who think before acting. Paul’s distaste for reactionary foreign intervention displayed as he referenced previous failings in the Middle East. Overall, Paul spoke with a compelling sense of urgency. It is yet to be seen whether his foreign policy is still questioned by Republican voters, but if CPAC is indicative of trends, currently, Paul is the clear presidential frontrunner.

Grade: A

 

Senator Marco Rubio

Tom: Oh, how far he’s fallen. Once a darling among the media as a fresh face among conservatives in 2012, Senator Rubio struggled to fake a hunger for the presidency in his speech. Rubio failed to tout his policies for middle-class growth or his foreign policy credentials, both widely considered to be his strongest characteristics as a candidate. It was disheartening for such a young star in the GOP to fail spectacularly at a pivotal moment in his quest for a campaign. Rubio received a lukewarm response from the crowd at best. Also, it is notable that while Senator Rand Paul delayed his 10:00 AM speech to vote in the Senate, Rubio, as he famously does, skipped voting procedure to speak at CPAC. Rubio is disreputable for his voting absences, as he touts the seventh worst attendance record among active senators. Senator Rubio, if you’re going to deliver a lukewarm speech, at least do your job first!

Grade: F

 

Governor Scott Walker

Andrew: Displaying his economic success in Wisconsin, Governor Walker appealed to all sects of the CPAC community. As most candidates did, Walker encouraged securing the border with Mexico, growing the United States economy, and defending traditional marriage. A recurring topic in CPAC speeches was the need for “school choice” and teacher performance evaluation. Scott Walker touted his success in Wisconsin against 100,000 teacher union members to which he refused to comply with when implementing school choice policy. Walker then made an abstract comparison of his battles with teacher unions to fighting ISIS overseas. Whether or not the ISIS comparison bothers the reader, Walker’s success with school choice and his stark opposition to Common Core is convincing. Many Republican Presidential hopefuls share his same education opinions, but lack Walker’s experience. In times of vast economic inequality, school choice may be the answer to eliminating inner-city struggles for education. Overall, Walker is a candidate that appeals to both the Republican establishment and the younger Tea-Party movement. Whether or not he chooses to run, Walker will be highly sought out as a running mate.

Grade: A-

Coronation

Tom: Despite CPAC’s standing as a major event in any GOP presidential hopeful’s campaign, attendees tend to be young libertarian-leaning Tea-Partiers. Consequently, CPAC audiences are not always indicative of the party at large. When looking at each candidate’s position in their respective campaigns, Jeb Bush has greatly surpassed them all. As you read this article, Bush is amassing the best of the best to work for him, and courting Goldman Sachs for financial support. Conservative skeptics of Bush need to look at his record in Florida before writing him off as a moderate; chief among his policy implementations was the first state-wide school choice program in the U.S., in addition to castle doctrine laws and massive tax cuts. Jeb Bush will win the nomination because of his conservative record, moderate appeal, and innumerable donor bases combined with an elite campaign staff. Upstart grassroots candidates like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz will cut their teeth on this election cycle, but should sit out for four (or eight) more years to gather experience in the Senate. Bush’s running mate will be none other than Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, whose skirmishes with the teacher’s unions make him a conservative hero to multitudes in the GOP base.

Prediction: Bush/Walker 2016

Andrew: At the moment, Jeb Bush has a general disconnect with the Republican Party. Although many falsely label Bush as a moderate, the Republicans are skeptical of another Bush oligarch. In 2012, Republicans relentlessly searched for “other-than-Romney” options to place on the presidential ballot. To many Republican faithfuls, Romney was an outdated and already-failed presidential candidate. After sorting through Gingrich, Santorum, Cain, and Perry, the Republicans nominated Romney, and sparingly turned out at the poll booths. Andrew sees Republicans attempting the same strategy with Bush; however, there is a difference between now and 2012. Unlike in 2012, the Republican Party now teems with credentialed presidential candidates. If Paul, Cruz, or Walker runs a swift and sturdy campaign, Bush is vulnerable. At the moment, it is far too early to make substantive predictions for the presidency, especially in the midst of healthy competition. For the moment, Andrew’s prediction flows with the momentum.

Prediction: Paul/Carson 2016