As I wrap up my final days here at Eagle Forum, I reflect on the wonderful experiences I had the opportunity to take part in, the valuable insights I gained, and the political ideology I solidified.
When I first started this internship, I was unsure of the type of work I would be doing. I was not exactly certain what Eagle Forum did, for whom they worked, and the types of issues they defended. Now, after a beneficial and inspiring ten weeks, I know the answers to those questions.
To put it simply, Eagle Forum works for the people. They work to preserve ideals of liberty, constitutionalism, and American sovereignty by providing education to grassroots supporters in order to mobilize the people to a cause. Eagle Forum advocates for certain policies and works to ensure their voice and the voice of the people they represent is heard when a member of Congress casts their vote on important issues. Eagle Forum believes in a distinct American identity and helps enable conservative men and women to participate in the process of public policy making so that America will continue to be a land of individual liberty and private enterprise.
As a political science student who has a passion for politics and an understanding of issues, I thought that most of my political views were already formed. However, I am now more confident than ever to articulate and debate my views after first hand exposure to the issues. My views have been fine-tuned and molded and I depart this internship with a better understanding of the complexities that surround public disputes.
For example, I always understood the importance of education and the need for strong school systems. However, after in depth analysis of the Common Core education proposals, I can now speak confidently on the importance of the parent’s rights to guide the education of their own children and the negatives of a federal standardized, outcome-based education system.
Additionally, I always knew I did not agree with the goals of radical feminism, but as a woman, I felt hesitant to disagree in fear of being labeled anti-woman like many women politicians today (which is absurd, considering they are women). However, after reading two of Phyllis Schlafly’s books, A Choice Not An Echo and The Feminist Fantasies, I feel confident in how to debate and debunk liberal feminist arguments such as taxpayer money for abortions and federally funded daycare. I am aware now that the radical feminist agenda often seeks preferential treatment, not just equality for women, and serves to undermine the role of women in society by stereotyping men as a constant danger to women and taking away the rights of fulltime homemakers. Instead, I understand that Eagle Forum believes in the distinct and equally important role of both men and women and believes that all women should have the liberty to do what they want and make their own choices.
Finally, my political philosophy has been more solidified when it comes to the right to life and the supposed “war on women”. To be honest, before my internship at Eagle Forum, I personally believed that abortions were wrong, but politically believed that the government should not be able to dictate what women can and cannot do with their bodies. Now, after I have become more educated on the process of abortion and the life cycle in utero, for example: how the baby’s heart begins to beat on Day 22, I am 100% pro-life and anti-abortion and feel more confident on how to relay this to others. As a woman, I understand that this is an important battle that women need to be the frontrunners of. At our annual collegians summit, words of a wise member of Congress stuck with me. He made the observation that when liberals make the “war on women” solely on the issue of abortion, they are characterizing themselves as being just a reproductive system. Yet, women also have hearts, have minds, are important in the growth of the economy, and have a distinct and important role in society. Instead, the real “war on women” surrounds issues like how women in the Obama economy have reached an 18-year high poverty rate, or how the current administration is supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and other countries where women do not even have the right to an education or much less recognition in society. That is the real “war on women,” and women should not believe their rights end with their reproductive systems.
In addition to these main philosophies, I learned so much more in my experience at Eagle Forum. After these ten weeks, I leave Eagle Forum and DC as a more educated, more principled, and more confident 21 year old woman ready to help lead the fight for conservative principles and ideals.