Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I heart D.C.

This past weekend I ventured up to Washington D.C. (the birthplace of Southern Blonde.) It was a surreal experience, being back after a few years. It felt as if my one month stint there was nothing more than a dream. I kept experiencing deja vu, which is a very strange feeling. Why did I go you ask? I went for CPAC. If you don't know what CPAC is, you should. Allow to me spell it out for you, Conservative Political Action Conference, basically one giant pep rally for conservatives. I was able to hear speakers such as: Dick Cheney, Liz Cheney, Scott Brown, Mitt Romney, Jim DeMint, Marco Rubio, Mike Pence, John Ashcroft, Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck ( just to name a few.) To say this was the greatest experience of my life is a complete understatement. I have never been more excited to be a conservative than I am now. It was a religious experience, I almost started speaking at tongues at one point. When I say religious experience, I'm talking a good ole Southern Baptist tent revival, complete with many "amens!" and "you tell 'ems!" It was hard to understand how after hearing such moving and motivational speeches, any one could still be a liberal. But then I realized, that if everyone in this country were smart and became a conservative, who would we have left to make fun of? (Good one, I know.)

But aside from being happier than a child on Christmas at CPAC, there is a peace I have just being in D.C. It was strange to remember me not that long ago roaming the halls of Cannon, pretending I knew what I was doing. Although, I did start to realize how not so good of an idea it was to find a boyfriend 3 days after being there. I realized that having a boyfriend then allowed me to not have to pay attention to where I was going, how I was getting there, or really anything for that matter. This time around, I was convinced I would be able to navigate for everyone, since I did live there and all, but I was shocked to realized I didn't know how to get from point A from point B at all. Taking it a step further, I realized just how much I didn't belong in D.C. that young and naive. An 18 year old freshman in college has no place in our nation's capitol, unless you are one of those smart people who actually know what you are talking about.

I am just coming into my own when it comes to politics. I can now answer, with confidence, any question you throw at me about why I am a Conservative. I can also tell you why I am not a Liberal, nor will I ever be fore that matter. Two years ago, I would have had nothing to answer with. Would now being the right time for me to be doing a D.C. internship? Probably so. I am, however, glad that I went when I did. It prompted me to dive into politics, to find my own answers, to form my own opinions. And most importantly, Southern Blonde was born in D.C.!

A saying I kept hearing over and over again at CPAC is "What a difference a year makes." While obviously the speakers were referring to Obama's plummeting approval ratings (shocking,) this phrase also carries a deeper meaning. What a difference two years makes. Two years ago I was following around Intern #1 on the streets of D.C., learning nothing for myself, doing nothing on my own, and knowing absolutely nothing. I had no place there. Here I stand two years later, electively at the largest gathering of Conservatives in America. I was there because I wanted to be, I was learning, I took notes, I listened, I formed my own opinions. I took in everything this leaders had to say because I wanted to. I walked around the streets of D.C. without anyone holding my hand. For the first time in my life I felt grown up. I could see myself staying in D.C. I felt at home. Two years ago I couldn't have told you what I did or didn't believe. Two years later, I can confidently say that I am a Conservative and I actually know why.