Conservative radio talk show host Vicki McKenna told a packed room she “feared no liberal” at the University of Wisconsin College Republicans’ kick-off meeting Tuesday night.
Hosted by College Republicans, McKenna was chosen as the opening guest for being a champion of conservatism in Madison and Dane County, according to College Republicans Chairman Jeff Snow.
Snow said McKenna has continuously stood up in the face of liberalism. Although Snow clarified McKenna has her own opinions, he said he found she can effectively articulate conservative beliefs.
“She can eloquently describe and explain conservative ideas in a way I think resonated with our College Republicans,” Snow said.
McKenna, who said she came to Madison slowly working her way into Republican ideals, advised the conservative student body to come out with their beliefs despite a liberal campus bias.
According to McKenna, in spite of Madison’s proclamation of liberal tolerance and liberal acceptance, the area is less open to conservative thought and instead shadows it.
“I make a joke about Madison conservatives a lot, that we are the political equivalent of battered women,” McKenna said. “We just wanted to keep quiet and say we were sorry, and maybe they would be less mean to us.”
However, contrary to this joke, McKenna, who said she herself kept quiet when first arriving in Madison, said that it is of utmost importance for students to understand they are “force multipliers” on campus.
McKenna emphasized the impact students can have on their peers by sharing their thoughts, adding that not every student on campus is a “leftist radical.”
“For every single person who is willing to speak out, there are five people who are willing to listen,” McKenna said. “Every time you defend liberty … your futures and the future of this country for generations, you are making an impact.”
McKenna also emphasized Wisconsin’s importance in the upcoming presidential election and said this year’s presidential election could hinge on the outcome here.
According to McKenna, Wisconsin is the place where Obama can be “stopped cold” on his path to victory.
Discussing Gov. Scott Walker’s term in office, McKenna said the governor’s actions toward minimizing government involvement are representative of the great strides made possible through conservative policy.
“The budget deficit was erased with Act 10 still in the courts, because local governments did not go forward and sign lucrative contracts they could not afford,” McKenna said, citing Wisconsin’s contentious budget repair bill proposed in 2011, which sparked debate with its impact on collective bargaining.
According to McKenna, the nation could use Wisconsin as an example for effective economic policy.
“Essentially do what Scott Walker did for Wisconsin and hang a sign on America and say we are open for business,” McKenna said.
In response to her visit, Snow said in general, she portrayed herself well and “spoke well on behalf of the Republican community.”
UW College Democrats hosted Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, for their kickoff meeting late last week.