I would like to formally welcome all the students, faculty, local residents, speakers, fellow Americans. I look out at how many people are here today, and I thank God that so many people care about what's going on at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), that so many people care about the future of Santa Cruz, that so many people care about America.
From the formation of Students for Conservative America (SCA) last fall, through its growth, it has been interesting to see all the different stereotypes floating around the campus about who we are, and what we want to accomplish at UCSC. Stereotypes such as, "[T]he SCA is racist,…the SCA is just a bunch of angry people,…the SCA is anti-woman…" In response to the last one, I would like to point out that I am the President of Students for Conservative America, and, I am very much a woman.
It is well known that stereotypes are a common result of ignorance, and I would like to take this opportunity to address the question of why the SCA is here. Why did this group of conservative students feel the need to stir up the comfortable haven of liberalism known as UC Santa Cruz?
As far as why conservatives are at UCSC, conservatives have always been at UCSC. It is their voice that has been lacking. In general, conservatives tend to keep quiet on this campus. And this is understandable being that the most under-represented and discriminated minority on this campus is the conservative. Some might say, "Well, that's just an expected result at a campus where the majority of students are liberal…. You're going to feel outnumbered…. If you don't want to be a conservative minority, don't come to UC Santa Cruz." In response, I would like to ask all of you a question. Why is it that the majority of the students at UCSC are liberal? Is it true that most students come to UCSC because they are liberal? Or do they become liberal because they are educated at UCSC, because they are educated by a faculty monopolized by a liberal, socialist agenda. Only one political view is preached in almost every discipline, the liberal viewpoint. Any conservative view is only brought up as a comical interlude. As what not to think.
In forming the SCA last September, we decided it was time to bring a different view to the table. Now the last thing we want to do is copy the liberals in forcing a conservative viewpoint on impressionable young minds. What we want to do is encourage intelligent discussion and debate between our different worldviews. It is only when one is questioned that one is forced to know what you proclaim as truth.
This is a University. Hopefully, we all come here to learn things, and eventually to know things. This is a place we will all leave one day to enter the real world where the demographics are… slightly different. In the real world, you will be questioned. In the real world there will be debate. In the real world, if you want to change things, you will be challenged. We, at Students for Conservative America, want to be that challenge.
The question many of you may be asking yourselves is why the SCA decided to "challenge" UCSC with the All-American Rally. During the past year, the UCSC response to the events going on in the nation and around the world has been a source of concern. There seems to be a general confusion about what it means to be an American. Many people are upset with our nation because of the actions done in the name of America. A common UCSC response has been to deny being American, and to deny the very flag of our nation as a means of protest. However, I will argue that this thinking is flawed. I argue that regardless of whether or not you agree with the actions of America, you cannot define America by the actions of fallible people. America is defined by the words and the principles of the Constitution. By the words and the principles of the founding documents, which proclaim that America stands for the right to speak. America stands for the right to bear arms, for the right to worship God, for the right to be liberal, and for the right to be conservative. (Yes, UCSC, even that is a right.) America stands for the right to display an American flag if you choose to do so. (Yes, UCSC, that also is a right.) America stands for the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Anyone who is a citizen of the United States, and is defined by these rights, is an American, and is represented by the American flag. Being an American, and being represented by the American flag is not a political statement. It is a fact. And the only political statement made by disrespecting what America stands for, or by disrespecting the American flag, is that you disrespect all the rights granted you by the Constitution. All the rights for which blood was shed that you might be able to enjoy them.
America also stands for the protection of these rights by just laws, only in the boundaries of which can true liberty exist. Just laws founded in Biblical truth, the Ten Commandments. And this is not a political statement either, but a fact which one can verify by studying the history of our legal system.
As students' flags are being shredded on this campus, and as more and more of the God-given rights of the people are being disrespected in the lecture halls, it is interesting to compare what was once held sacred by our nation, to what is now held sacred at UCSC today. A society holds sacred those things which, to speak against them would be considered blasphemy. There was a time when belief in God was something our nation held sacred. There actually were blasphemy laws, such as, a self-proclaimed atheist was not allowed to testify in a court of law. The American flag was also viewed as a sacred symbol of that blessed freedom for which many have died to uphold. To burn a flag would have once been viewed as blasphemy. Today, it is paradoxically called freedom of speech. There was once a time when, regardless of whether you voted for the person or not, the office of the President was something honored and respected. Today, it is viewed by many as a joke. So, what are those things held sacred today at UCSC? What are those things which speaking out against would be seen as blasphemy? To proclaim moral truth at UCSC is seen as blasphemy against science. It is seen as blasphemy against tolerance. It is seen as blasphemy against choice. To proclaim capitalism is seen as blasphemy against the socialistic ideals that this campus holds so dear. To defend the second amendment at UCSC is viewed as practically "unconstitutional". To defend the military, one must be outright bloodthirsty.
I bring these things up because I want to address the fact that in this supposed tolerant society, there are inherently certain ideas that are not tolerated. There are certain subjects that one is not allowed to debate. Professing relativism, UCSC does proclaim certain things as absolute truth. We believe it is time to bring back discussion and debate over these supposed truths. Today, we want to discuss the American Flag. Today we want to discuss liberty. Today we want to discuss what it means to be an American. And my hope is that we may all learn something from what we hear today, because learning, being educated, is what this is all about.
- Jenna Moore