The 22Q is an informal interview series with young conservatives, connected to LI, who are working in the public policy process. The 22 questions ask them to explain what they do, and how they see politics and the next generation of the conservative movement. Their opinions are their own, and are not endorsed by the Leadership Institute.
How I describe my job in 10 words
Working with students to advance conservatism on campus is rewarding
My day-to-day at work...in three sentences
Checking my email; updating our database with student contacts; reaching out to students via phone call, Facebook, or email; eating; talking with co-workers; researching and finding liberal bias.
I couldn’t do my job without
Sunny optimism. I try to be positive and happy all the time. Challenging the left can be daunting, so I try to make the best of things handed my way.
Most important moment in my career (so far)
Being mentioned on the Rush Limbaugh Show for an interview I did for FoxNews.com on January 11, 2013. He mentioned my thoughts about payroll tax expiration. I was in disbelief! My dad, a huge Rush fan, called me the moment he heard my name on the air. It was amazing.
Unexpected skill that has helped me the most
I would say that multitasking has helped me the most. Juggling many things can be difficult at times, but it has proven to be beneficial in the work I
The best advice I have received
My dad once said, "In order to be equal, you have to be three times better than the rest." My parents taught me to work hard, to enjoy the fruits of my labor, and to be the best individual I could possibly be.
The biggest change I've seen already in politics
The rise of political correctness and cultural Marxism. Too many people are easily offended and afraid to stand up for their beliefs out of fear of being ostracized. It's time to put bullies in their place.
The element of working in politics that most surprised me
What a small world conservative politics is. You meet people who know your friends or people who have some connection to you. It can be a curse or it can be a blessing.
The most important issue many don't see yet
The threat of revisionist history. Whenever historical facts are twisted or misrepresented, people are taught to resent and equally despise this country. We cannot forget our past and allow lies to define our future.
Where I think the movement will be in five years
If we continue to be conservative and push actual reforms, our movement will be successful. If we continue down this path of caving and moderation, we're doomed to be obsolete. There's already one leftist movement in America. We don't need another one.
How I formed my political beliefs
My parents are Lithuanian immigrants who fled the Soviet Union. Therefore conservatism came naturally to me. Embracing collectivist or Marxist viewpoints was strictly forbidden in our house. Conservatism best encourages freedom and opportunity.
What I'd say to my 18-year-old self
I'd say that it's good that we kept our principles and didn't listen to detractors. Many people wanted me to fail, and I wouldn't let them have it. I tell my students and fellow conservative to never give up on their principles or change their views.
Skill or experience I'd recommend students get now
Social media. It's imperative for students to acquaint themselves with Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and similar media.
Three things I'd tell every young political junkie to read
God and Man at Yale by William F. Buckley, the Drudge Report, and Counter Cultured
My most useful class in college
Politics of the Middle East. My professor was a founder of the Political Science Department at the University of California at San Diego. He was fair and gave an accurate account of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
I learned a lot about the Middle East thanks to his class. I learned to help students battle anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism on campus.
Three future leaders from my generation
1. Katie Pavlich, Townhall.com News Editor
2. Ben Shapiro, author of Bullies: How the Left's Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences Americans
3. Ryan T. Anderson, Heritage Foundation Fellow and co-author of Why Marriage Matters
The most fascinating figure in world history
My heroes in fiction
Edmund Dantes of Alexander Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo and Jay Gatsby of The Great Gatsby
The most inspiring art I've read, seen, or heard
"Waterlilies" by French Impressionist painter Claude Monet. His countless paintings of waterlilies are captivating.
I’d star in House of Cards or West Wing (choose one)
House of Cards
I can't get through my day without
Chatting it up with my coworkers. A healthy work environment is key to one's success at any job. A happy workplace makes for a happy employee!
My connection to the Leadership Institute
I'm currently the Northeast Regional Field Coordinator. Prior to working at LI, I went to a Youth Leadership School in February 2010 and completed a TV training in summer 2012.