I’m just now recovering from last weekend’s event at The National Press Club in Washington, DC—“Beyond Conservatism.” Looking back, I’m proud of what we accomplished.
Around 90 people pre-registered for the conference; over 100 were in the room on Friday evening. Of these, 40 purchased “Millennial” tickets, discounted for those 30-years-old and younger. When I asked how many in the room were under 40-years-old, more than half raised their hands. Not your average “conservative” gathering, to say the least.
The speeches, by Jared Taylor, Peter Brimelow, and myself, were of high quality; and judging by the long, rousing Q&A session that followed, they were quite stimulating. Shortly, we’ll release the audio and video, so I’ll let our talks speak for themselves.
It’s worth mentioning that the conference marked a new and different way of hosting an NPI event. I often feel that activist and political conferences, not only in our movement, have too much of an academic or lecture-hall quality. We go; we sit, passively and individually; we receive information; and perhaps we get a chance to ask a short question of the lecturer at the end. I don’t think this model is bad in itself; after all, there are reasons it has persisted for centuries in academic environments. But I don’t think it’s the only model, or necessarily the best one.
With “Beyond Conservatism,” I tried to combine the social elements of our national events with the intellectual ones. (And let’s be honest, most people don’t really attend conferences to learn something from the speakers; they attend to meet new people and connect with old friends.) So, our room featured a full bar, excellent food, high tables, and plenty of room to move around and network with those in attendance. This could have been chaotic, but in practice the atmosphere was boisterous and warm.
The following Saturday, we hosted a private dinner, which was open to specially invited supporters, writers, and activists. This allowed us to get to know one another and discuss future projects in an even more intimate setting.
After shaking out the cobwebs this past Sunday morning, my thoughts were crystal clear, and they were shared by my close companions: We need to do this again!