The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

Glenn Youngkin encourages Americans to vote to support ‘a nation with no rivals’

Virginia’s governor said he wants Republicans to lead America back to having a dominant economy and education system
Julianna Stephenson
Governor Glenn Youngkin shares his vision for what the Republican Party needs to do to make America “a nation with no rivals” again.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin claimed Democrats’ policies have weakened the country and  encouraged Americans to choose differently in the November presidential election when he spoke on Saturday.

President Joe Biden’s leadership has weaponized the government, weakened the military and pursued “equity over excellence,” Youngkin said. The current economy has left many behind and the open border has created chaos, he added.

“When Joe Biden and the progressive left water down and pollute the basic foundations of our nation, America falters,” Youngkin said. “Some may call this woke, I simply call it wrong.”

Youngkin encouraged Americans to consider those factors when voting in the upcoming presidential election.

“Elections have consequences, and the stakes have never been higher,” Youngkin said.

Biden won Virginia by ten points in the 2020 presidential election, Youngkin said. A year later, “Virginians chose a different road,” Youngkin said, when he won the race for governor in a state that had not elected a Republican to a statewide office in 11 years.

Progressive policies under previous Democratic governors allowed the government to encroach on the freedoms of Virginians, Youngkin said.

“In Virginia, the cradle of American democracy, tax burdens climbed, jobs disappeared and did not return, parents were pushed out of their children’s lives, violent crimes soared, and Virginia was falling behind,” he said.

Along with criticizing left-leaning policies, Youngkin argued for a change in the country’s education system. Children need to be taught how to think rather than what to think, Youngkin said.

Before Youngkin’s speech, Madison Lilly, ’25, predicted he would speak on education.

“I think he’s really going to highlight the importance of education, getting your degree and taking advantage of every opportunity we have here at Washington and Lee,” Lilly said.

Youngkin spoke of Washington and Lee with pride, sharing a story about James Howard Monroe, ’66, who jumped on top of a grenade to save others during the Vietnam War.

“Our country cannot be exceptional without exceptional people,” Youngkin said of Monroe.

Throughout his speech, Youngkin emphasized the importance of the United States becoming a nation with no rivals — one with a dominating economy that celebrates capitalism and is designed to allow “ordinary people to do extraordinary things.”

“When we say we are a nation with no rivals, it means that we have a form of self-government immortalized through the self-evident truths of our Declaration of Independence, our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, which have never been replicated by any country anywhere in the world,” Youngkin said.

But Youngkin said Democrats don’t want an America with no rivals.

“They are content to concede, to compromise away, to abandon the very foundations that have made America exceptional,” Youngkin said.

Some members of the audience said they enjoyed Youngkin’s speech and agreed with his stance.

“The issue that we are facing today as a nation is bigger than one party or the other,” Liza Jariashvili, ’26, said. “I look up to him as a politician, but first of all as an individual.”

Another student, María José Aguirre Pérez, ’27, was interested in how Youngkin was able to navigate different ideologies and appeal to people in different ways.

Youngkin’s speech was preceded by an introduction from his nephew, Luke Wroten, ’26. Youngkin then started with a joke regarding Mock Convention’s accuracy.

“I’m really glad you missed Bernie Sanders,” Youngkin said. “Although, I am sure we are no better off with Joe Biden.”

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    Mike RFeb 14, 2024 at 9:31 pm

    I find that history can be a great teacher and what history has shown clearly is that your brand of conservatism never leads to anything good. Anytime this country has faced a challenge, starting with the Declaration of Independence, it has required liberal leadership in order to move forward. You, like the rest.of your type are great at pointing out problems but when it comes to solutions, y’all just run and hide.