COLUMN: Republican event brings focus on college groups

This past Friday, the Indiana State Republican Dinner was held at the Westin Inn in Indianapolis.

Several Indiana GOP officers were there including Chairman Mike McDaniel. The keynote speaker was Elizabeth Dole, who gave a very energetic speech to the large crowd of Republicans.

It was encouraging to have seven tables of College Republicans at the dinner, one and half of which were filled with Ball State College Republicans. Our organization has come a long way in the past few years and is starting to really get involved in many areas of politics in Muncie and around the state of Indiana.

Since my involvement started with College Republicans about two years ago, I've seen the Indiana GOP officers put more focus into college students and their involvement in politics. Next semester we will have the honor of having Chairman McDaniel come to Ball State to speak with us and hear some of the things coming up in the next few months.

Elizabeth Dole started her speech with some of the things that her husband and herself have been doing recently. She was very candid with us and joked about her husband's recent commercials for Viagra and Pepsi.

"Bob goes around saying 'take the pill first then drink the Pepsi," she said.

Dole has set her sight on one of the North Carolina senate seats in the next election. Although she didn't give a campaign speech, she did share some of her views with us. She praised President Bush's actions since Sept. 11 and also spoke highly on how the nation has united in this time of need.

The last thing that Dole touched upon was defense. Her speech was good all around, but my ears perked up when I heard defense. Currently we have the lowest amount of our gross domestic product being put into our national defense then we ever have before. This is one significant reason I am glad that we have President Bush. Rest assured that a greater focus will be put on our national defense, in fact there already has been significant change.

Saturday was to be the fifth test of the interceptor for the proposed National Missile Defense system but was delayed because of weather. It is the hope that a ground-based interceptor missile, launched from the Reagan Missile Defense Test Site on Kwajalein Island in the Marshall Islands, will hit the test target launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base about 144 miles above the Earth.

If the test succeeds then there is to be another test in February. Even if the test fails, we should continue to further develop the technology. So far, two of the tests have passed and two have failed. Such a defense system in the long run would go a long way in cementing our somewhat shaky security right now. We still need to find a system to protect us from internal threats, too. We've realized that even if we become impenetrable from the outside, the bubble can still be burst from someone on the inside.

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