Pence and Morales Impart Advice to Young Republicans

The Young Republicans Club meet prominent Indiana political leaders
Members of the Logansport High School Republicans Club go on stage and take a picture together.
Members of the Logansport High School Republicans Club go on stage and take a picture together.
Courtesy of Sue Eckl

A well-dressed man in a suit with gray hair walks into the room. The entire room shifts its focus to the man. Pictures are taken of him, and people go up to talk to him and shake his hand. Then, he walks over to a table where the members of the Young Republicans table are stationed. He shakes the hands of senior Casen Lake, junior Cameron Hunnicutt, senior Lacey Sutton, freshman Jesus Beltran, and science teacher Laura Karnafel. The gray-haired man is none other than the 48th Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence. 

Members were excited and shocked that they got to speak to Pence.

“Meeting the Vice President was an honor,” Young Republicans advisor Laura Karnafel said. “He comes across as a very sincere person who holds strong Christian values and is very genuine.”

The event was held in Carmel, Indiana at their event center, and it was hosted by the Federation of College Republicans and their chairman, Chris Elmore.

For senior Casen Lake, the trip was life-changing in multiple ways.

Members of the Young Republicans get to take a picture and talk to former Vice President Mike Pence. (Courtesy of Sue Eckl)

“The trip allowed me to connect better with fellow members of the club and allowed me to witness them gain experience and perspective at an amazing event,” Lake said. “Secondly, it gave me a great view of how to push through hurdles and towards your goals after hearing a very inspiring speech from our former vice president. It was an honor to hear the former vice president and hear his perspective on the challenges we face and the opportunities that come after, alongside the future of the country, and how the youth in the party can change it by pursuing their dreams. It gave me a slightly new perspective on my tentative future.”

Even though meeting Pence, was a huge moment for many members, for Beltran and Hunnicutt it was an honor to meet the Indiana Secretary of State, Diego Morales.

“My favorite part of the entire event was getting to meet and talk to Morales,” Beltran said. “He was my favorite because it shows even though people go through struggles and hardships, they can still accomplish great things.”

Morales was born in Guatemala, and 21 years ago, he couldn’t speak English. Beltran looks up to him as an inspiration.

“A long time ago, I couldn’t even speak English, and look where I am now,” Morales said. “I chose not to give up and keep on going, and my dreams came true. I am proud to live in America and call it my home. It is an honor to hold this office and uphold the principles America stands for. I am proud to be the first legal Latino elected to a statewide office.”

After being supported by Mike Pence for many years, Diego Morales decides to give Pence an honorary Secretary of State award. (Courtesy of Sue Eckl)

For Hunnicutt, it was an eye-opening experience.

“It was amazing to see that Mike Pence and Diego Morales had the best interest of the people in mind,” Hunnicutt said.

At the end of the event, Mike Pence went on stage and gave a keynote address in front of the entire audience.

“At 29 years old, I jumped in,” Pence said. “I ran for Congress the first time, came pretty close in 1988, less so in 1990. It would be 10 years before that dream would become a reality for me. It all began when I spoke my dream. The journey that led me to meet great people and accomplish great things all began when I spoke my dream, so I encourage you first and foremost, if you aspire to leadership, speak your dreams.”

Pence believes that studying the Constitution is fundamental.

“When I was your age, I thought the Constitution was simply an outline of government, but it’s so much more than that,” Pence said. “It is built on my judgment of the right understanding of human nature. The checks and balances of the Constitution itself exist for the purpose of preserving the very government that we thrive in through freedom. It’s the prosperity of this nation as well as making America one of the most prosperous nations in the world. The Bill of Rights, which articulates what our founders believed were our God-given rights. The freedom of speech, worship and the right to bear arms, all of that is there. I want to encourage you to dive deeply into the Constitution. George Washington, one of my favorite presidents, and I’ve known a few, once said the Constitution is one in which I will never amend. Take this time in your life to really become students of the Constitution.”

Pence also said it’s time to develop what you’re for. He believes it’s fundamental to pour concrete around your values. Pence tries to inspire young people if they go into politics to be determined to make their campaign and their service about more important things like a set of ideas or principles.

“Every day for the rest of my life, I will stand on the principle that America is the leader of the free world,” Pence said. “We are the arsenal of democracy, and we must stand with our allies in Israel, Eastern Europe and the Asian Pacific to check the expansion of authoritarian regimes.”

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