A Breath of Fresh Air

Posted by Blake Wright on March 06, 2014 at 5:35 PM

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My name is Lane Farrell and I am currently a junior at America’s most politically active university, George Washington.  I imagined that going to a school in the heart of Washington, D.C. would strengthen the love of politics I developed in high school; however, it happened in a way much different than I ever expected.  Even my road to finding out about CSA was unusual.  The Bipartisan Policy Center puts notable applicants that were not hired on a list serv, and this is how I found out about what would turn into perhaps my most rewarding undergraduate work. This is just one more reason I remind myself to look for the silver lining. 

I was born in New York, but spent most of my life in the Charlotte, North Carolina area.  My parents run a large commercial roofing company, and as such, it is not surprising that I grew up in a home that supported conservative political ideology.  When I first began pursuing politics, I rarely questioned the Republican party.  My parents were Republicans, and I had assumed that meant their party was right for me.  It was not until tenth grade that I started to consider whether or not this was true. 

I turned to Google, and poured over the spectrum of political parties.  It was around this time that I realized I was never going to align perfectly with any one affiliation. Like most conservative Millennials, I am fiscally conservative and socially liberal.  I want politicians to fight for lowering our insane fiscal gap, but I also need to know that my gay friends will have the opportunity to be recognized by the state in holy matrimony. 

Ultimately, I understand I have to pick a side.  I still identify myself as a Republican, but my time at GW has made me realize that the polarization in politics is so extreme that “little guys” are often forgotten about.  Sometimes the “little guy” is the largest generation in America.  Sometimes it's the Millennials.  This is why I believe in Common Sense Action. 

Working with Common Sense Action has been inspiring. At the National Summit, I saw thirty leaders bring their strong partisan beliefs to a conference room, and work together to create a bipartisan proposal of which everyone was proud.  Nobody got everything they wanted, but we kept it between the 40s.  Common Sense Action brings out the best atmosphere and attitudes in the politically active, something that GW often lacks.  CSA is a movement that I will continue to support in any way I can.