Washington and Lee: Not A Game
February 18, 2012
Washington and Lee's mock convention is not just an academic exercise. It is more than a game. It enjoys a reputation for accuracy because the participants take their assignments seriously. They study the candidates and the issues. The students do more research than the typical talking head.
Significant figures appear in Lexington as well. This year the gathering heard from Eric Cantor, majority leader of the House of Representatives. His talk served as a Republican response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address.
Cantor outlined an agenda for growth. He cited the university's motto — "not unmindful of the future" – and its storied past. Cantor defined national exceptionalism not as a natural state but as a virtue the citizenry earns. He called upon Americans individually and collectively to be worthy of the trait.
His economic platform stressed the features that allow Americans to reach their potential. Cantor proposed a tax cut for small businesses and a reduction in red tape. Opportunity invites prosperity and social progress.
A few days after the mock convention predicted the nomination of Mitt Romney, the GOP's congressional leadership said it would support an extension of the payroll tax holiday and would not try to attach other issues to the proposal. Cantor delivered an excellent speech at Washington and Lee. His team made the right call.