Monday, February 18, the Trinity University Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) hosted a speaker named Jonathan Dunne. Dunne is an Irishman who writes for theBlaze, an American conservative media company that provides television networks, podcasts, and news articles. Dunne came to Trinity University to speak about American exceptionalism from a European point of view. With a heavy Irish accent and great enthusiasm, he had many good things to say about the United States. Dunne shared that his lifelong dream is to become an American citizen, claiming to have been in line for citizenship for about 12 years.
American exceptionalism is one of the issues that Dunne is very passionate about. His sweatshirt read, “America is great because Americans are good.” He stated that one of the things that makes America different from every other country in the world is the idea that rights come from their creator, not from men or from the government. Rights are inherently given to humans just because they are human.
Dunne further discussed the founding American documents, namely the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. According to Dunne, the main rights that make up America today come from the Declaration of Independence. He said that America is different because we have a “God-given right to pursue happiness.” He quoted the Declaration of Independence’s famous phrases that “all men are created equal” and that humans have the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. Dunne argues these documents prove that the United States is built upon exceptional, God-given values that cannot be given or taken away by men or governments.
“I admire how Americans are always so hopeful and always looking to the future,” Dunne said. During the talk, he expressed his admiration for how motivated and persistent Americans are when facing everyday life. He noted that the attitudes in America are much different from European attitudes. George Washington’s values were one of his favorite things about the foundation of the United States.
Students in the audience, mainly YCT members, seemed to enjoy Jonathan Dunne’s talk because most of the members agreed with Dunne that America is indeed exceptional and special. “I loved his passionate knowledge of America’s founding documents. His main argument was that America was the first nation to achieve a system of laws based on principles that mankind cannot alter,” said Isaiah Mitchell, junior english major and chairman of YCT.
More students expressed agreement with Dunne and admired his passion for America as a whole. “I liked how positive he is about America: past, present, and future, noted Victoria Ydens, a freshman classics major and member of YCT. She added that it was “a refreshing change from the usual negativity.”
Young Conservatives of Texas will continue to host speakers in the future. The next speaker on their schedule is Bob Fu, founder and president of ChinaAid.
Disclaimer: Emma McMahan is the social chair of YCT at Trinity.
Photo by Samantha Farnsworth.