5 Things Every Woman Can Learn From Representative Elise Stefanik
Image Credits: Paul Morigi/Getty Images
Representative Elise Stefanik made history in 2014, becoming the youngest woman ever elected to the United States Congress. She represents New York’s 21st District. Before heading to the Hill, Stefanik spent her 20’s working in President George W. Bush’s White House and managed Paul Ryan’s debate preparation when he was the Vice Presidential nominee in 2012. Representative Stefanik is a role model for all young conservatives dreaming of Washington and public service. Here’s five important life lessons we can learn from Congresswoman Stefanik:
1) Conservation and conservatism can co-exist
Conservation and care for the environment are important issues for millennial voters across the board–including for many young conservatives. Environmental protection is no longer a one-sided conversation. Many right-wing representatives and senators are beginning to take a stronger stance on the issue. Representative Stefanik sponsored H.R. 195: Expressing the Commitment of the House of Representatives to Conservative Environmental Stewardship, to further the conversation that young voters are incredibly passionate about conservation. In an interview with Fox & Hedgehog, Stefanik stated, “it’s important politically that Republicans come up with common-sense solutions to address climate change… I have 19 co-sponsors currently from all across the ideological spectrum and geographically pretty diverse. We’re continuing to see more interest in tackling this issue for the long-term.”
2) Support those in uniform
At just 30 years old and a fresh face on the Hill, Representative Stefanik furthers her leadership capabilities by sitting on the Armed Services Committee and serving as the chairwoman for the Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities. Stefanik says that the reason she wants to be on the Armed Services Committee is that she represents Fort Drum, home to the 10th Mountain Division of the U.S. Army. Her job as the chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities is to look a few years down the road at the threats America will soon be facing. Representative Stefanik is deeply proud of those in uniform who fight daily to protect our freedom stateside.
3) When you make a promise, don’t forget the follow-through
In May of 2017, Representative Stefanik voted in favor of repealing the Affordable Care Act–a campaign promise that was many years in the making. The vote caused a lot of public backlash for Stefanik, but she defended her stance proudly to the press and public. Why is this important? Nothing is worse than someone who makes a promise, but fails to follow through. Representative Stefanik may not have been popular with left-leaning voters in her district, but she stuck with the promise she made to those who elected her into office, leading with clear integrity.
4) David can still beat Goliath
When Representative Stefanik was running for office in New York’s 21st District, she had some tough competition. Before Stefanik took office, the 21st District was represented by an entrenched incumbent Democrat, Representative Bill Owens. When Stefanik first began meeting with Republican leaders in the area, many said the effort was almost laughable. Halfway down the campaign trail, Owens announced his retirement from office. He was replaced on the left by a high-profile Democrat. Despite her disadvantages, however, Stefanik’s willingness and hardwork clearly paid off, as she defeated the Democratic candidate by more than 20 points. It can be daunting to stand up to the status quo in any scenario. It is important to remember that a “David” can still defeat a “Goliath”, if they just have enough passion and dedication to do so. Stefanik teaches us to never be afraid of a challenge, because no matter what others may tell you, anything is possible with a little hard work.
5) Age is just a number
The most important lesson Representative Stefanik can teach us: age really is just a number. Whether you want to spend your 20’s working in the White House, campaigning for the U.S. House of Representatives, tackling the business world, or all three, like Stefanik, age is no replacement for dedication and a positive attitude. There will always be people who tell you that you are “too young” to accomplish something. Don’t let them be right! Chase after your dreams now. You may look back and regret it if you don’t afford yourself the chance to try. Don’t wait for the “right time.” You can make a difference in our world today. Go out there and do it.
Isabel is a Cabinet Member from the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado and is a proud CSU Ram. Next fall, Isabel will be attending Georgetown University to pursue her master's degree. She dreams of one day serving as the US President. She loves all things small government and second amendment, and is also a Turning Point USA Campus Coordinator and a proud member of PragerFORCE.