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Oliver Darcy




University of California, Merced, 2011



Oliver Darcy is the perfect example of how young conservatives can make a name for themselves nationally through digital media.

While attending the University of California, Merced, Darcy made a video asking his fellow students to sign a petition allowing the university to redistribute their grade-point-averages — a play on young people’s support for President Barack Obama’s plans to redistribute America’s wealth.

Darcy’s video was a hit, so he made a second one asking students at the University of California, Berkley, to sign a petition pledging to pay their share of the national debt — $47,000. It also went viral.

Darcy’s videos landed him appearances on Fox News’ Stossel and Glenn Beck and a job at the Leadership Institute. He is now a Senior Reporter at the organization’s news site.

Among the most gratifying achievements for Darcy is when someone is “reprimanded for abusing his or her power in the classroom.”

“It’s always great to see when my work leads to action,” he told Red Alert.

Like the Internet, universities have become something of an intellectual echo chamber. The closing of these systems to opposing views — whether by individuals or faculty — undermines the free exchange of ideas, something Darcy, a self-described “conservative-leaning libertarian,” is fighting to restore.

“I would urge young conservatives to always listen to the other side,” he said. “The Internet makes it all too easy for people to only hear what they want to hear.”

Likewise, Darcy said it would be easier to get young people on the other side of the aisle to listen to the conservative perspective if the Right were more ideologically consistent.

“[W]hat hurts the conservative movement is the hypocrisy of arguing for a freer society while concurrently seeking to restrict personal freedoms,” he said.

Thirty Under Thirty 2013

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