Caitlin Poling

Age

28

Location

Ashland University (B.A.) and Georgetown (M.A.)

Occupation

Director of Government Relations, Foreign Policy Initiative

Twitter

@CaitlinPoling

BIO

Caitlin Poling serves as the director of government relations at the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI), a non-profit organization that aims to educate and engage U.S. decision-makers, journalists, and the public on the critical importance of U.S. global leadership. At FPI, Poling manages outreach to Capitol Hill and efforts to provide foreign policy briefings to congressional candidates. She writes on Africa and counterterrorism issues, and her work has been published in U.S. News and World Report, e-International Relations, and The Huffington Post. She was featured in Diplomatic Courier’s “Top 99 Under 33 Foreign Policy Leaders” in 2013. Prior to joining FPI, she worked in the House of Representatives, most recently serving as a legislative assistant to Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-KS).

 

 

Why is it important that at this particular point in time, right-of-center youth become involved publicly, whether in politics, media, their communities, or another capacity?

Right now, I think that there’s a growing tide of isolationism in this country, and it’s key for youth to become involved and learn how to counter that narrative. The Republican Party broadly has historically been known as the party of national security, but I think as a movement we’ve been straying away from that message. A strong America that can stand up for our allies and against enemies, support democracy and human rights worldwide, and maintain security of the global commons to allow for free trade and a more prosperous economy is needed in this world. Having youth equipped to get that message out — not just in Washington, but also in their communities — is key to maintaining public support for the strong America that the world needs.

 

What must elected officials and others in positions of leadership do to make a right-of-center message resonate with the Millennial generation?

Conservative Millennials are generally open minded to a spectrum of social and cultural issues and would rather see policymakers focus on hard-hitting issues that affect them — such as the economy and keeping America safe. Among many youth, the Republican Party is often seen as the “party of no,” because individual accountability and fiscal responsibility can be a hard sell. Elected officials should do more to explain and promote the underlying principles for these policies, which are the core values that make conservative solutions the best for our nation. Finally, I think we have some work to do in getting up to speed on using new media to get our message out.

 

Where would you like to see the conservative movement in 10 years — and how can it get there?

I’d like to see the conservative movement return to the fundamentals: a strong national defense, individual liberty, and fiscal responsibility. Working in the foreign policy realm, I’m most concerned with countering the growing sentiment of isolationism in the United States. When the United States turns its back on the world, it doesn’t become a safer place — threats tend to metastasize in power vacuums. When the United States does not lead, other nations will swoop in to fill the void. I don’t think that Americans would want to live in a world in which countries like Russia or China call all of the shots. We need to see our elected officials step up to implement policies on these issues. And we need support from activists, individuals, and organizations. I’d like to see the movement focus less on the issues that divide us, and more on what we can do as a united front.

Thirty Under Thirty – 2014

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