- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My conservative view is drill baby drill/

You can say you hate me, but I’m praying for you still

- David “Serious C” Rufful, “The Young Con Anthem”

What began as a spring-semester lark has turned into a bit of celebrity for two Dartmouth College sophomores.

Josh Riddle and David Rufful call themselves the Young Conservatives. Since penning and filming their music video “The Young Con Anthem,” in the spring, they’ve become accidental celebrities. As of July 1, their video has been downloaded more than 436,000 times, and they have 6,470 Facebook friends.

Part of the appeal probably is the irony of two white guys in suits rapping on an Ivy League campus. However, Mr. Rufful says many are following the duo (www.theyoungcons.com) because they inject the Grand Old Party ideals with new energy.

“We felt that our values could be energizing and inspiring,” Mr. Rufful, 20, says from his home in Rhode Island. “We want to unite kids our age and make it cooler to be conservative. We wanted kids to see our message, but we did not expect this reaction at all.”

The Young Cons have been featured on Fox News several times, including “Closing Thoughts With Mike Huckabee.”

“They don’t fit the mold, and they don’t look like most rap stars,” Mr. Huckabee says.

Taxes are the subject and I will spit them verbally

I’m just livin’ life a conservative philosophy

Sorry Hillary not a right-wing conspiracy

We need more women with intellectual integrity

I’m talkin’ Megyn Kelly not Nancy Pelosi

My main motto is you best work hard

It’s not the hand you were given, but how you lay down your cards

I don’t speak lies but I spit the facts.

Mr. Riddle — rapper name “Stiltz” because he is 6 feet 9 inches — says he and Mr. Rufful are outnumbered “about nine to one” by liberals at Dartmouth. The duo met at prep school two years ago, and both play basketball for Dartmouth. They thought it would be fun to make an ironic rap song about conservatism to show that it can be cool, Mr. Riddle says.

“Conservatives are usually portrayed as old, rich guys,” says Mr. Riddle, a 20-year-old Denver native. “We’re just trying to fight the stereotype. I feel a lot of people our age are not interested in politics, and when they are, it is on the liberal side.”

Actually, Dartmouth has a tradition as a place for vocal young conservative rebels. The conservative, independent campus newspaper the Dartmouth Review, was founded in 1980 by disenchanted staff members of the school-sponsored newspaper. Radio host Laura Ingraham and authors Dinesh D’Souza and Ben Hart all worked there while at school in the 1980s.

Of course, not everyone is a fan of the Young Cons. The Huffington Post and various other blogs have made fun of everything from the duo’s inability to sing to their evocation of Ayn Rand, Martin Luther King and Ronald Reagan as heroes.

YouTube alone holds more than 6,400 comments, ranging from “Awesome! God bless you guys. We’ve got to stand against this evil administration,” to “Oh God. Two Dartmouth kids preaching to people who have had to work to get where they are. Classy!”

However, in the wake of their sudden microcelebrity, the Young Cons are getting organized. They have a mission statement — “to spread the love and logic surrounding true conservatism.”

“Our greatest enemy lies in the lack of understanding of the conservative movement,” proclaims the Young Cons’ manifesto. “In a technological era driven fiercely by the mainstream media, those who tout the true conservative message of individual responsibility, moral absolutes and small government are slated as intolerant, racist, ‘bible and gun-clinging’ corporate fat cats who could not care less about the environment or the well-being of their fellow man. … Do not feel afraid or silenced, and always speak your mind.”

“The goals of the Young Conservatives: to promote constructive debate and tolerance. Rather than bashing viewpoints that deviate ideologically, the purpose is to make both sides of the aisle think critically about their respective political and moral beliefs.”

Or, in rapper-speak:

We young conservatives son/

Hard work is our motto/

The movement has begun/

EVERYONE can succeed cause our soldiers bleed, daily/

My views are rock solid, no chance you can break me.

• Karen Goldberg Goff can be reached at kgoff@washingtontimes.com.

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