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Friday, September 22, 2023


Rep. Dan Crenshaw talks conservative values at UH meet and greet

Rep. Dan Crenshaw visited campus Wednesday and talked about the importance of speaking to young people and gave his thoughts on topics Republicans should keep in mind.  | Trevor Nolley

Rep. Dan Crenshaw visited campus Wednesday to talk about the importance of speaking to young people and gave his thoughts on topics Republicans should keep in mind.  | Kathryn Lenihan/The Cougar

UH students lined up Wednesday to get Rep. Dan Crenshaw’s opinion on a variety of hot-button political issues at a meet and greet held by UH College Republicans. 

Crenshaw gave his opinions on topics like border security, gun control, drug laws and healthcare. The Houston Rep. also talked about upholding conservative values, finding common ground among different parties and the importance of having good political conversations.

“Talking to young people is always a priority,” Crenshaw said when a student thanked him for his visit. 

Crenshaw gave his take on topics that young Republicans should keep in mind, followed by a Q&A. Using the right tone when talking about your beliefs, never forgetting to be persuasive and the purpose that justice and law serve were just a few concepts on the table.

“We have to be persuading people,” Crenshaw said. “We don’t have to be giving in. We just have to have a better tone when we talk to them, so we can understand what they think.”

Crenshaw said when discussing politics with someone who identifies with a label like progressive, liberal or Democrat, don’t automatically make assumptions on what their beliefs are. He said instead, try and find out what they mean by their use of the word. After a conversation, they may realize they actually have a lot of the same beliefs as you. 

“The good news is we might agree on more than we think,” Crenshaw said. “The bad news is definitions no longer matter and words have lost meaning. And that’s a problem, but it’s a fixable problem that, if we’re aware of it, we can handle it when having these conversations with people.”

Before Crenshaw came to the podium, UH College Republicans President and political science sophomore Cameron Phan told a story that he believed showed the Representative’s character. 

At last year’s campaign trail stop at UH, Phan said there was a total of 14 people there to see Crenshaw speak. 

Though it was a tiny group in the “smallest and most obscure room on campus,” Phan said Crenshaw talked to them with a heart as if they were a room of 200. 

This year, over 150 people came to the event.

“Most politicians wouldn’t waste their time talking to college students, let alone 14 college students,” Phan said. “He’s the kind of politician we need running this country.”

Phan said his favorite part of the event was the Q&A, and said he enjoys how Crenshaw can get a conversation going. 

“You can tell he practices what he preaches,” Phan said. “I think he’s a good representation of what conservatism is.”

UH computer information systems alumnus David Montalvo said he was interested in the event because Crenshaw is a “very articulate person.” 

“He finds that common ground between people of different viewpoints,” Montalvo said. “Just because you look and talk different doesn’t mean that your policies are.”

Crenshaw’s political reputation drew in non-Republicans to the meet and greet as well, like environmental science sophomore Xavier Thierry.

“I don’t necessarily call myself a Republican,” Thierry said. “But I’m interested in what he has to say.” 

After serving 10 years with the U.S. Navy SEALs, Crenshaw was elected to represent Texas’s Second Congressional District in November 2018. He said his focus on flooding and border security sparked the words between him and his wife that launched his campaign: “Should we do this? Yeah let’s do this.”

“We should be held together by ideas,” Crenshaw said. “And republicanism does that.”

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