Betsy Hart spoke Tuesday night. John J. Miller |

Jour­nalist Betsy Hart was 13 years old when Ronald Reagan lost the Repub­lican pres­i­dential nom­i­nation.

“I actually laid on the living room sofa and cried,” Hart said.

Hart, senior devel­opment writer for The Her­itage Foun­dation and former syn­di­cated columnist and Reagan White House press aid, delivered her speech “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World: How to stay sane in a time of atheism, fem­inism, and cul­tural rot.” She dis­cussed the con­tinuous moral and ethical decline of American culture as the result of increased indif­ference toward God, and a growing idea of fem­inism that is very dif­ferent from what it used to be.

Using her per­sonal expe­rience, Hart touched on the impor­tance of mar­riage, virtue, and how “the true, the good, and the beau­tiful” combat these mad ideas and change the world for the better.

According to Hart, growing up with con­ser­v­ative parents who instilled certain moral and political values in her had a lasting effect on her. She said these values carried her into college, where she was polit­i­cally active and pas­sionate about changing the world on a large scale.

Hart said her goal is to show how to impact the world, even when it seems to be in chaos.

Although atheism has been present throughout history, Hart said, it has changed from a stark rejection of God to an indif­ference. This is having detri­mental effects on American culture.

“Even if you’re angry at God, at least you have this shared under­standing that God is important,” Hart said. “When you have indif­ference toward Him, that question is just off the table.”

Hart said fem­inism also changed sig­nif­i­cantly, becoming increas­ingly hyp­o­critical and prob­lematic. She thinks this is neg­a­tively impacting American culture. She noted that women in par­ticular are being hurt by this new wave of fem­inism that, instead of focusing on equality, focuses on tearing down men.

“Main­stream fem­i­nists only care about pushing the limits on what they can do instead of what they should do,” said sophomore Kate Ford, after attending Hart’s speech. “I really agree with Hart in that sense.”

After getting the chance to work for her childhood idol, Reagan, Hart went on to work for The Her­itage Foun­dation. But, once she had a husband and four kids, her mindset began to shift.

“You get a little more of a sense of the per­manent things and what really matters,” Hart said. “And pol­itics is very important, we need to be involved in that process.”

Sophomore Emma Cummins said she was impressed by Hart’s openness and honesty.

“It was refreshing to see someone be so honest about what’s really important, even if it may not be as glam­orous,” Cummins said.

Hart pointed to women who are respected less for their natural yearning to be mothers as an example of another this cul­tural shift. All of these for­merly natural desires are no longer com­monly accepted, she said. However, in her expe­rience, they are essential to under­standing the world and living a vir­tuous life.

“Trying to live the way I’m created to live, brings peace to me,” she said, “and I hope it blesses others in this mad, mad, mad, mad world that we are living in.”