Twenty-two-years old, former student at University of Colorado Boulder, and self-proclaimed as having “the best hair in the conservative movement,” PragerU’s Will Witt gave a lecture last Thursday on “how to win friends and influence enemies in an increasingly liberal world” for campus club Citizens for Self-Governance.
Witt said he was both a liberal and atheist prior and during his time at college and described the drastic shift his life took, which led him to a job as a conservative influencer at PragerU.
“In college, I was dating a girl who turned out to be a huge Hillary supporter,” Witt said, “We got into a huge argument about refugees coming to Sweden and raping people, and she said it was a conspiracy theory. I said it had to be true, and she was crying, and said to me, ‘You sound a lot like a Trump supporter,’ and I thought, ‘Maybe I am.’”
It was these types of conversations and experiences in the classroom that pushed Witt to explore conservative ideas and policy.
After attending CU Boulder for two years and eventually dropping out of college in order to make informative videos where he questioned college students’ political views for PragerU’s website, Witt became a loud voice for young people in the modern conservative movement.
“I made a video for PragerU, while I was still in college, and I asked women about the wage gap,” Witt said. “I sent it to PragerU, they loved the video, and they posted it. I did it because I thought it would be informative, entertaining, and I saw myself doing things like this outside of school.”
Witt said what is unique to his videos, versus other “man-on-the-street” interviews, is that he seeks to try to change the minds of those he interviews.
“Do not tell them what you think, because they already think they know what you think,” Witt said. “They have to change their minds themselves. Don’t tell them what to think, but show them how to think.”
Witt was brought to campus by the CSG club in order to encourage and show students how young conservatives can make a difference on their college campuses.
“When I was out in Los Angeles for a Convention of States internship trip, one of our days, we had a tour of PragerU Studios, and someone asked us, ‘Oh, Will Witt’s in the studio. Do you want to meet him?,’ so we did,” member of CSG and junior Jack McPherson said. “We passed along his contact information to Emily Heubaum, and she brought him out for Citizens for Self-Governance.”
President of CSG and junior Emily Heubaum said she sent Witt the headline and talking points they wanted him to speak to students about, and he came up with the lecture himself.
“A popular misconception among conservative youth at large colleges is that Hillsdale is just an echochamber,” Heubaum said. “Will said that he found Hillsdale to not be that way and a misconception coming in, especially since he goes all over the country to speak to conservative youth at different colleges.”
During his lecture, Witt encouraged students with several practical steps on how to exactly “beat the Left, but also make friends.”
“We need to convince liberals that they are our friends,” he said. “Many people have conservative, or [classically] liberal, ideas without even knowing it. We all want the same outcome.”
Witt’s final point during his lecture and what he deemed as the most important was to encourage students to live out their values and never compromise.
“Never sacrifice your values for anything or anyone,” Witt said. “I get a lot of hate for what I believe, but it’s a part of the job.”
Students who were unsure of Witt’s conservative values and stances walked away with changed opinions.
“I wasn’t totally sure who Will was before I went to the lecture,” junior Matthew Clark said. “I was expecting more of a tirade against the Left, but instead, he talked about engaging their minds to change them.”
And, members of the CSG club were excited to have Witt as their guest on campus, feeling it marked a huge accomplishment for the club.
“It makes me proud for a club like CSG to bring out a high-profile guest like him out here,” McPherson said.