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The “Right” Miss America - She’s a conservative
NRO ^ | September 23, 2002 | Joel Mowbray

Posted on 09/23/2002 9:17:56 AM PDT by gubamyster

September 23, 2002, 10:15 a.m.

On Saturday night, more than ten million people watched the crowning of the best woman to repair the tarnished image of the nation's premier beauty pageant. The new Miss America may soon do the same for conservatives.

There are no topless photos floating around of the new Miss America, Erika Harold, because she'd never put herself in that position — she is a leading advocate of abstinence and embraces her own virginity with enthusiasm.

Miss Harold is a collection of contradictions: A Miss America who refuses society's conventions about beautiful people basking in promiscuity, an intellectual who communicates simple messages free of condescension, and a conservative who embodies the "compassionate" without forsaking the "conservative."

It is easy to understand why the USA Today last week dubbed her "the smart one"; I learned this firsthand meeting her earlier this year, when she was an in-studio guest on a nationally syndicated talk-radio show. Her graceful eloquence on a wide range of political topics is uncommon for a 22-year-old, but then again, that probably helps explain why she's headed to Harvard Law School next year after her reign as Miss America ends.

Ironically, Harold thought of quitting pageant life a year ago, convinced that judges would never crown an outspoken conservative as Miss Illinois. She told me two months before the state pageant that she strongly doubted she would win the state title, let alone the national one.

Aside from her work promoting abstinence to teens through the group Project Reality, Harold has dabbled in politics already. She worked for the Illinois gubernatorial campaign of Republican state senator Patrick O'Malley, whose primary passion is defending the unborn, and she is just as strongly pro-life as the candidate.

But Harold eschews fire-and-brimstone conservatism, and instead opts for offering positive messages that people can actually act on. Although she shuns racial spoils that could benefit her — the media has already hyped the fact that she fills out "other" on the race question on the Census despite being part black and part Native American — she does not rail against affirmative action. While sparing no criticism of the racial elites, she emphasizes the steps necessary to achieve true colorblindness.

There is no stronger proof to her commitment to principle than her platform for the Miss Illinois pageant this June. Though some liberal judges at past pageants had acted with borderline hostility toward her stance on abstinence, Harold stuck to her guns and maintained her platform that openly challenges the politically correct safe-sex orthodoxy — a move that she anticipated would hinder her chances for victory.

For reasons owing to internal pageant politics, Harold signed onto Illinois's violence-prevention platform for the national contest. While it's not as trite as pushing "world peace," it's certainly not as gutsy as telling teens to resist their unbridled sex drives. But here's why Harold will shine as a politician: She is cunning enough to know that you can't talk to teens about violence without discussing the risk factors that contribute to dangerous behavior: drugs, alcohol — and teen sex.

If the Miss America pageant is serious about reclaiming its lost luster, it should grant Harold wide latitude in delivering her message to the nation's youth. But if the media ignores her "politically incorrect" abstinence message, the three million teens who acquire a sexually transmitted disease each year will be the ones who lose out.

— Joel Mowbray is an NRO contributor and a columnist.

TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Illinois
KEYWORDS: erikaharold; misamerica
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1 posted on 09/23/2002 9:17:57 AM PDT by gubamyster
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To: gubamyster
Is taht so?

Then why does she support Affirmative Action?

2 posted on 09/23/2002 9:19:29 AM PDT by Tuco-bad
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To: Tuco-bad
Miss Harold is a collection of contradictions: A Miss America who refuses society's conventions about beautiful people basking in promiscuity, an intellectual who communicates simple messages free of condescension, and a conservative who embodies the "compassionate" without forsaking the "conservative."

3 posted on 09/23/2002 9:21:50 AM PDT by Huck
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To: Tuco-bad
Taht = that

Hey - no one's perfect!

4 posted on 09/23/2002 9:23:58 AM PDT by Tuco-bad
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To: gubamyster
But Harold eschews fire-and-brimstone conservatism, and instead opts for offering positive messages that people can actually act on.


5 posted on 09/23/2002 9:26:13 AM PDT by ppaul
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To: gubamyster
My wife and I have known Erica since she was 4 years old. She had an amazing personality back then...we all thought she would do something "great" someday. We continue to hope that the values that her parents instilled in her will protect her during her reign as Miss America and her continuing law school education at Harvard.
6 posted on 09/23/2002 9:26:34 AM PDT by Sangamon Kid
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To: gubamyster
...Erika a leading advocate of abstinence and embraces her own virginity with enthusiasm.

Just like Britney Spears.

7 posted on 09/23/2002 9:27:28 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum
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To: Huck
These days, delivery matters as much, if not more so, than the message. In a sense, conservatives need to learn marketing.
8 posted on 09/23/2002 9:29:01 AM PDT by hchutch
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To: hchutch
It's a tough sell because the press/media/movies/TV are all against us.
9 posted on 09/23/2002 9:30:05 AM PDT by Huck
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To: gubamyster
Wow ! Whatta role model !

Wonder if she believes in sex after marriage ?

( I've heard a lot of beauty queens consider that a "royal favor", and conduct themselves accordingly. )

10 posted on 09/23/2002 9:31:09 AM PDT by genefromjersey
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To: gubamyster

Pageant Spokeswomen for Abstinence

The following young women were participants in Project Reality's "Power of Abstinence" Celebration on January 12, 2002 and "Young Voices of a New Millennium" Celebration in October of 2000.  These participants are titleholders in the Miss America related pageant organizations and are spokeswomen for the abstinence issue.  Many are available for speaking engagements across the country.  For more information, contact Project Reality.

tarabollinger.jpg (5776 bytes)

Tara Bollinger
Miss Mid-Missouri

Miss Mid-Missouri Tara Bollinger is a senior at Lindenwood University in St. Louis, Missouri. She will graduate in May with a double major in TV broadcasting and Spanish. She was a Top Ten Finalist at Miss Missouri, along with winning the Miss America Scholar Award, an Interview Award and Community Service Award. Her platform is entitled, "Oh, the Places You’ll Go" and it encourages young people to make positive choices in the areas of drugs, alcohol, smoking, violence and premarital sex. To date, she has spoken to over 6,000 young people. Tara’s passion is community service and she has traveled to Europe, the Caribbean, and Latin America helping the less fortunate. Tara plans on pursuing a career in broadcasting and youth motivational speaking.

lasaundrabrown.jpg (28687 bytes) LaSaundra Brown
Miss Bexar County 2001

LaSaundra Brown will graduate from the University of Texas in May with a Bachelor of Journalism degree. She previously attended Tyler Junior College, where she was on the National Dean’s List and a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She is a reporter for KVR News 9 and was an intern with WFAA Channel 8 in Dallas. She also worked with the CBS New York Bush Campaign Election in 2000. LaSaundra won the non-finalist interview award at the Miss Texas Pageant and promotes abstinence through her program, “Restoring the Innocence of Our Youth.” Her career ambition is to be a reporter at a major news network and have a syndicated talk show.

rebeccacarr.jpg (29884 bytes) Rebecca Leigh Carr
Miss Albany 2001 - Georgia

Rebecca Leigh Carr attends Georgia Southwestern State University studying Marketing, and is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Rebecca has spoken to 2,000 students on her platform issue of abstinence, helping teens to make good decisions and focus on their goals and dreams in life. Rebecca has worked with a local TV station to create public service announcements for her platform issue. She works with a local Extended Day Program for fourth and fifth grade girls and a crisis pregnancy center to promote the message of abstinence and secondary virginity.

haleycarswell.jpg (31694 bytes) Haley Carswell
Miss Wayne County 2000 - Georgia

Haley Carswell hails from Jesup, Georgia, and is a sophomore at Valdosta State University where she is majoring in Exercise Science. During her reign as Miss Wayne County, Haley promoted her platform, “Walking the Freedom Road by Choosing Abstinence,” throughout the State of Georgia. At the 2000 Miss Georgia Pageant, Haley was not only a Preliminary Talent Winner, but she also was a France Frazier Memorial Talent Award recipient.

bronwyncorry.jpg (42032 bytes)

Bronwyn Corry
Miss Klamath County 2001

Bronwyn Corry was born on Christmas Day in North Carolina but moved to Klamath Falls five years ago, where she enjoys exploring the outdoor wonders of the West. A freshman at the University of Oregon, Bronwyn is pursuing her love for nature by majoring in Biology. She enjoys working with teens and speaking in her community on behalf of the S.T.A.R.S. program—Students Today Aren’t Ready for Sex. Not only does she make a positive impact on the lives of countless students with her work, but she says that she also benefits from her work with the students.

annieleigh.jpg (34750 bytes) Annie-Leigh Cruse
Miss Southern Illinois 2001

Annie-Leigh Cruse is a freshman at Murray State University in Kentucky pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communications. She received the Murray State Leadership Scholarship and is active in Alpha Omicron Pi and campus ministries. Annie-Leigh was a top-ten finalist for Miss Illinois and won the preliminary swimsuit competition. Annie-Leigh has worked diligently promoting her platform issue, sexual abstinence. She is a volunteer at the Shawnee Crisis Pregnancy Center and a leader in the center’s Project Protect Your Heart program.

ashleydeese.jpg (29686 bytes) Ashley Deese
Miss Tombigbee 2001

Ashley Deese resides in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and is a sophomore at the University of Alabama, majoring in Public Relations with a minor in Psychology. A scholarship student and a member of Zeta Tau Alpha, Ashley serves her college as an Athletic Hostess and is a Dean’s List recipient. She has won a number of talent awards for her singing and has traveled to Nashville for studio work. Ashley is firmly committed to her platform of abstinence and teen pregnancy prevention and is a member of the Alabama Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.


erikaharold.jpg (31096 bytes)

Erika Harold
Miss Kishwaukee Valley 2000

Erika is a graduate of the University of Illinois with a degree in Political Science/Prelaw. In 1999, Erika received the Community Service Award for work on her platform, “Teenage Sexual Abstinence: Respect Yourself, Protect Yourself.” She has spoken to thousands of youth, educators and legislators on the “power of abstinence.” Erika is currently working as a campaign director for a gubernatorial candidate in the 2002 race in Illinois.

nitiaharris.jpg (35790 bytes) Nitia Harris
Miss Langston University 2001

Nitia hails from Dallas, Texas, and is a graduating senior at Langston University in Oklahoma, majoring in Broadcast Journalism and Psychology. She is a member of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and is secretary of the Delta Alpha chapter of the Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority. She serves as a peer counselor for incoming freshmen and received two cash scholarships in the Miss Oklahoma Scholarship Pageant. Nitia enjoys implementing her platform of “abstinence until marriage” on her college campus. After graduate school, she plans to open a group home for at-risk adolescents.

ashleyhuff.jpg (29661 bytes) Ashley Huff
Miss Nevada 2001

Ashley is a junior at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas majoring in Broadcast Communications with a minor in Political Science. In addition to winning the title of Miss Nevada, she won the Community Service Award for her program, “Sexual Teen Abstinence Rewards” (STAR) at the Miss Nevada Pageant. At Miss America, Ashley was a finalist for the Quality of Life Award for her outstanding community service. She is a spokeswoman for the Best Friends program, for True Love Waits, and for Abstinence Works, the Title V Abstinence program led by the Governor of Nevada. She has worked with teens in several states, including Ohio, Virginia, and Georgia, and can be heard on radio PSAs promoting the benefits of abstinence.


stephanieinks.jpg (34261 bytes) Stephanie Inks
Miss Michigan All-American Latina 2001

Stephanie is a junior at Hillsdale College in Michigan majoring in History, Spanish and Philosophy. Stephanie is the director of the One-on-One Mentoring Program and is a speaker with the C.A.T.S. (Concerned About Teen Sexuality) Program. Stephanie has extensive experience as a lobbyist on family issues and has spoken at numerous conferences and events on the importance of civic involvement and service.

rashidajolley.jpg (34580 bytes) Rashida Jolley
Miss District of Columbia 2000

Rashida is a senior at Nyack College in New York with a double major in Music and History. Rashida is a third generation Washingtonian and aspires to be an attorney and a professional harpist. Rashida has a passion for helping youth make good choices and shares important information with youth on self-esteem, self-respect and abstinence until marriage. Rashida has been involved in the arts since the age of four and is a singer, harpist and poet.

maggiejohnson.jpg (38590 bytes) Maggie Johnson
Miss Kankakee County—Illinois

Marguerita (Maggie) Johnson is Miss Kankakee County 1999, a division of the Miss Illinois pageant. A graduate of Millikin University (Decatur, IL) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology, Maggie won the Preliminary Talent Award two years in a row at the Miss Illinois Scholarship Pageant for her rendition of the classic jazz standard "Come Rain or Come Shine." This song has become her signature piece because it perfectly exemplifies her
platform issue for the pageant, "You’re Worth Waiting For: Promoting Self-Esteem through Abstinence."

Mary-Louise Kurey
Miss Wisconsin 1999

Mary-Louise graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and received a Master of Music degree from Duquesne University. She won the Preliminary Talent Competition at the Miss America Pageant, where she was also a Top Ten Finalist. Mary-Louise has spoken to over 120,000 teens about postponing sexual activity until marriage and other character-building choices. She has appeared on Politically Incorrect, Life on the Rock and Janet Parshall’s America and recently authored a book titled Standing With Courage: Confronting Tough Decisions about Sex, which will be released on Valentine’s Day.

lisamariemiree.jpg (30674 bytes) Lisa Marie Miree
Miss Black USA 2001

Lisa Marie Miree, the reigning Miss Black USA, resides in the community of Forest Park, Ohio. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism with a specialization in Spanish from Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps Howard School of Journalism. She received a Master of Arts in International Affairs from this same institution. Before graduating last year, Lisa hosted a television public affairs show and founded a dance troupe. Presently, she works at the ABC affiliate WCPO Channel 9 News. Lisa plans to earn a doctorate in Intercultural Communication. Lisa Marie shares her message of abstinence with teens by singing and reciting her poetry.

nikeshamoore.jpg (35962 bytes) Nikesha Moore
Miss Allegheny Valley 2002 - Pennsylvania

Nikesha Moore, the reigning Miss Allegheny Valley, hails from Derry, Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of Susquehanna University with a B.A. in Communications and Music. Nikesha is currently pursuing a masters in Mass Communications at California State University—Northidge. She has competed at the Miss Pennsylvania Pageant for the past three years, consistently placing in Top Five or Top Ten, and looks forward to contending for the title this summer. While Miss Moore has fun tickling the keys of the piano, she’s serious about making a difference in the lives of young people by advocating abstinence stressing “It’s OK to say No.”

Karla Niehaus
Miss Bolliver—Missouri

Karla Niehaus, Miss Bolivar (Missouri), is a senior at the University of Missouri-Rolla majoring in engineering management. Her family resides in Hillsboro, Illinois. In Rolla, Karla’s activities include playing the clarinet (her pageant talent) in various ensembles, directing the Miner Marching Band as drum major, presiding over the engineering management honor society as President, and teaching a 5th grade Sunday School class. Karla’s platform, entitled "Operation: Integrity" encourages young people to remain sexually abstinent before marriage and to fight for integrity by making healthy choices.

Jade Smalls
Miss Illinois 1999

Jade Smalls , an honor student at Northwestern University, was named first runner-up in the nationally televised Miss America Program on September 18, 1999. Miss Smalls has discussed her platform issue, Teen Suicide Prevention across the State of Illinois, and across the country, sharing with youth and adults her important and life-saving message of hope. Miss Smalls also sees a strong connection between the issues of teen sexual activity and teen suicide, and believes that the message of abstinence can and should be the focus of education for teens.

kristintew.jpg (19309 bytes)

Kristin Tew  
Mrs. Virginia International 2001

Kristin Tew is a Manpower and Organization Officer in the United States Air Force at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia. Kristin is originally from Forest, Mississippi.   Kristin received her US Air Force commission in 1997 at Air Force ROTC Detachment 432, The University of Southern Mississippi.  Kristin is actively involved in her community promoting her platform of abstinence education titled:  "Marriage:  It's Worth the Wait."  She and her husband, Ken, travel the Commonwealth of Virginia speaking to students of all ages on her platform.  She has spoken at events for Junior Achievement, DARE, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and at local church youth groups.

jenessawainwright.jpg (36562 bytes) Jenessa Wainwright
Miss Limberlost 2000 - Indiana

Jenessa Wainwright is a sophomore at Indiana Wesleyan University where she is studying Music Education. She is an honor student and a member of the Indiana Wesleyan University Chorale and Opera Workshop. Jenessa was Miss Limberlost 2000 in the State of Indiana. She currently travels the state speaking on sexual abstinence and character development. Jenessa has been involved as a trainer in the group Peers Educating Peers, a high school mentoring program promoting sexual abstinence. She has also worked with Eve Jackson, the creator of Peers Educating Peers.

Angel Venable
Miss University of Louisiana at Monroe

Angel Venable is majoring in speech and communications at the University of Louisiana at
Monroe, and will be graduating in the Fall of 2001. For the past six years, Angel has been promoting the important message of sexual abstinence to area schools and church youth groups. She began her work when she was a junior in high school at the Crisis Pregnancy Help Center in Slidell, Louisiana and was also involved in Passion 4 Purity. In 1998, Angel was appointed Youth Advisor for the Governor’s Program on Sexual Abstinence. Since then, she has incorporated the Governor’s program, "No Such Thing As Safe Sex" into her program on sexual abstinence, and she is currently developing a web site for teens on this topic. Angel is involved at the University in cheerleading, dance team, theatre and the Sigma Kappa Sorority. Her ambition is to help youth as well as adults develop a passion for purity.

11 posted on 09/23/2002 9:31:16 AM PDT by Sabertooth
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
Just like Britney Spears.

When Britney releases her "Abstinence" album, maybe that'll be a valid comment...

12 posted on 09/23/2002 9:33:03 AM PDT by Corin Stormhands
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To: Sabertooth
Wow...awesome post there. Beauty, Intelligence, and Morals..I guess there IS intelligent life in this country after all...
13 posted on 09/23/2002 9:35:58 AM PDT by Windsong
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To: gubamyster
Wow, what a beautiful young woman. Beauty, Brains AND Conservative. And from "fly-over" country too.

14 posted on 09/23/2002 9:36:46 AM PDT by AFreeBird
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To: genefromjersey
I've heard a lot of beauty queens consider that a "royal favor", and conduct themselves accordingly. )

No, Gene: this must be a New Jersey thing...

15 posted on 09/23/2002 9:49:07 AM PDT by TopQuark
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To: Tuco-bad
Where does it say she supports affirmative action?
16 posted on 09/23/2002 9:49:43 AM PDT by Tribune7
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To: gubamyster
What a breath of fresh air!
17 posted on 09/23/2002 10:03:48 AM PDT by Unam Sanctam
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To: gubamyster
Sounds good to me. I hope she sticks with it. There will be incredible pressures on her to bend to the prevailing views.

A pro-life Miss America? Intolerable!
18 posted on 09/23/2002 10:09:17 AM PDT by Cicero
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To: Tribune7
Where does it say she supports affirmative action?

"...she does not rail against affirmative action."

19 posted on 09/23/2002 10:20:28 AM PDT by Tuco-bad
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To: gubamyster
My wife switched over to the finals during a commerical break so we watched the last couple of minutes. I was pleasantly suprised to see hear mouth the words "Praise God" immediately after the announcement that she had won.
20 posted on 09/23/2002 10:30:19 AM PDT by tang-soo
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