Charles Johnson, CMC '11

Major: Government/Economics

Soundbyte: "I went to a very left-wing private school which counted Ted Kennedy and Governor Deval Patrick (a friend of Barack Obama's) as alums."

At a Glance: A student of conviction and a man of his word, in Sept. 2007, Charles founded The Claremont Conservative, a news and comment Web site ( with more than 75,000 unique visitors. Following that up, on a lark, Charles entered the America's Future Foundation's blogging contest this year and, although he placed out of the money, made the finals.

A formative event in his political consciousness happened when he attended an anti-Iraq war rally. "At that time I was against the Iraq War," he says, "but in the crowd were a few quiet people handing out fliers asking us to pray for the family members that they had lost during one of the many brutal crackdowns that Saddam Hussein had inflicted upon his people. I came around to thinking, that if the U.S. - the leader of the free world - wouldn't stand up for these people, who would?"

On Blogging: "I wouldn't blog if I thought I wasn't providing a service to my fellow classmates and to future and past CMCers. Surprisingly, I find most Claremont McKenna alums are really appreciative of the blog, though some love it a lot more than others. Both my parents and grandparents read the Web site and know how much I love doing it. They occasionally give me a word of encouragement or rapprochement, but its always lovingly."

On CMC: "I love every minute of my time at Claremont McKenna. I only go home when they close the school down."

Political Heroes: Calvin Coolidge, William F. Buckley, F.A. Hayek, Milton Friedman and Claremont McKenna professor, Harry V. Jaffa. "I would have to say that my absolute favorite political philosopher is Joseph A. Schumpeter who emphasizes the role of the entrepreneur in "creative destruction" and the business cycle."