People often ask me why on earth I would bother engaging in Conservative activism at a a place as Liberal as a college campus. It’s a question that doesn’t necessarily have an easy answer, but one that is important to discuss.
One of the cornerstones of the American experience is the diversity of opinion and ideas, and the blending thereof. After all, the Constitution was a work that blended ideas from the North and South, small and large states to create arguably the most successful nation in world history. That being said, I feel that Conservative college groups like the College Republicans and many others help preserve this diversity of opinion in their own small way. Just last week, I found myself in a lecture about Plato’s Republic when all of the sudden my professor launched into a diatribe on the great accomplishments of progressive government, and how the Affordable Care Act was a “crowning achievement” of the 21st Century. Luckily for me, I went to my College Republicans meeting that night and found comfort in 25 other Conservative students who feel the same way I do on such issues. While that may not stop my professor from espousing Liberalism, it creates a counterculture on campus so that one is able to find an opinion in contrast to that of the average (Liberal) professor.
In college, being a Conservative is strangely yet absolutely rebellious. A Conservative student finds his or herself completely at odds with the school administration and professors. A few times after campaign events, I would return to campus to go to class and notice strange looks from many people on campus, including instructors, only to realize that I was still wearing a Republican lapel sticker.
Furthermore, I know that while our College Republican club struggles to recruit students when we work a table on the quad, many of the students who now roll their eyes as they power walk past our table, sometime after graduation will have a gradual epiphany and find themselves feeling foolish for passing us by. Because– and this is the most important reason to be a college aged conservative– I believe that we are correct on a vast majority of issues evidenced by the fact that while on a blackboard in the classroom progressiveness seems like the way to go, in practical application its policies and unintended consequences will end up hurting the middle class workers that my university produces and in the end, us College Republicans who were aware of that fact when our peers were not will welcome them to conservatism with open arms.
Follow Wes Fisher on Twitter at @WesFisherVA.