Staying True to My Values When Surrounded by Liberals
I may be from southern California, but I am a conservative. Prior to attending college in North Carolina, I’ve been surrounded by liberals, including Vermont for twelve years and now San Diego for seven. Looking back, interacting with hardcore progressives and having their liberal agenda shoved in my face almost daily was what ultimately shaped me into the conservative I am today. I’m a conservative because I believe in the American Dream and that self-reliance and hard work are what drive success. I support free markets, limited government, lower taxes, and the protection of the unborn. In my opinion, the Constitution is not a living and breathing document, and that government should interpret from its original meaning. I am a conservative because I believe in freedom of thought and expression, and the right for others to dissent. I’m a conservative because I was one of the few people from my hometown to step up, think individually, and challenge progressive thought.
I’ve seen that being a college conservative is no easy walk in the park. For a place that’s said to be filled with “safe spaces” that promote diversity and inclusion, college is a tough place for conservatives. We see students and organizations being verbally and physically attacked in the Left’s attempt to silence them. For example, the leftist thugs in Berkeley rioted the streets, destroyed property, and beat conservatives just because of a speaker they did not agree with. Additionally, I have friends in both Oregon and Ohio, where tensions and rioting became violent after the 2016 presidential election. And finally, I know people at the University of Southern California who were unable to attend their own classes because the far-left snowflakes at that campus were too upset and were physically blocking the entry ways of the academic buildings. So it is without a doubt that liberals are, in lack of a better term, bullies. They simply cannot tolerate anything that resembles conservatism, and they will bully you into oppression.
With all this said, I want to assure you that being a conservative at Wake Forest is much easier than it is at other universities. Most of my closest friends are conservative. When I moved into Bostwick, some of us went to different College Republicans events together. We were respectful of other people’s opinions in class and in the dorm.
What this past election has taught me is that it’s very important for young conservatives to stick to their beliefs. One of my biggest regrets of the first semester was not speaking my mind in my “What Does it Mean to be an American?” Writing 111 class. A handful of my peers in that course thought similarly to me but didn’t really speak up either in fear of being labeled as a bigot or a racist or in fear of receiving a poor grade for expressing views that progressive professors don’t necessarily want to hear. Further, it is shameful that after I expressed some conservative views, that hurt my performance. It’s up to us as conservatives to set the better example for younger generations and not become the leftist anarchists and mobsters, such as Antifa, violently rioting in the streets, beating people up who may even have a scent of conservatism.
After just one year, I believe that I have gained much more confidence in my values. I should no longer be hiding in plain sight and keeping my conservatism a secret. I know that it is the right way to govern.
Further, I’m glad that I joined The Wake Forest Review. This is a community that’s been very supportive of me and my beliefs, and I strongly encourage conservative students to write for us as well. The Review has made me much more comfortable with talking freely about my conservative views, and I’m happy to have the confidence to defend them.
So you may ask again: why am I a conservative? I’m a conservative because I understand that conservatism is the only logical ideology when compared to others. I’ve learned from history that conservatism is based on facts and knowledge, whereas liberalism, communism, socialism are all based on fantasy and larger government. History has shown that the more power that’s concentrated in the hands of the government, the worse off the people inevitably seem to be. Look at Venezuela right now.
For me, the most convincing argument in favor of conservatism is freedom. We are the only ideology that supports freedom of individual liberties and rights under limited government. I can pledge my support to any individual, and at the same time openly disagree with and criticize elected officials and the state. I have the freedom to determine my own destiny.
We as conservative millennials have an opportunity to preserve this country and its freedoms. We should embrace our individual rights and defend those who may disagree with us, remembering that we are all Americans.
I not only respect liberty, but I respect the freedom of expression, thought, and press. I believe it’s important for Americans to disagree and engage in meaningful discussions. I respect the professor’s right to indoctrinate me, even though I may strongly disagree with it. It’s unfortunate, however, that he or she does not believe in the same freedom of expression. They only believe in and protect that right if it is their own opinion. But even though I hold true to my convictions, I’m not afraid to listen. I think and make decisions based on facts and logic, not based on emotion. Engage with me, and I may be persuaded.
Additionally, I believe in the power of individual potential. Not everyone will be the President, a CEO, or a multi-millionaire. But the American Dream is still alive, and it’s out there for anyone to pursue. As conservatives, we believe that everyone, no matter what race, gender, sex or religion, has the potential to be something special, and we don’t need the government to help us. On the other hand, liberals want the government to solve your problems. If you’re waiting for the government to solve your problems, take a number.
Furthermore, I value my Christian faith and let it govern how I think. I am fighting for individual rights and liberty, which I believe to be granted from God and not government. These famous words may ring a bell: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Liberals want to remove faith from this country, even though that’s how it was founded. Our Founding Fathers fought for our freedom, and gave their lives to doing so. Now it’s up to us to preserve these truths.
In a time of such political divide, I ask for people to respect each other and their opinions. I ask that we choose to define ourselves not by the letters on our shirts or the party we voted for, but rather by our personal values and what we think is right vs. wrong. We as conservative millennials have an opportunity to preserve this country and its freedoms. We should embrace our individual rights and defend those who may disagree with us, remembering that we are all Americans. Individual Liberty. Freedom and Rights. Protection of Life. I know why I’m a conservative. Do you?