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Being a Conservative College Student in America Takes Real Guts

Being a Conservative College Student in America Takes Real Guts

One student’s story.

Matt Lewis of the Daily Beast recently wrote about a member of the College Republicans at the University of Minnesota who worked for his wife. Her story is all too familiar:

A Campus Conservative’s Year Facing Anger, Doxing and Intimidation

It cost more than $600,000 for security so that Ben Shapiro could safely deliver a fairly conventional conservative speech at UC Berkeley on Thursday night. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Shapiro (an orthodox Jew and #NeverTrump conservative) was heavily targeted with anti-Semetic attacks by the alt-right. He was nevertheless greeted on the Berkeley campus by signs calling him a “white supremacist.”

This was just one more example of how the assault on free speech at America’s college campuses has become pervasive. You’ve probably heard of last year’s high-profile incidents at Middlebury College, Evergreen State College, and (yes) U.C. Berkeley, but these examples are merely the ones that got national attention.

To get a better perspective on the problem, I reached out to Madison Faupel, who interned for my wife this summer. Instead of perspective, I got a first-hand testimonial.

She’s the president of the University of Minnesota’s College Republican chapter. Her group sparked controversy last fall when it reserved space and painted a mural on the Washington Avenue Bridge to promote their student group.
Her group settled on three slogans: “College Republicans, The Best Party on Campus,” “Trump Pence 2016,” and “Build the Wall.”

Within an hour, the panels had been vandalized, and protesters had surrounded the panels. Some of the vandalism included the following statements: “STOP WHITE SUPREMACY NOW” and “Hate Speech is not Free Speech.”

The notion that Madison is a white supremacist is about as laughable as the notion that Ben Shapiro is one. In their insistence on tolerance, leftists are increasingly intolerant of anyone who may not like their choice of candidate or political ideas. The charge of “racism” is becoming an easy way to shut down robust political discussion.

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Comments

“The charge of “racism” is becoming an easy way to shut down robust political discussion.”

Is becoming? You’re about 50 years late noticing that one! (Maybe a hundred, but I don’t remember things from that far back quite as clearly).

I was one of the few conservative Christians in my doctoral program, and it was difficult to go to class every day knowing that not was I despised by my professors, but my fellow students as well. I made it through by the grace of God and the help of a dissertation chair who was not a small minded jerk. It takes a lot of fortitude to keep going and not get discouraged. After I graduated, I was snubbed at conferences by these same people who treated me as if I were some sort of contagious disease that they might catch if they were polite to me.

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