It’s not easy being the only conservative on a college campus, especially now that the numbers are common knowledge. Liberal professors outnumber conservative professors anywhere between five to one or even as much as twelve to one, depending on your source. And, according to Pew Research, 34% of millennials identify as democrats, 41% as independents, and only 22% as conservatives. The remaining 3% identify as another political leaning or didn’t wish to respond.
Mix the ideological slant with a context that forces you to argue your most personally held beliefs and the university makes for a rather hostile environment for the lone conservative. It’s a rough experience, but we can draw comfort through shared humanity here at LoCo.
So, in that spirit, here is a list of 9 things that all college conservatives do:
I was told that a conservative’s only reason to oppose common core was because Obama supported it and then that capitalism is the source of all societal ills. Not one person around me thought to question the speaker or ask the speaker to defend his views.
As I walked up the steps to my house, I just stuck my hands in my hair and screamed.
I know you’ve done it. We all have.
In a lecture hall of 45 people, I was one of two conservatives, but the other guy had a anarcho-stoner-conspiracy theorist slant to him. That being said, no one ever objected to the feminist reading of John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” or comprehensive sex education.
We always had to be that guy (or girl) to raise our hand and put a damper on everyone’s agreement.
- Couch That Opinion
Someone can broadly suggest without contention that capitalism is the cancer upon society, but if you even suggest a slight reduction on health care funding, it’s an entire class versus one.
Sometimes it’s just easier to say “Well some people might argue that . . .” or “Have you considered . . .” instead of declaring it you’re own opinion.
- Pick Your Battles
Sometimes disagreeing is just not worth the ire of your professor or a tenuous relationship with a classmate. And sometimes you have plans that night and remaining on your rhetorical A-game until the bell rings leaves you too wiped out for your own comfort.
- Throw Up Flags
It’s nice to have someone to agree with, but you don’t always want to out yourself as the conservative, so you throw up subtle signs looking for your people: a reference to personal responsibility, “On Liberty” left lying out on your desk, a PragerU tab left open in Chrome. It’s a futile search for community, but a guy can hope.
- Read Double
Your professor gives you a reading on the benefits of open borders, but something tells you the effect of open borders can’t possibly be entirely positive. Your professor says that you can’t discuss potentially negative points, so you read on your own time to understand both points of view.
- Get Double Knowledge
You read double, but more importantly, you debate.
Gold is refined through fire. Conservative opinions are refined through the university.
- Suffer a Logical Fallacy
The Ad Hominem. The Strawman. The Appeal to Authority. They’re infuriating, but you’re used to it.
You know Paul Joseph Watson is a kook who relies on the aforementioned logical fallacies. You know Tomi Lahren is a tiny little hamster of anger. You know that even this article is a lazy form of intellectual self gratification. But damnit, being a conservative on a college campus is hard and you need a break.
Are there any we forgot? Let us know in the comments or on twitter @LoConservative.
Photo Credit: D Sharon Pruitt