According to a study published in The Washington Times, the number of liberal professors outnumber their conservative counterparts nearly 12 to 1. True to the statistic, I’ve encountered many professors who were not afraid to show their political bias and openly criticize President Trump and the GOP. I had many debates through my first year.
This disparity can be a challenge; your professors control your grade. Here is a list of tips and tricks I’ve found useful when it comes to debating your professors while engaging the class and keeping your GPA.
1- Know your facts.
Make sure that when you pose arguments in class you have substantial evidence to back up your claim and you know the statistics they’ll throw at you in response. Devolution into an argument of whims and sentiments is one you’re bound to lose. They have power in the classroom and already a maintain a philosophy that privileges narrative over fact. Without facts, you’re fighting on their turf.
2- Be precise with your words
When posing questions or rebuttals to your teacher’s statements, make sure you are conscious of your claims. Very often in all realms of political debate, people, especially professors, will cherry pick your arguments, set up straw man to what was actually said, or derail the argument in favor of problematizing one word used. It’s easy to win an argument when the focus comes to your “incorrect” use of any buzzword.
3- Don’t villainize your opponent
Although it is quite normal for right-winged thought to be slandered as “racist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, or you just hate the poor,” it is important that we, as young conservatives, don’t stoop to the same tactics. Referring to any and all dissent as “snowflakes” in reaction leads both groups back to their own echo chambers and away from productive debate.
4- Avoid character attacks
I once asked, “Under the law, what rights do minorities and women don’t have that I do?” In response, my teacher asked, “Are you a white supremacist?” The conversation ended with a baseless ad-hominem attack and no one’s mind was changed. It’d be no better if conservatives spoke the same way.
One way us college conservatives seem to be winning the culture war is by having fun. When debating in class, not only make your points, but be interesting and engaging. It is unlikely you’re going to convince the hard left. However, the politically indifferent or those too afraid to speak are the ones worth fighting for. A conservative voice is a unique and interesting perspective on campus.
Enjoy sharing it.