I’m a Republican, and I go to the University of California Berkeley. Yes, you read that correctly. If you’re at all familiar with leftist campus culture, you might think that I’m the conservative equivalent of the most oppressed intersectional minority. Even though I’m routinely singled out for my conservative beliefs by my peers and university, I don’t want you to feel sorry for me. By going to a liberal university, I’ve strengthened my beliefs and grown up a lot, and I think more conservative students should do the same for three main reasons.
1. It’s a challenge.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t for the faint of heart. It will challenge you socially and intellectually. I admit, sometimes it’s hard to make friends when the school newspaper or a leftist outlet runs a story about how your organization is a bunch of white supremacists that should be punched in the face. Do you really want friends that hate you because you vote for candidates with an R next to their name every two years? I don’t, nor do I think it is possible to maintain relationships with people who deeply despise your entire belief system. As politically-minded college students who spend the little time we aren’t working on school either on Twitter owning the libs or sleeping, we forget that large swaths of the population are politically apathetic. Only about one-third of Americans can name all three branches of government, so even as hard as it may seem, don’t tell me there aren’t people out there you can befriend on your college campus.
The intellectual challenge is rather obvious. If you are a humanities major or take any politically-charged courses, it’s nearly a guarantee your professor will have liberal biases. I know it’s hard to listen to professors calling conservatism a Koch Brothers’ conspiracy while they show clips of Bernie Sanders on Youtube. I know because I’ve been there; but I also know I wouldn’t be as nearly as good at convincing others of conservative principles if I didn’t have to argue with my professors about my positions in papers and office hours.
2. It gives them something to talk about.
By them, I mean me. By me, I mean Campus Reform, and by Campus Reform, I mean the national media. Information exchanges hands quickly, especially with the help of social media, and you can see how quickly a juicy campus story can land you a slot on Fox and Friends or an interview on prime time with Martha MacCallum.
— Bradley Devlin (@bradleydevlin) March 2, 2018
— Bradley Devlin (@bradleydevlin) February 3, 2018
However, those opportunities aren’t possible without your College Republican, YAF, or TPUSA club doing activism that elicits such a response, much less if you don’t take your conservative ideals to a liberal campus in the first place. I’m not saying you should be edgy or combative for the sake of being provocative. Despite what Phineas Barnum said, there is such thing as bad press, and that press undermines the conservative cause. If you stay true to your values, it’s almost inevitable the left will lose their minds. When they do, it’s your chance to be the primary source of information by documenting the incident and reporting on it using your story and your voice. The ethos you build up reporting on campus issues bleeds over to your commentary on other issues.
The individuals on the Free Speech Commission were cherrypicked by @UCBerkeley to confirm the spineless administration’s beliefs! This is FAKE NEWS! How do I know? They cite @BuzzFeedNews in the report! pic.twitter.com/1qwJCkE0oA
— Bradley Devlin (@bradleydevlin) May 6, 2018
3. Understand the left better than they understand themselves.
When I played football in high school, my team would spend just as much time watching that week’s opponent’s film as we did our own. This opposition research prepares you to identify the opponent’s play and wreak havoc before it has a chance to develop. Every class is an opportunity to “watch film,” or perform opposition research, on your liberal counterparts. Almost every social signal given off by your professors and peers encourages you to buy into liberal indoctrination. The thought of this might make you queasy at first, but always remember that inculcation is a window into the mind of liberal students.
Your curriculum is built around understanding your ideological opponent’s philosophy that builds their ideas, and the policies that express those ideas. If you understand that material inside and out, you will know your opponent’s argument before they make them in a debate, giving you the opportunity to exploit that argument’s weaknesses. I once laid out this argument to a friend going into their first year of college. He asked, “what if I become a liberal?” If you continue to delve into conservatism pursuant with your college education, that won’t happen. Why? Because pursuing truth is the purpose of higher education. Facts are numerical expressions of the truth, and on most issues, the facts are on the side of conservatism. Take heart, your pursuit of truth will keep you in Liberty’s warm embrace.
I know one thing for certain, without the challenges I’ve faced on my college campus, I would not have been prepared for the exposure I got thanks to my Antifa peers. Without that leftist bend, I wouldn’t have been able to capitalize on the opportunities that media exposure provided. So, thank you, UC Berkeley, I look forward to giving you hell for the next two years.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.