Why It’s Hard To Be A Conservative On Campus

It’s not (contrary to what you leftists think) because they’re stupid. It’s because you are:

Perhaps the most problematic aspect of Green’s post is that, despite what he believes, most conservatives do not complain about liberal bias on American campuses because they are full of people who believe that evolution is true or that the US lost a war against Vietnam. They complain about liberal bias on American campuses because they are full of people who think conservatives are just cretins who are incapable of forming their beliefs in a rational way and have no problem saying so on a regular basis. In short, they complain about liberal bias on American campuses because they are full of ignorant fools like Green, who know next to nothing about what conservatives actually believe. Green’s lazy rant is a perfect illustration of why it’s hard to be a conservative on campus. Of course, he didn’t do it on purpose, but that doesn’t make his post any less valuable.

…This bias is a real problem that should concern everyone and deserves better than Green’s idiotic post. I’m one of a handful of openly right-wing people in academia, so I’m in a particularly good position to talk about it. In my experience, people who aren’t conservative have no idea what kind of things those who are have to deal with in academia on a daily basis, which is part of the problem. Universities worry a lot about micro-aggressions, implicit bias, etc. against women and minorities. But there is nothing “micro” or “implicit” about the hostility conservatives have to face on campus. Nobody goes around campuses saying that women and black people are stupid, but not a day goes by on campus without people saying that about conservatives. In my field, conservatives are so afraid to speak up that some of them have created secret groups, where they can say what they think without fear of reprisal. Just think for a second about how toxic the environment must be in order for things to have come to that.

This is of a piece with Haidt’s work that showed how conservatives easily understand leftists, but leftists are clueless about what conservatives believe.

17 thoughts on “Why It’s Hard To Be A Conservative On Campus”

  1. Ironic, it is by not allowing ‘stupid’ (ignorance in actuality) that stupid exists. The way to get rid of ignorance is to air it out.

    Shouting down anyone, regardless of their ignorance, should not be tolerated. Of course, some people will stubbornly hold to views the majority disagree with. Historically, those people are often right.

    Most people think they know censorship is bad (if asked) but today many people advocate for censorship in various ways. They justify it fraudulently by claiming it’s something other than censorship.

  2. Academics pride themselves on their educational attainment and alleged intelligence. For those that work at state universities in a majority of states, liberal academics are being quite stupid in how they alienate and demonize Republicans that control state government. They then complain when legislatures decide that the additional funding the universities want is not approved.

  3. Years of living with leftists has left me with the conclusion that they think they are superior because they have taken certain ideas as gospel truths that go beyond criticism. We all know them: governments can fix all problems, welfare lifts poor people into the middle class, light rail works, etc. etc.

    You can show logically how their assumptions lead to disastrous consequences, but it is in vain. A True Belief in certain assumptions that are Eternal Truths ordained by A Higher Power allows one to be condescending to any rube/hillbilly. I’m sure that Jim and others are flabbergasted that there is a group of people who can build rockets and yet are still stupid enough to be conservatives.

    In this light, I now offer the Left their own Apostles Creed: I believe in One Government, the true and the mighty, and all its departments, ministries and bureaucracies, in One Holy and Apostolic Byzantine Labyrinth. I believe in the bureaucrats, the gimble-eyed, objective Apostles of the One Truth and One Light of Social Justice. I believe in the ever-distant, never-appearing, City on the Hill where all Hate, Racism and Economic Inequality are eradicated. In this I place my heart, my life and all rich peoples’ bank accounts, forever and ever….and ever and ever….without end.

    1. I’m sure that Jim and others are flabbergasted that there is a group of people who can build rockets and yet are still stupid enough to be conservatives.

      The sciency people think it’s literally impossible for Christians to be in a STEM field. You can even point to endless examples but they wont change their minds.

    2. I’m sure that Jim and others are flabbergasted that there is a group of people who can build rockets and yet are still stupid enough to be conservatives.

      Rockets are easy to build. It just takes sixty billion dollars of public funding.

  4. The views Democrats in college have of Republicans is less of an issue than how they treat them. Administrations expend a lot of resources catering to the desires of Democrats and have policies that punish non-Democrats. There are also a lot of professors that base part of your grade on the professor’s perception of your identity. Students can be a problem too if you have to be in a group for a project that uses coursework to engage in Democrat activism.

          1. I could be inducted into your resistance, but my parallel capacity for questioning dogma would likely cause my oscillation between potentials.

      1. The fields I studied in left a lot of leeway for teachers to determine who deserves what grade.

        Often it didn’t matter because there was some sort of criteria you knew you had to meet. Occasionally, I would get a teacher who wouldn’t tell you what you had to do to get a good grade or what was required. I had one guy who responded to a question of how he determines grades and said he just threw the papers on the floor and which ever ones his dogs didn’t walk all over got the good grades.

        Obviously it was a joke but he never answered the question either because he didn’t want some students to get a good grade.

        Having a teacher that based part of your grade on your race, group affiliation, or perceived politics was fairly rare for me but even if it only happens once a year, it can have a negative impact on your GPA.

        It has to be so much worse now than when I was in college.

  5. I’m not sure about whether the framing used to describe Liberal vs Conservative is even appropriate. When we talk about a liberal education usually we aren’t talking about leftism. As an example, there are the Liberal Arts in college, which in my day meant “other than Engineering”, etc. To say Progressive vs Conservative doesn’t work either. It implies Conservative == Regressive. Which might be an acceptable framing for the leftward, but hardly for the rightward. I’d say the correct framing is Socialist vs Libertarian. To the Socialist extreme we have the tyranny of the elite, totalitarianism. To the Libertarian extreme we have the tyranny of the self-indulgent. i.e. anarchy & vigilantism. The Progressive would advocate for shifts in ether direction as a means to promote the general welfare. The Conservative would advocate that stasis is a better means to promote the general welfare.

    1. Classical liberalism was about the greatest freedom for the greatest number of people. It is the polar opposite for what is called liberalism today.

      Classical liberalism is a political ideology that values the freedom of individuals — including the freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and markets — as well as limited government. It developed in 18th-century Europe and drew on the economic writings of Adam Smith and the growing notion of social progress. Liberalism was also influenced by the writings of Thomas Hobbes, who argued that governments exist to protect individuals from each other. In 19th- and 20th-century America, the values of classical liberalism became dominant in both major political parties. The term is sometimes used broadly to refer to all forms of liberalism prior to the 20th century. Conservatives and libertarians often invoke classical liberalism to mean a fundamental belief in minimal government.

    2. To the Socialist extreme we have the tyranny of the elite, totalitarianism. To the Libertarian extreme we have the tyranny of the self-indulgent. i.e. anarchy & vigilantism.

      Not sure libertarians believe in vigilantism and the anarchists all tend to be on the socialist side. I get what you are saying, that anarchy is no government but that is a fairy tail. Humans always have a leadership structure. An anarchic system will naturally coalesce around leaders and groups. This is why the communists like it so much. It allows for a strong man to rise up through chaos to rule through force.

      The Progressive would advocate for shifts in ether direction as a means to promote the general welfare.

      The progressives are communists. Shifting toward individuality is only to gain control over others. Those individuals are turned on the moment they lose their usefulness. Maybe that is what you mean by general welfare but communism isn’t really about the general welfare.

      The Conservative would advocate that stasis is a better means to promote the general welfare.

      I don’t think this is true. Today’s conservatives don’t want stasis at all. The problem with the term conservative is that it leads people to think of conserving. I have seen many people think the act of conserving anything is politically conservative. This isn’t the case. Conservatives want societal advancement and change, they just disagree with the communist/progressives on what advancement is.

      Look at all the groups the term conservative is applied to and how dissimilar they are on political ideology. The term is often abused.

      I agree with your framing as collectivism vs individualism views on society. Individualism can’t lead to anarchism because then there is no society. Individualism to the extreme is living like a hermit with no other humans. Once you bring other people into it, then you have a society, rules, and order. This can still favor individualism. In the real world though, there is no utopian libertarian anarchy.

      When you set the extreme end of organizing a society, you have to put it into the bounds of having a society. When the extreme is placed outside of having a society and is also something impossible to achieve, then it really lacks value as an organizing set of principles.

      1. Before we can understand “conservative”, we have to understand what is being conserved. Relative to American politics, that would be the principles behind the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Relative to the politics of most other countries, Conservative would mean something completely different.

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