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Feb 09 2017
by Samantha Losurdo

What It's Really Like Being A Conservative on a Liberal Campus

By Samantha Losurdo - Feb 09 2017
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What if we all accepted that we’re all just humans? Race, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, political views and any/all kinds of beliefs that one holds close to their heart are just things that define us as individuals. The world should operate with the ideal that if someone respects you, you should respect them. It’s extremely upsetting that it’s not at all like that. As an 18-year-old college student who is a Conservative Republican, I do not feel respected by most at my school, nor do I feel safe. It is a known fact that colleges/universities are a place for controversial topics and heated discussions. It is also a known fact that most colleges/universities have a larger portion of students and faculty members that are Liberal Democrats. There is nothing wrong with that at all because everyone is entitled to their own opinions and beliefs; we also all attend school to get an education and provide ourselves with more knowledge. There is usually a line drawn in school for political conversations, especially about our current president, though that line seems to have been blurred.

I’m a Conservative Republican because I believe that the world is full of equal opportunities for everyone, and if you don’t take that opportunity, that is your own fault. You should not be held responsible for the fact that someone else didn’t take the chance that you took yourself. I think that President Trump is 100 percent correct on protecting OUR people first, giving jobs back to OUR people first. If you can’t help yourself in life, then you cannot help anyone else. The same goes for any country; if your country is messed up and not well, then it cannot help any other country without further hurting itself. 

I feel that, as the United States of America, we have not been "united" in so long. I’m a Conservative Republican because I have the utmost respect for our soldiers out there who are fighting for our country. Our freedom does not just come to us; there are people who have left their comfort of their families and homes to go overseas and fight for our rights. I believe that when these brave people arrive back home, they should be treated with honor and respect, not shoved to the side — they should be treated better than any kind of refugee is treated. I’m a Conservative Republican because I believe in honoring the traditions of our country and I strongly believe that every single person has the potential to make great changes in the world.

As a Conservative Republican who attends a liberal college/university, we most often hold back our own personal thoughts while our peers harshly word vomit the thoughts/supposed "values" that "our kind" have. At that moment, we hold back from sticking up for ourselves with the fear of people getting the wrong idea about us. If I were to go out and say at my school that I am a Conservative Republican, I am sure that I would be labeled as a racist, women-hating, homophobic, Islamophobic bigot. When in reality, what color you are, what gender you are, who you chose to love and what religion you practice does not concern me. I live by the previously mentioned ideal that if you respect me, then I respect you. It is just as simple as that. Though just because my political party has been falsely identified as these things or because maybe others who are a part of my political party can be labeled as those things, I am automatically stamped across the forehead with these words.

Conservative Republican students refrain from speaking their mind in a classroom setting because nine out of 10 students who are Liberal Democrats are ready to bite off of your head and spit it on the ground when something doesn’t sound right to them. People are ridiculously quick to shut you down without even hearing your explanation of thinking. We, as a generation, have lost respect for each other because of the differences in our views. How sad does that sound? There have been multiple times where I have kept my mouth wired shut while a discussion about some political news is going on because I know that I won’t be looked at the same. A very big thing for Liberal Democrats lately is that they’re offended by almost anything they find to be wrong. Well, Conservative Republicans have become offended by the way that our political party is being slammed by our peers while we sit in a place where we are supposed to feel comfortable and in a “safe zone.” Don’t you think there is something wrong there?

This problem does not only lie within big colleges/universities, it is evident in almost any kind of college. Robin M., a freshman who is a Conservative Republican that attends her town’s community college says:

In college, you are told it is a time where you get to be whoever you want to be, but in my first semester, I learned that you are to be what they want you to be. Having a professor who told my class that if you disagree with her political views, she will take off points, I learned that it is better to sometimes keep opinions to yourself. However, when sitting in my political science class, I am told that republicans are ‘trolls,' ‘ignorant’ and that there is no helping us. You would think the professors would be adults in these situations and stay objective but when most of them are left liberals, they are acting like children and send out the message that you are not allowed to think for yourself.” 

This very same college sent out an email to its students saying that this college’s values “...call for us to support all students in a spirit of inclusion and safety, regardless of age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, religious beliefs or country of origin. All are welcome [here] and our commitment to student success applies to each student equally.” The very same school who says that their values claim for them to make their students all feel included and safe have a woman working for them who said that she would take points off from them if they have different political views. That sounds like a miscommunication problem between the school and their faculty. 

Professors are pressing their political opinions on students more and more in our recent times, especially because of the most recent election. At a college/university, you are supposed to feel safe and comfortable in your work space in order to freely access all of the knowledge you’re able to absorb. With professors acting in that way towards their students, students won’t want to be in classes and succeed due to discomfort.

Natalie A., another freshman from a particularly liberal school said that:

“My entire life I have been taught the importance of economics and the gravity of caring for others. I align myself conservatively because of my deep passion for entrepreneurship and free markets. If people have opportunities to create and innovate then our country will prosper both financially and socially, allowing all walks of life to rise up. Coming to college I quickly discovered that my generation has confused politics for their own social plight and if I too am not fighting alongside then I am a racist, a bigot, a homophobic a**hole or any other slur one can label me. College is meant to insight expression and free thought, yet I and others are shunned and unfairly labeled.”

People are extremely quick to judge in our day and age. Once you say that you believe or support something that is seen a negative way, you’re immediately attacked. We aren’t given the chance to explain ourselves and why we think the way that we think. Even if views differ, you should respect the person for being able to think fully for themselves and being able to back up their views with notable facts. OK, you don’t agree with them, that’s fine. No one said you had to agree with everyone on everything, just show consideration for their thoughts. If everyone agreed on everything, life would be boring because there wouldn’t be any debates, struggles, hardships or things that can prove people/countries to get better/be their best.

Starting from a young age, people are told to speak their mind in order to be honest with themselves and those around them. When you don’t understand something that someone is saying, you’re meant to ask questions. Morgan P., a student who is known for always speaking up for herself and what she believes in has this to say now.

“I've always been someone to speak my mind and stand up for my opinions, but being a Conservative on a college campus nowadays, I definitely do consider expressing my beliefs during lectures or open discussion a lot more than I used to because of the very obvious hate towards the right. One thing I would like to strongly emphasize is the difference between 'leaning right' and 'alt right.' Political parties as they are right now, won't be the same in 10 years. The DNC needs to change and The GOP will also change because of our generation of young Republicans. During this time of severe political unrest and dangerous threats, I think it's very important that young Republicans stick to their beliefs and understand that they aren't alone and that young people all over the country share their same views."        

This is why I had thought that writing this was so important. So incredibly important.

When I’m in a class where everyone is tearing apart President Trump or Tomi Lahren, a woman I respect, I feel alone. I feel alone with my thoughts in those moments. But, I’m not alone. There are Conservative Republican students all over the country at different schools who feel the same way. That is something incredibly important to know. All in all, it’s evident and relevant to respect the opinions of others. Hear people out on why they feel a certain way on a specific topic; don’t just beat them down with hateful words because you don’t agree. There were countless amounts of times these past few months where I had witnessed on my Facebook timeline people posting that they will “unfriend anyone who thinks that Donald Trump would be a good President,” or something along those lines. A single disagreement between people, such as politics, should not interfere with the relationship. There is SO much more to worry about in the world. 

Conservative Republicans are not asking for everyone to love Donald Trump, but we should unite and hope that he does such a good job that you're jumping to vote for him again; we should not be waiting for another attack to unite us. As a Conservative Republican at a liberal school, all I ask is for people to respect each other and each other's opinions. What if we all accepted that we’re all just humans with different thoughts and opinions? Because in reality, that’s how it is. 

Lead Image Credit: Pixabay

Editor's Note: Quotes have been edited for clarity and cohesiveness.
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Samantha Losurdo - Marymount Manhattan College

Samantha Losurdo (she/her/hers) is a curly-haired freshman at MMC who enjoys the simple things in life. Majoring in Digital Journalism, she hopes to inspire people all around her and keep the positives overpowering the negatives through her work. Check out her Instagram: @samilosurdo47

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