The views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of Blood Red Patriots or its editors.

  • The College Conservative: Defending Conservative Ideas in Liberal College Culture

    The College Conservative: Defending Conservative Ideas in Liberal College Culture

    Don't forget to Like Blood Red Patriots on Facebook & Twitter.

    With the kick-off of the new year, political discourse seems to have carried over the heated trend from 2017. The conflict is not unique to Capitol Hill or the hysterical mainstream media. Everyday conversation among families and friends often teems with political discussion. As exemplified in the last election cycle, many of us have experienced conflict with a friend or relative over our deeply-held political beliefs.

    The deepening political divide was and is concerning. Liberals and Conservatives have virtually abandoned constructive discourse altogether. Unfortunately, the hysteria and blatant fallacies propagated by the left toward Trump, and conservatism in general, have significantly affected some of the most vulnerable minds in our country – young, impressionable students.

    As a Conservative, defending my beliefs has been a struggle to say the least. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t been swindled once or twice by the emotional appeal of a liberal professor. My father warned me about the pitfalls of college and often criticized the emotional hysteria of the left. I didn’t quite understand what he meant by “hysteria” until I experienced first-hand the mindset of leftist college professors. Their nefarious goal is not to teach us how to think (as they’re supposed to) but, rather, what to think.

    I finally grasped the concept that the left is neurotic about everything. For them, emotion drives opinion and action rather than fact. This became readily apparent when I first starting debating or questioning any of my professors. It’s 2018. College is back in session, and the vitriol from college professors toward Trump is in full bloom once again. How is someone in my shoes supposed to successfully defend conservatism? Every situation calls for the use of different data or tactics based on what a professor or student claims. Here are three general principles to follow that are applicable to every scenario:

    1. Don’t fall for the argument of authority

    This is a common debate tool used by professors, and the left generally. Talking points such as “ 97% of climate scientists ,” or “ women only make 77 cents on the dollar ” are common fallacies used by the left in order to claim authority over an argument. Thus, the argument of authority is evident when a professor tries to shut down an argument by saying they have a degree or have specialized in similar fields; or that they have heavily researched the topic being discussed.

    If this were a reliable standard then what’s the point in questioning what your educators advocate? Philosophy would be irrelevant as it is focused on asking the deeper questions regardless of any established “consensus.” Remember, people once thought the earth was flat and the center of the galaxy. In fact, the left is oxymoronic when claiming a stance of authority since a popular talking point used by the left is that younger, more liberal people are more intellectual and open minded than their older, more conservative counterparts. This argument is solely used to indoctrinate students without the need to address counterarguments.

    There are many economists and liberal professors who believe socialist policies actually help the economy. This, after all, is nonsense. What matters most in a debate are the facts and data used to construct and defend an argument. So always ask for the sources your professors are using and never let their attempt to gain authority over an argument stop you from questioning their points.

    2. Always be ready and willing to question what your professors teach you

    This is not to say that every single thing your professors say is false. Not at all. You must be prepared to challenge their assertions when they espouse liberal talking points or make erroneous statements. This is when common sense comes in handy. If a professor or fellow student makes a ridiculous claim like “the American Revolution started with the destruction of property, therefore those who feel oppressed have the right to do so as well,” this claim must be questioned. Not only is it blatantly false, but it’s steeped in revisionist history as well. And yes, I actually had a professor say this to justify the destruction caused by Black Lives Matter.

    Don’t be afraid to dig deeper into their claims. Moreover, be willing to research all the information surrounding what they say (this will involve getting past the first page of Google Search). For example, if a professor claims something that you know little about, such as “the airline industry was better before Reagan deregulated it,” research the information and situation regarding such a claim.

    It gets even more complicated when a professor states a fact but then twists it to meet their own narrative such as, “the reason why black Americans are over-incarcerated compared to their population is because of a racist criminal justice system” rather than the fact that blacks commit over 50% of the murders and a third of all violent crimes in the U.S.

    It’s important to notice an educator’s mannerisms and tone when referring to a specific policy or person as well. These little cues are influential to a student’s opinion toward the person or policy since they perceive the professor to be an authority figure. Never be afraid to question and research points made by your teachers and, in particular, don’t sacrifice your common sense just because they are your educator.

    3. Don’t let emotions control you or impair your judgement

    This is probably the most difficult principle to abide by. It involves self-control. People in college are overwhelmingly younger which makes the discipline of self-control that much more difficult. In essence, that they are more easily influenced by their emotions. Manipulating people’s emotions is the most successful tactic used by the left. When Al Gore released An Inconvenient Truth in 2007, the left went hysterical, touting that the polar ice caps were in danger melting by 2013 if humanity did not change its ways. Purported flooding at an apocalyptic level would occur. This obviously didn’t happen, just as the world didn’t freeze over like the left suggested it would back in the 1970’s.

    The point, however, is not whether these events actually transpired or not, but that the left was able to sway the minds of millions simply by tapping into people’s fears. Once again, common sense is your ally in this situation. So, if a professor states something like, “far-right politics in America lead to fascism,” there’s no need to let such fallacious claims spark fears that you’ve actually been supporting an oppressive ideology. On the other hand, if you already know that this is nonsense, don’t let the ignorance of what was just said change your demeanor.

    The calmest reaction is always the best one. Instead of illogically letting emotion affect your mind, or becoming angry at blatantly false comments, react calmly. Not only is it the right thing to do, but you will also earn more respect by having done so. If you’re not sure if your professor is right or how to counter what they said, there’s always another day to debate. Which means more time to research the truth. If you become annoyed or overrun by anger, your colleagues will perceive your response more as a rant than a sophisticated argument. In the end, getting students to think for themselves is what’s most important.

    Don’t ever be afraid to stand up for your beliefs and, when doing so, always be decent and kind. As a senior in college, I have experienced my fair share of leftist indoctrination and have made many mistakes while debating. The point in challenging a professor should never be to change their mind unless, perhaps, they support something especially egregious. Professors are generally dead set in their beliefs. The point should be to rationally expose students to other ways of thinking. This is why it’s important not to fall for the argument of authority or be afraid of challenging your professors. Don’t let emotions get in the way in your quest to champion truth.