By: Staff Writer Jake Riggs
Picture Credit: Google Images
Ever since I first became involved in the conservative movement, I have had a strong desire to reach across the aisle and foster understanding. I have wanted to dialogue with more liberal students on campus. Even when we disagree on issues, I have always wanted us to at least understand the other side’s viewpoints. A while back, a friend whom I admired told me that I couldn’t accomplish this goal. He told me that liberals on campus do not possess the ability to dialogue and that they will hate us without attempting to understand our viewpoints. Of course, this person has such right-wing views that I did not trust this advice. I knew that he could not dialogue, because of his stubbornness. I, on the other hand, would manage to reach across the aisle.
Over the next year, I did just that. I have had numerous conversations with very liberal students. Many of them had never really talked to a conservative person before. One of them even thought that the majority of Republicans hold racist views. Even though we rarely agreed, we always managed to have a decent conversation. I remained quite confident that I had proven my friend wrong. Until, of course, I met the liberal leadership.
The average student at Carolina holds liberal views. The average political activist, however, holds such radically liberal views that I’m not sure they could vote for someone as conservative as Bernie Sanders. Many groups on campus promote viewpoints that most students agree with: women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, and numerous other social justice causes. However, these organizations do not have leadership that represents the average student. Instead they have leaders that cannot listen to a conservative speaker without being so angry that they have to leave the room. They have leaders whose idea of a fair and open dialogue involves “talking some sense” into people that disagree with them. These people not only don’t tolerate opposing views, but also remain incapable of understanding them. Discussing whether affirmative action should exist means that you don’t want black people at UNC. Saying that you do not identify as a feminist means that you hate women. These examples do not represent strawman arguments. Instead, they show how this new crop of liberals expresses their beliefs in their own words. I have personally heard people say all of these things and it makes dialoging with them extraordinarily difficult.
As much as I hate to admit it, my friend seems correct. Not about the average student, but about the extreme liberals who hold positions on campus. Unfortunately, the views of campus leaders no longer reflect the views of the student body. They have no tolerance for dissenting opinions and hold more extreme views than I have seen any other student express. A normal student at Carolina would likely find themselves labelled as a racist, sexist, transphobe if they attempted to interact with the more liberal students. The people who lead organizations, especially many politically charged ones, do not at all resemble the students that they pretend to represent and I hope that, eventually, others will realize this fact.
Politically, I clock in as a moderate. I support gay marriage and gender neutral restrooms. I believe that the police have become too militarized, and I wish that the Equal Rights Amendment had passed (darn you, Phyllis Schlafly). Despite this, I am far, far to the right of every viewpoint they hold. Even the average, liberal student looks like a racist, sexist, transphobe to certain people on this campus. Your leaders cannot tolerate conservative views. They can’t even tolerate moderate ones. Radicals control this university and unless you conform to them, they will eventually target you.