Finals week is officially over. Right then and there it dawned on me. Only three more semesters to go until I finish my undergraduate degree in Business Administration. Time flew by quickly and right now as I type these words on this computer, I consciously ruminate over all my memories of being a conservative activist. Now that I have stepped down from my position as Chairman of Young Americans for Freedom at California State University Los Angeles, and left it in good and capable hands, I can’t help but write about my experiences and come to an ultimate conclusion about the sad state of affairs in modern day education.
To those who identify as conservative and read this: I implore you to read my story and hopefully it will inspire you to engage in activism on your respective campuses, and be that one illuminating light proposing and advocating for new ideas that are trampled under the boot of liberal indoctrination. I would also politely ask all of you to understand that liberals are the ying to our yang. We should debate and learn from them, and not consistently label them as “libtards,” but instead as fellow students who differ from us.
We are in an ideological fight, but this does not mean we have to disrespect those that disagree with us. By stirring up our passions against those with different ideological beliefs, we are susceptible to make mistakes, and one major mistake that I have perceived is to label our ideological opponents as “stupid.” Our understanding of different ideological viewpoints is crucial, and it should be incumbent upon us to learn liberal policies in order to debate intellectually and possibly reform and refine our own beliefs. If we only consistently learn our arguments to ad nauseam then we are left in a worse state of affairs than a liberal student who graduates college. Close-mindedness is a horrible trait that affects both left and right, and we must learn to avoid this at all costs.
To those who are liberal and read this: I implore you to read this with an open mind, and understand that the state of affairs that modern education has left both you and me in has done you the most disservice. If anything, the college experience does not hinder conservatives, but rather liberals on campus. Regularly having your ideas reinforced time and time again has left you to believe that those you disagree with are somehow horrible, disgusting bigots. This abominable and misleading way of thinking has eviscerated your social life, making you abandon countless relationships with family and friends, and surrounding yourself solely with those individuals that hold your very same beliefs and values.
The most significant burden on my heart is that I have seen so many liberal friends abandon lifelong friendships as a result of political disagreements. Politics may come and go, but the relationships you build will last a lifetime. Why should you sacrifice friendships for politics? Why should families and friends be torn apart for politicians who seek their own benefit and gain? You have given up your friendships and relationships in exchange for an unsociable “relationship” with a politician in D.C who you will never likely meet. This is perhaps my most important take-away, and one that has led me to ardently believe that relationships should never be torn apart over politics.
I hope you have enjoyed and digested the more philosophical and edifying points that I have made above, and that you understand that my objective is not to author an attack piece, but rather an instructive narrative which enables you to step into my shoes to observe what I have learned and vigilantly witnessed. We have effectively covered the themes that I have learned, and now I will attempt to explicate some of my more important experiences.
Being a freshman in college is an exciting feeling. Classes are tailored to your schedule and not the other way around. There are multiple clubs to pick from and degrees of specialization you can choose. However, being a conservative attending a college in America is one of the most terrifying experiences. Every day, in all of my classes, I was unnerved about my political leanings. I went to class with hesitant presuppositions: “What will they find out?” “What are they going to do if they know I’m a Republican?” Luckily, before school started, I had a plan. A crazy one, but a plan nonetheless.
I reasoned that I couldn’t have been the only conservative who feared persecution, so I decided to google “Conservative Youth Group in America,” and lo and behold I bumped into a group called Young Americans for Freedom. I signed up and immediately was contacted by a program officer, Amy Lutz. She drove from Santa Barbra to meet me at a Starbucks in Glendale, which was just two blocks away from where I lived. I was already engrossed just hearing about all Young Americans for Freedom had to offer! In addition, Amy recommended me to attend the Ohio Midwestern Conference. This was the first time I had ever been to the Midwest, and I was blown away knowing that I was part of something more significant. What I also learned was that I could make a difference and impact on my campus by bringing in an influential, relevant speaker…
For most of my life, I have always believed in Communism. Reading the Communist Manifesto was so exciting and profound to me as an idealist young teenager who wanted to see the world evolve into a better place. I then began to research and eventually came to fully believe in the tenets of Maoism. For numerous years I concluded that Maoist policies should be enacted in America to help the poor and destitute. However, I noticed a book with red markings and a fist. As a communist, those two symbols stuck out to me the most. I had to buy this book, and who wouldn’t?
But then as I read I found myself disgusted, as this wasn’t a communist book at all, but rather a book detailing how the Left’s culture of fear silences America. I might have been a communist, but I had no idea what the terms left-leaning or right-leaning meant. Despite being apprehensive at first, something compelled me to continue and at least finish. Upon completion, I finally began to understand. While there weren’t any openly communist figures at the time in the U.S., I did look up to people like Barrack Obama and Dan Savage. After reading this novel, I was impacted by my mortification at the fact that the people I once looked up to were nothing more than schoolyard bullies, and growing up being bullied my whole life made me realize this. This book had a profound impact on my life and signaled my transition from Communist to Conservative. If this book could impact me and change my beliefs, then it would be equally capable of changing the lives of others…
I talked to Young America’s Foundation and Young Americans for Freedom, and it was official.
Ben Shapiro would arrive at California State University Los Angeles on Feb 25th to talk about the issues with the diversity and tolerance the left so openly preaches. To do so, I had to create a club and find an adviser. This pointed me and led me to Dr. Micheal Mclendon, who so graciously gave me the book, “The Roots of American Order.”
As I near the end of my educational pilgrimage, I delighted in the fact that I reflected on my transition to becoming a conservative, as well as my devotion to political activism on my campus. I desperately wanted to share my edifying experiences, as I find them extremely instructive and beneficial to any college student, regardless of political affiliation. My only hope is that some will take my lessons to heart, and maybe then can we obtain true, constructive discourse with each other and across our nation.
To inform you of my future plans, this article will be part of a series with multiple parts, since attempting to fit all my experiences into a single article would make it burdensome, long, and extensive. The next part will describe what happened when CSULA discovered Ben Shapiro would be coming to speak on campus, how the Left reacted to this event, and what I went through. Stay tuned!
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