This week, a student penned an op-ed in the Washington University newspaper, Student Life, claiming that it’s “fine” if conservatives don’t feel welcome on campus.
Sean Lundergan, a staff writer for the independent student newspaper, wrote the piece after President Donald Trump delivered the State of the Union to “reflect on the young members of the ideological movement that created him.”
“Across the country at schools like ours, college right-wingers say they face social isolation because of their beliefs,” Lundergan wrote. He then cited an article published last semester in the student paper that profiled conservatives who experienced “negative social ramifications for their politics.”
“They feel their beliefs aren’t welcome on our campus,” Lundergan wrote. “And I’d just like to say: That’s fine.”
Lundergan went on to say that debate should not be stifled, but “dismissing unproductive conservative ideas can open up our opportunities for meaningful discussion.”
The student columnist then suggested that students don’t have time to discuss conservatism.
“It’s a logistical fact of living in human society that not every idea is fit for the public forum,” Lundergan wrote. “We only have so many hours in the day. In general, it’s taken for granted that some belief systems are either unnecessary or detrimental to serious discourse, and that’s especially important in an academic environment.”
Lundergan then offered bizarre comparisons regarding conservatives not being taking seriously on campus, claiming that chemists do not discuss alchemy and doctors do not discuss leeches for treatment.
“[T]here’s no reason to actively accommodate conservatives — especially fans of the president— because their ideas add little value to our discourse,” he added. “Conservative ideas do not deserve equal consideration to that afforded liberal and left ideas, because conservative ideas are not equal to liberal and left ideas. There is no legitimate argument for supporting Donald Trump and his allies, at least not one that holds up in any academic community worth its salt. Advocating nativism, sexism, government by oligarchic graft and anything else the president represents is not productive in a space meant to contribute ideas to the world.”
Lundergan also cited Student Life survey results in which only 8% of respondents reported being “conservative,” while 73% of respondents identified as “very” or “somewhat” liberal.
“Instead of propping up fringe ideas out of some sense of ‘bipartisan’ openness, we should embrace the fact that so many of our students are liberal,” Lundergan wrote. “Instead of wasting our time and mental energy on some right-wing argument no one really believes, we should spend time having meaningful conversations. How can we guarantee everyone health coverage? What’s the best way to redistribute wealth? How can we mitigate climate change, a thing we all agree is a problem?”
Lundergan wrote that conservatives should be allowed to have their clubs to discuss conservative ideas, and that it’s “fine that lefties might have conservative friends – I have a few token right-wing pals myself,” but added that the student body shouldn’t “pretend, out of politeness that there’s anything valuable in the Republican policy agenda.”
“The Republican Party primarily exists to enrich a small group of already-rich people, and does so quasi-democratically by scaring old white folks about people with darker skin.”
Lundergan concluded: “Call me crazy, but I don’t think that’s a party or an ideological flank that I’d like to offer a whole bunch of special treatment to.”
“This piece is just one more example of why leftism on college campuses has bred a generation of students whose intolerance and ignorance outmatches even the poorly constructed strawman they claim to be opposed to,” Austin Petersen, a former Republican primary candidate for the U.S. Senate from Missouri told The Daily Wire.
“More speech is good speech, even when it’s brainless leftist speech. Indeed, as the Scarecrow famously said to Dorothy, ‘some people without brains do an awful lot of talking.’ And that’s OK. Let them talk.”