I will start out in saying that this article was inspired by a woman who asked me to advise her son on what he should do to keep to his Conservative and Christian views while in college. First of all, we currently live in a time where not only is religion frowned upon, but also, more specifically, Christianity is frowned upon. You are considered "unintelligent" and are labeled all sorts of hateful phrases by those who oppose you for being "religious." Accompanied by that, there is a vast hostility in this country, and in Western countries in general, towards Christianity. This is due in part because "Christian" values are in direct conflict with the main premise of living in Modern Western culture: "individualism." Yes, where it may be true that the strong "collectivism" of the more primitive and developing countries can breed immense bloodshed and dangerous group think (such as throughout societies in the Middle East and Africa, to note a few), it is also true that the strong sense of "individualism" and "doing as you want to" in the West is also damaging, just in its own way.
To briefly detract from the religious part of this article, which quickly seemed to become the main part, I will also add that Conservatism is heavily frowned upon within the educational cage of university life. Professors take on more "Modern Liberal" perspectives and require that students examine "Marxist" texts, based on (and disguised by) the views of "multiculturalism," in an attempt to indoctrinate students to their beliefs. This will all be taken in more depth, later.
[The Western Individual]
In Western culture, as I previously stated, the concept of individualism is waved as a flag of freedom and expression. It is the cornerstone of Western life. Doing what you feel like, and not what you "ought to," is the rationale here. What you "ought" to do, can be anything from "getting a job" or remaining sober. However, that is a direct violation of many of the modern day westerner's, in many cases, also spoiled westerner's, code of conduct. "I shouldn't have to get a job, when there are so many rich people who make well enough to pay for my living wage." "I should be able to be non-sober, as it is my right to make my own choices." I constructed those statements in context of the mentality of such individuals. They truly believe there is no case for "ought to's," as well as that whatever they do is correct because they themselves chose to do it. Which, in many cases, is based off of the premise that whatever the individual chooses, is inherently correct. In fact, that viewpoint often hides behind the mask of Libertarianism, although it is not a very fitting view to "wear." It utterly ignores the need for morals and values within society, and instead, allows the individual to do whatever he or she chooses; deeming whatever they choose to be "right."
Now, although I do not support "big government," I also do not support moral and domestic calamity. By that previously stated viewpoint, you would have to accept that children, of any age, should be allowed to utilize hard drugs and alcohol. Why? Because your viewpoint is that the individual knows best. "Not so fast," you say: "an individual who is not of the age of an adult shall follow the reasoning of their parents or guardian." Yes, and what if the reasoning of that parent or adult falls in line with accepting that children should be able to utilize hard drugs and alcohol? Such people end up falling into the trap of having to support everything under the sun because by accepting any regulation or laws against the "individual," you are thereby supporting tyranny against the individual. In summary, you have a pretty good picture of what this "Western individualism" of today looks like. It espouses that individual choices should not be legislated against and that they must be inherently "right;" creating moral and domestic chaos in the process.
[The Collegic "War on Conservatism"]
Now, that you have a decent understanding of the rationale of many modern day Westerners; espousing strong views of individualism, you can now see one of the difficulties with "Conservatism," when entering this modern day Westerner's educational spider web. Conservatism, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is "a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change; specifically: such a philosophy calling for lower taxes, limited government regulation of business and investing, a strong national defense, and individual financial responsibility for personal needs (as retirement income or health-care coverage)." This philosophy does not fall in line with the "overwhelmingly" majority philosophy of college professors that is "Modern Liberalism." Modern Liberalism, is defined by a Liberal, as "a form of social liberalism developed from progressive ideals such as Theodore Roosevelt’s New Nationalism,Woodrow Wilson’s New Freedom, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, John F. Kennedy’s New Frontier, and Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. It combines social liberalism and social progressivism with support for a welfare state and a mixed economy. American liberal causes include voting rights for African Americans, abortion rights for women, and government entitlements such as education and health care."
Basically, this form of Liberalism supports wealth distribution and most every socially liberal policy that you can come up with, such as Abortion, which I might add, are usually in direct confliction with religious beliefs (and specifically "Christian beliefs," to no surprise). These professors will shove their views into their lectures, and will do so, so cunningly (strategically placed), that even, I, myself, find it difficult to catch sometimes. Why would you want to challenge them or come against them? They have your grade in the "stroke of their keys," literally. Not to mention, if you did so and they punished you by attacking your grade, you would have a hard time bringing a case against them, since most college administrations are also quite "modernly" liberal themselves. (Side note: I keep specifying "modern liberalism" because the ideology that is "Liberalism" has several different branches, such as "Classical Liberalism," which I most subscribe to, which are quite fundamentally different).
As stated by Dinesh D'souza in his book (published in 2002), Letters to a Young Conservative, he writes that: "Typically, the Conservative attempts to conserve, to hold on to the values of the existing society. But what if the existing society is liberal? What if the existing society is inherently hostile to conservative beliefs? It is foolish for a conservative to attempt to conserve that culture. Rather, he must seek to undermine it, to thwart it, to destroy it at the root level."
What you can take from that, in that rather short excerpt, is that you MUST stand up for your conservative beliefs, and not allow yourself to be shutdown by an intimidating "majority" or "authority." So what if you get a bad grade? It is only a grade, and the benefit from which you will reap for standing for your beliefs is so much more. Although I stated the administration would not do much about that grade (based on your "charge"), they will do something based on "pressure" by the press. If in so this issue comes your way, in an attempt to stand up for what you believe to be right, you SHOULD stand up and seek support.
[Winning the War...]
Although I touched on what you can do, in relation to the quote from Dinesh D'souza, I will expand on it. Before I do that, I would like to state that everyone, regardless of political affiliation, who are entering college, should read Dinesh's book. I linked the main page to the name of the book above (all you have to do is click on the highlighted book title, and you're there!). It is a book that will provide you much insight into conservatism, as well as the fight against modern-day Liberalism. Heck, it converted me from being a strict "Classical Liberal;" whom followed the three philosophies of 1. Limited Government (minarchy), 2. A laissez-faire free-market capitalist society, and 3. The protection of Civil rights and Liberties, to a "Libertarian Conservative." I now believe that you do, in fact, have to preserve *some* established institutions, and that you have to keep morals, values, and virtues apart of society and government. Otherwise, when you do not have any of the core principles as stated above, you have chaos: moral and domestic decline.
If you want to win the war against Conservatism within the political "Colosseum" of the Western university, you are going to have to 1. Stand up for your beliefs, 2. Not debate, but investigate, and 3. Collectivize. Now, what do any of those truly mean? Well, first of all, standing up for your beliefs is key (which is why it is #1).
1. Stand up for your beliefs (whether that be your "Christian" or "Conservative" beliefs, or whatever you subscribe to).
Unless you stay true to beliefs, which involves actually being completely aware of what your beliefs are, you will falter when pressed with opposition to them. A "believer" without a "belief" is not a believer at all, but rather a grand-stander. If all you can do is "perform" by spouting out excerpts of the system of beliefs for which you espouse, then you are nothing more than a stooge. Once you become well-versed in your beliefs, it is then time to "stand up" for them.
This does not necessarily mean shoving them in people's faces. Trust me, that will do nothing for your views, and you will end up having many people hate you for the wrong reasons (if you hadn't already given them a reason to hate you prior to). Instead, speak up any time you hear someone slandering them, misrepresenting them, or speaking an opinion on an issue which goes against them. Be the "reactor" not the "instigator."
2. Don't debate, but investigate!
Ask questions. That is the sure shot of defeating someone's views (for the most part). From the people I have come across, so far, there is very little that you have to do passed asking questions. Oh, Obamacare is the best thing since Swiss cheese, why is that? Oh, capitalism is evil, why is that? It is so easy to merely state things, but much harder to back them up. Most students at the university level (that I have come across) are vastly ignorant of the views for which they espouse. All they do is spout out rhetoric that they had heard stated from Rachel Maddow or (on the other extreme) Rush Limbaugh.
By asking questions, you put the burden of explaining something of which they did not even thoroughly investigate on them, in which they will be sure to be quite terse and trite (due to their lack of understanding and depth of the subject or issue). Now, this is does not relieve you of your duty of research. You must be well-versed yourself, as someone who is (and from the other side) could come in and do the same to you. Knowledge is empowering, regardless of whether it is "correct" or not.
If I have information that you don't, and you don't have very much information to begin with, I can make claims that you have no idea whether true or not. In those cases, you would be best to just be honest, and to claim you have not examined the content of the matter thoroughly, but will get back to them in discussion after having done so. If they call you out for "dodging" or "running away," all you have to say from there on out, is that you do not want to fall victim of having to accept what they say as "fact," just because you are not educated enough on the matter. That will send them in a state of silence! Honesty is key above all.
A strong individual is, well, strong, but a group of strong individuals is better. If I am going to complete the task of moving the living room couch upstairs, I would rather have two strong individuals than no individuals at all helping me. The same goes for political discussion. If I am going to, possibly, have a horde of political zombies, so-to-speak, coming at me with questions and declarations, I am going to want several individuals behind me helping me to digest the vast amount of questioning and accusations being made. Power in numbers, as is always said.
Not to mention, it is refreshing, as well as healthy, to be able to be around those who share similar views, and to be able to strengthen those views in a friendly and open forum. Such connections and groups can be empowering to a viewpoint or ideas, and help foster change in any situation. Again, "power in numbers." You could start/join a political club of some sort, or even a newspaper, as Dinesh did and explains in his book. The possibilities of the "collective" are numerous!
We have seen that the vast political landscape of Western colleges are dominated by the political philosophy of "Modern Liberalism;" hounded by the professors, which only 14 percent of all college professors are Republicans. This is due in part to the fact that Modern Western societies today are so focused on "individualism," and the freedom to do what you want. Interestingly enough, this "freedom to do what you want," often becomes the "freedom to do what you want, with 'other' people's money" (of course, as long as they are a "greedy rich Republican"), such as in the context of which I stated earlier in my example.
Nevertheless, to offset this immense take-over of universities throughout the West, there are three key things us "Conservative" college students can do: 1. To stand up for our beliefs, 2. To not debate, but ask questions and investigate, and 3. To collectivize. Through those three principles as a Conservative college student, and through the in-depth guidance given, you can "de-Liberalize" and "Conservatize" the West.