How PC culture and safe spaces facilitate the rise of conservatism
College is a time for intellectual curiosity, or at least it used to be. As liberals have increasingly dominated the academic profession, college has been transformed from a thinking space into a safe space and its culture from politically open into politically correct. While on the surface it may seem that liberal professors have accomplished their goal of indoctrinating college students, the work of the professors has had an unintended consequence: young conservatives now know how to fight back against political suppression, and they are in a position to succeed.
In case after case, colleges have instituted a culture that has removed political discourse from campus altogether. From claiming that the use of the word "American" is "problematic" to banning the use of the word "mankind," colleges have created a culture that forces students to live in a bubble of liberalism, whether students like it or not. George Orwell was not far off in his assessment of the future if these professors were the thought police he was talking about.
Efforts by the left to remove political discourse from college campuses have been met with strong resistance from the right. Conservative speakers such as Ben Shapiro and Steven Crowder have been traveling to college campuses across the country to share their message with young people, to the ire of campus liberals and progressives.
The left's response has been to repeatedly protest these speakers and prevent them from speaking at all. This has not stopped the speakers from continuing to fight back, and Shapiro has even helped file a lawsuit against the notorious California State University, Los Angeles for preventing him from speaking in February.
These conservative speakers are traveling to college campuses in particular to explain to young people the idiocy of P.C. culture and safe spaces. The conservative message about opening up college campuses to free speech and the free expression of ideas becomes much stronger in the face of campuses removing conservatives' right to speak altogether. The left will be hard pressed to win a debate over freedom of speech by denying conservatives that very right. All it does is reinforce the right's point on the matter as well as giving conservatives the moral high ground.
Students are witnessing colleges attempting to take away their freedoms, and conservative voices are growing on campus in response. Membership in college conservative clubs, like Young Americans for Liberty, is increasing to combat liberalism. What this rise in membership has done is provide conservatives with strength in numbers so they can share their principles on campus without being so easily shut down. When these clubs are juxtaposed with liberal protesters such as these, who protested Milo Yiannopoulos's event at Rutgers, they can credibly claim that they are the voice of reason on college campuses.
Most interesting is how this process can affect the future of conservatism and of politics in general. While conservatives are constantly forced to defend their views on campus in the face of a heated opposition, liberals are given a free pass and are able to be barricaded in an ideological bubble. What this can set up in the future are political debates for which liberals are nowhere near prepared. We are already witnessing that when the political weapon of choice for young liberals is to shut down conservative events instead of preferring to have an honest discussion about the issues.
By having to constantly defend their beliefs, a large segment of young people have become deeply rooted in ideological conservatism. It takes guts to defend oneself among immense scrutiny from the left, so those doing so must truly believe in what they are saying. These young people want their candidates to be just as vigorous in defense of conservatism as the students have been themselves on campus.
Through all of their efforts in trying to make college campuses as politically one-sided as possible, leftists have only hindered their own and have made the right stronger in defense of conservative principles. The left has given the right good reason to rally the clans in a call for freedom, and that is a cry that will only grow louder as campuses continue down this path of political correctness and liberalism.
In the future, liberals will look back on their attempt to overtake college campuses as the day they lost the political debate for good to the true, intellectual conservative.
Trevor Louis is the publisher of The Daily Whig, a conservative blog featuring young writers. He attends Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C.