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Hi all and welcome back to my running series on being a conservative college student. For those of you that didn’t read the first article, I am Gen Z Conservative and I run this website: www.genzconservative.com.
Part 1 of my series was on the lack of respect for free speech that many liberal students, professors and administrators exhibit. Part 2 will be about social segregation based on political ideology on college campuses and why it exists. Thanks for reading!
What is political segregation on college campuses?
People seem to be unable to get along with those that have different views now. In the past, while Americans certainly disagreed with each other, they were still able to be civil and get along socially. That has disappeared, especially on heavily politicized college campuses. Increased politicization of every aspect of life and increased polarization between parties have made our society unable to get along.
So, what does this “political segregation” look like in general society? Examples are as diverse as they are numerous. Republican neighborhoods and democrat neighborhoods. Republican churches and democrat churches. Few people have close friends that hold different political views. Almost no one marries someone that has opposite political views anymore. Finally, almost no one ever listens in good faith to an argument the other side is making. Because we are so political segregated, we don’t know or respect the people on the other side that are making arguments for what they believe in. Instead, we either mock or ignore them. That is sad, it has brought our society to the verge of violence and made huge swathes of the population incredibly angry. While there are other examples of what political segregation looks like in society in general, I think it would be more useful to focus on what it looks like on college campuses because that is where it is the worst.
Liberals have made college campuses almost completely socially segregated. While both sides might be to blame in society in general, I think that our friends on the left are responsible for the current environment on college campuses. Not only are the problems faced by the reset of society amplified: conservatives and liberals eat, live, and socialize with each other almost exclusively, but social segregation has become long-lasting and has led to violence. Just look at what happens in Berkley — when liberal students there find out someone is a conservative, they chase them down and physically assault them. Most other colleges have been able to avoid outright violence; luckily, mine has. But tensions are high almost everywhere. The leftist mob looks to verbally attack, tarnish the reputation of, or harass anyone that disagrees with it. So, of course conservatives don’t want to live with liberals. It would be awful dealing with that attack-mob mentality 24/7. Because of that, liberals and conservatives rarely interact, even in the classroom. Business, accounting, economics, and some political science classes are generally packed with Republicans. The others are dominated by liberals.
In my opinion, that political segregation of classes is the most problematic part of political segregation on college campuses. Without hearing and participating in a good exchange of ideas in the classroom, our students will be uneducated. They won’t be able to adequately defend and lobby for their own ideas, nor will they be able to listen to and understand someone else’s argument. Those inabilities are already incredibly obvious in colleges around the nation where students can’t effectively write, verbalize an argument, or listen to a speaker that they disagree with. Parts of that come from the liberal disdain for free speech that I wrote about in Part 1 of this series. But it is an issue that is deeper than just free speech; political segregation on college campuses has begun to destroy our education system. When supposedly advanced students can’t effectively argue a point, much less do so in a civil manner, something has gone terribly wrong. How did we let this happen?
Why have college campuses become politically segregated?
This terrible political segregation has happened because of liberal attitudes towards conservatives and conservative viewpoints. While conservatives aren’t blameless, they are better able to listen to opposing viewpoints without protesting or making a scene. Yes, we disagree and do so vehemently. But conservatives don’t form mobs to tear down statues, attack liberal students, or shut down speaking events if they don’t like the speaker. Members of the far left, such as thugs from Antifa, do those things. In doing so, they have created an especially toxic college environment.
Students don’t want to be around members of the opposite political ideology because of the problems posed with doing so. Your friends will call you a turncoat. People in the other camp might turn on you and slander your reputation, or even physically attack you, once they find out your views are different from theirs. It is hard for friendships to cross the political divide.
Conclusion: How to fix the problem
This is a huge problem that can only be solved by making politics civil again, and by strictly punishing those who make false accusations.
Making politics civil again would be a great first step. If the mobs quiet down and verbal/physical assaults cease, then perhaps more people will be willing to reach out across the aisle. Just that one change would start an important return to normalcy and would help fix a large portion of the problem. We can make politics civil again by avoiding incendiary language when possible, always listening and debating the other side respectfully (even when they aren’t being respectful), and by finding areas of agreement. If we do these things and make the political environment slightly less charged, then I think the political segregation problem would improve.
Next, we need to start severely punishing people for false accusations. Those accusations, ranging anywhere from mere “inappropriate behavior” to rape, have become increasingly common as a way for leftist women to attack conservative men. Actual crimes should always be reported and investigated. But when someone uses the justice system to slander and bring down a political rival, then they are in the wrong and need to be fought against. By severely punishing those that make false accusations, we can hopefully get rid of some of the barriers that are currently supporting political polarization. Once people no longer have to fear ostracization or legal action because of false accusations, they may be more willing to work with the other side.
Political segregation on college campuses is a major problem. However, we can fix it. We just have to work to limit the influence of those that are currently creating the situations that lead to it.
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