Have you been hearing some of today?s conservative college crowd crying out about how thorny life is in the university classroom? If they want to see what difficult is all about, maybe they should move to the Sudan, or maybe Tibet. Or perhaps attend a Jewel concert. There?s nothing new about college conservative-baiting ? it?s been going on for the last 50 years.
Hey, Polly-pusillanimous-Anna! Life is supposed to be tricky ? it?s no PG-rated movie. The sooner you realize this, the more comfortable you?ll be with your beliefs and useful to your community. The quicker one takes off the rose-colored glasses, snaps them in two, drops them to the ground and grinds them into powder ? the better.
My last volley on the subject, Clashing in the Classroom, brought a flood of good, bad and ugly E-mail. Aside from the smattering of bad and ugly electronic mash notes, several dozen E-mails from students in high school and college impressed me: these young warriors are not taking the Left?s propaganda lying down. They are organized, intelligent, vocal and numerically growing as they effectively challenge boneheaded perspectives and are changing bogus policies.
In addition, however, several messages from conservative students and one parent wailed like an out of control fax machine about ?how difficult? life is inside their Room 222. Whining that if they speak out, they will be ?made fun of? ? or have their ?grades docked? ? or ?feel isolated and ostracized?. Aw shucks. Pauvre pelele.
One father from the state of Californication told me I was ?na? ? extraordinarily na?? and shouldn?t be advising conservative students to speak out on campus. Check out dad?s advice to his Sonny Boy and to me:
?[You are] naive. Extraordinarily naive. My son is a traditional conservative in almost all ways.... He attends the University of California at Santa Barbara, which, like most major universities, has virtually 100% liberals in the Social Sciences and Humanities.... If he speaks out in class or even on campus, he is subject to having his grade lowered by intolerant liberal professors. I have advised him again and again not to ventilate his real views on political subjects. It is the wise course. Your call to arms is foolishly utopian ? it is idiotic for a conservative student to state his real views if there is even the faintest chance that his grade will be affected. Your column ? is exactly the wrong advice for American students in most colleges and universities.?
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