At the GayPatriot dinner last week with Thatcher Honoree Dr. Nigel Ashford, we discussed the challenges college students face in coming out. No, not about their sexuality. While that’s still not a walk in the park, those who do come out meet with a supportive University administration and campus environment.
What is tougher is coming out conservative. On colleges, they face a critical University administration and liberal campus environment where young liberals are taught (acculturated?) to deride those holding views at odds with the prevailing orthodoxy. Those who do come out very often do not have a social network to help ease the transition, so many remain closeted about their political views.
With President Obama and the Democrats working to limit the choices of the younger generation while burdening them with more debt that have all previous Administrations and Congresses combined, many more might move in the conservative direction. Until then, it’s up to those brave few souls to speak out and so lay the groundwork for renaissance of libertarian ideas on college campuses*.
It’s not just in colleges where conservatives feel isolated today. As our group noticed when we gathered last week, it felt great to be able to talk openly about our political views, without having to defend them from the attacks, accusations and insults to which we have been accustomed. Much as it must feel for a gay man or woman in rural America to find others like him or her at the bar in the nearest mid-sized town.
So, it seems, as Dr. Ashford put it, conservatives today often feel as isolated and alone in big liberal cities as gays used to feel in small towns and villages.
*I actually prefer “campi” as the plural of “campus,” but am not sure it’s correct.