I’m sure you all know Syracuse University. It is the home of the SU Orangemen, the Carrier Dome, as well as the alma mater of Megyn Kelly from Fox News.
Did you also know that in 2012, SU ranked #2 among the “12 Worst Colleges for Free Speech?”
More than “best party school,” this is a ranking that today’s universities battle tooth and nail to win.
Syracuse University: putting the LIBERAL in Liberal Arts.
Even so, within those acid waters, could the elusive Conservative swim?
Last night, I attended a forum with Mike Huckabee sponsored by The SU College Republicans. I fully expected to be sitting in an auditorium with two or three young people wearing hoodies, sunglasses and bullet-proof vests surrounded by protesters demanding that Mike Huckabee STFU. I mean, after all, this is SU the second worst college for free speech. This is SU where, if you removed all the Obama bumper stickers from all the cars on campus and laid them end to end, they would span the globe.
I told my friend when we looked around at the packed auditorium from our vantage point in the front (my friend is a GOP Groupie. It wasn’t even an issue whether we would be sitting way down close), “If anybody yells, ‘Mic Check!’ I am so taking them down!”
I was stunned. I was grateful to be wrong.
Yes, there were a handful of liberals in the mix. But they were respectful and allowed Mike Huckabee to speak without shouting over him. Nobody rushed up on stage and tried to hit him in the face with a pie. But to be fair, that may be reserved for Ann Coulter.
Naturally, during the Q & A, there were a couple dishrags who argued for free healthcare like they have in Sweden and asked the obligatory, “If you believe all men are created equal, why are you opposed to gay marriage?!” question. But, by an overwhelmingly large margin, the room was filled with Conservatives.
I felt like I was up to my eyeballs in Loch Ness Monsters.
After the event ended, while I waited for my GOP Groupie friend to go meet Huckabee and shake his hand, I struck up a conversation with one of the young women from the College Republicans.
Okay, on a side note. Yes, my friend is a GOP Groupie. She’s 22 and on fire for Conservatism. As someone nearly 30 years older, I love to see that kind of enthusiasm and passion in someone so young. She gives me hope in our future and the future of Conservatism. Besides, her absolute “Deadhead” dedication to meeting Conservatives scored her the single best “Paul Ryan and Me” picture ever taken. The only better “Paul Ryan and Me” picture in existence is probably one of him and Janna.
Anyway, back to last night…
I spoke with one of the young women from SU’s College Republicans. In response to my genuine surprise at discovering the elusive SU Republican, she said that there at SU, they have to be doubly involved, doubly vocal, doubly visible because they are fighting on multiple fronts. Not just from fellow students who have imbibed on the Liberal Kool-aid, but from professors in every single classroom.
“You know, SU was rated one of the worse colleges for free speech,” she said to me.
Lucky for her, I am a voracious devourer of truth and did in fact know that.
“We have our work cut out for us.”
Yes, they do.
Diamonds are formed only through enormous pressure.
Gold is only purified by fire.
Conservatism thrives in the face of overwhelming, hostile, hateful opposition. Look at Sarah Palin. Look at the vicious, racist attacks against Mia Love or Michelle Malkin. Despite the onslaught, the never-ending attacks, or perhaps because of them, those Conservative Warriors are overflowing with strength and determination.
These young men and women, these college conservatives, are to be respected. They hold on to their principles in an environment that not only disagrees, but actively tries to daily shut them up.
I walked away from that event impressed and humbled. Those guys are in trench warfare. We cannot let them fight this battle alone. They need air support, supply lines, body armor. I challenge all of us Conservative Warriors. Do not leave them to fight the good fight all alone. Let us fearlessly take up arms [note to Piers: that is metaphor] and join them.