In these times of extreme polarization, young conservatives are facing increasingly hostile campus climates that mock and shame the traditional principles we hold so dear. We can rise above this challenge by remembering to be not afraid.
Also, a phrase from the popular eponymous Catholic hymn “Be Not Afraid” comes from the belief expressed in the Bible that if a person follows God, he has nothing to fear, no matter the challenges he may encounter.
Remembering this phrase has gotten me through many trying times of being a young conservative. I believe it can also help others facing similar challenges.
A person who follows his convictions, even in the face of hostility, has nothing to fear.
Many college students would likely beg to differ. As a rising college senior, I get it.
Fears of backlash from peers, lower grades, and a reputation for being labeled a “Republican” keep many young conservatives from sharing their views in class and in cafeteria conversations with their peers.
As an outspoken young conservative, I have faced my fair share of backlash. I have had people unfollow me for not posting a black square and stray from an emerging friendship because they found out I lean right. I have even faced anonymous attacks for writing for my school’s conservative journal.
But it would be nonsensical to grieve over reactions from those who fundamentally reject my beliefs. If they can proudly tout their own political views, then so should I.
The fear of disapproval should not keep me from voicing the principles that guide my life. Among these principles are free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.
These principles have kept the United States the freest and greatest country in the world. If conservatives stay silent while the left speaks up, the country we love will begin to reflect its values.
By abandoning these principles, the left’s attacks on what we stand for can truly gain traction.
Cowardly, anonymous social media accounts created to criticize young conservatives only pose a real threat if you let them stop you from voicing your convictions.
This country can only be as great as its people allow it to be. As the next generation of conservative leaders, if we do not have the courage to stand up for what is right, we risk letting the fate of this nation fall into the wrong hands.
The country is at a crossroads. We are the ones who will determine what happens next. Critical race theory and cries for socialism are among the horrors that our far-left-leaning classmates have adopted. While they may just be college students now, they won’t be forever.
Unless we want these ideas to permanently permeate our country, we must speak up and break from being complacent bystanders.
I know this is a difficult task, but there is a whole movement backing us.
Not nearly enough young conservatives avail themselves to the resources available to support them. During my time interning for The Heritage Foundation, I’ve learned just how alive the conservative movement is and how eager it is to help us. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)
There are organizations at your disposal willing to bring truth and reason to your campus.
Heritage’s Young Leaders Program and The Academy train young conservatives to become successful young professionals. Heritage’s Job Bank can help connect you to different conservative internship opportunities and employers.
You are not alone. Use these resources.
Getting involved can be as easy as showing up to a College Republicans meeting or being bold enough to voice your political views in class. There are more people supporting you than you think.
Be not afraid. If we remain principled, dedicated, and use the resources at our disposal, we have nothing to fear.
Our country is counting on us. Will you rise to the challenge?
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