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Diversity of Thought in Universities

I believe strongly in individual freedom, a small government, lower taxes and less government spending. I believe the government exists to give each and every citizen the freedom and opportunity they need to succeed. I don’t believe the government exists to solve our problems or make sure no one is needy. It’s not that I don’t care about those who are in need; I just don’t believe the government can fix those problems. Of course I acknowledge that there are some necessary and beneficial government programs, but I don’t believe it should get to a point where anyone has to be solely dependent on the government. Government-funded programs should be a way out of poverty, not a way to stay in and live somewhat comfortably in poverty. I believe that everyone, including the unborn, have the right to life. I believe the free market creates opportunities and wealth, and that socialist policies decrease our freedoms as individuals.

Those are a few of my conservative viewpoints. I’m not spreading misogyny, racism, xenophobia or any other type of hate. I’m not sporting a Trump hat, telling people to “go back to where they came from.” I believe in things that others may disagree with, and I welcome that disagreement when someone can bring facts and logic to the table as to why they disagree. What I don’t welcome is disagreement followed by no facts and being told to “educate” myself.

Why has being a conservative caused me so much trouble as a college student? Why has my preference for free markets and my distaste for socialism become a despised opinion that people feel the need to shut down? Why do liberal professors outnumber conservative professors 12:1, and why have I gotten downgraded for my political views?

It’s a sad but true reality that college campuses are becoming less and less welcoming to different points of view. The purpose of universities was at one point to foster learning and individual growth. Now, it seems that universities want us all to think the same. I’d go so far as to say that this incredibly present bias is fanning the flames of the political divide in our country at the moment.

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with having a liberal point of view; I just don’t think it should be the only one represented. Disagreements and debates are how our society moves forward, how minds are changed and how lives are improved. Fostering an environment where there is no diversity of thought is regressive and damaging to our nation, and it will only produce closed-minded and sheltered individuals who have been deprived of (or told to ignore) an entirely different worldview.

Liz is a current student at UNL, majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a minor in Education.
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