I loved being an out and open conservative on my extremely liberal college campu,s but I know that not everyone feels as comfortable as I did. Being a conservative on a college campus that hosts Hillary Clinton as their commencement speaker and boasts students walking around in Che Guevara shirts can be hard. I strongly believe that it is a necessity for conservative students to stand up for their views in the face of this kind of hegemonic liberalism, but not everyone is ready the first day they step on to campus. Some students are secretly conservative, closeted in their views. There are a few ways you can tell they’re leaning right based on your interactions with them. If you think someone might be secretly conservative, be a support system for them so they too can be brave enough to be an out and open conservative.

1) They “play the Devil’s advocate” a lot in class

The liberal worldview dominates class discussions on many college campuses. It can make the conversation quite boring. You’ve probably done it before, or the teacher took it into their own hands, but “playing the Devil’s advocate” is a key indicator that someone might not be totally on board with the tribalism being spewed across the discussion board. Playing Devil’s advocate is an easy way for conservatives to slowly subvert the overwhelmingly liberal discussion without outing themselves as a believer in limited government, freedom of speech, religious freedom, etc.

2) They come to you to talk about elections or major issues on campus

As one of the most notorious conservatives on my college campus, I was like a beacon of light for secret conservatives across the campus. Even people I’d only met in passing would find me in the dining hall after a primary election or big day in the news and ask me what I thought. They knew I would offer them a reasonable view of things that wasn’t in lock-step with the liberal majority on campus. If they were conservative themselves, which most of them were at least in some ways, they appreciated being able to express their own views on issues without being shut down by left-leaning classmates.

3) They don’t publicize who they voted for 

Leading up to the 2016 election, when someone on my campus asked who you were voting for, they were actually asking “Bernie or Hillary?” The idea that someone might be voting for Donald Trump, Evan McMullin or Gary Johnson was completely foreign to them. As someone who didn’t vote for Bernie or Hillary and was open about the fact that neither was getting my support, I started to take notice of others in these conversations that also didn’t take a side. Sometimes they claimed to be undecided, but more often than not they were just silent. This only continued after Trump won. They weren’t the people yelling “Don’t blame me, I voted for Hillary.” These people didn’t necessarily vote for Trump, but their lack of pro-Hillary screeching in the aftermath of the election clued me in that they might have some conservative leanings. If someone on my liberal campus wasn’t publicizing who they voted for, it was because they knew their leftist peers would chastise them roundly for not supporting Queen Hillary.

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member