Letter to the Editor

College Republicans encourage students to attend, appreciate Huckabee lecture

Mike Huckabee will speak about “The Future of Conservatism” tonight at 7:30 in HBC Gifford Auditorium. Huckabee, former Arkansas governor and 2008 presidential candidate, will offer his opinion on conservatism’s future in the wake of the 2012 election.

Left-wing pundits, the media at large and even some moderate Republicans have questioned the future of conservatism; they’ve called for Republicans to abandon their principles and move to the center.

Despite claims that the 2012 election marked the end of the Republican party, we must remember in terms of the popular vote, Obama received only a narrow endorsement. Because of this, the College Republicans remain optimistic about America’s future and the future of conservatism.

In theory, colleges and universities are supposed to support and encourage fruitful discussions on topics, notably discussions pertaining to politics. However, at Syracuse University, conservative viewpoints are often silenced, shunned or looked down upon.

Often, in the discourse of political conversation, whether in the classroom, in the Schine Student Center or on the Quad, it is rare to hear professors or students advocating for a conservative stance on an issue.

However, blame cannot be placed solely on students; rather it must be placed on our educational system, one that attempts to indoctrinate students from grade school to college, where students are rarely exposed to conservative thought.

It is safe to bet that history, political science and economics class discussions result in the mention and admiration of Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes more often than these discussions result in admiration of Edmund Burke, Milton Friedman or Friedrich Hayek.

Chances are, professors have spent little to no time discussing the latter group of historical figures, perhaps naming only one of them in passing and for derogatory purposes.

Therefore, the College Republicans believe that “The Future of Conservatism” lies with students who are brave and willing to think freely and form opinions on their own.

While embracing adversity and challenging the political climate, it is a College Republican’s job to foster opportunities for students to hear the other side of the story.

By bringing speakers such as Gov. Huckabee to campus, we strive to clear up misconceptions about conservatives and conservative ideals that are often propagated by media figures, professors and peers.

The conservative ideals of upholding the Constitution, a free enterprise system, smaller government, pro-growth tax policy and liberty are not “radical” — as some of our left-wing friends might say — but logical.

The College Republicans encourage students to attend the lecture for the sake of exposure to new ideas and ideological challenge. It may prove to be a rewarding experience.

Mike Demkiw
Treasurer, SU College Republicans

  • PJ

    Beautifully stated Mr. Demkiw. I hope that people on campus will be able to open their eyes and think outside of what the media is feeding to them as the “truth”. Gov. Huckabee will surely have some very informative comments on this issue and I look forward to hearing his input and welcome a good-natured discussion.

  • Bostonway

    Better be careful. The liberal and minority crazies at SU (probably 80% of the population) don’t want to hear and won’t accept any other points of view that questions their PC-liberal agenda! Hope I’m wrong, but they could ‘scream-down’ Huckabee, making it impossible for him to speak. Ironically, this is the same hoard that constantly barks for diversity and tolerance! What a joke.

  • The use of the phrases “safe to bet” and “chances are” and the qualifier “perhaps” reveals the author’s assumptions, rather than the truth. Leveling accusations of liberal “brainwashing” at our faculty is a serious matter. Such large claims may be merited if the author offers examples of their experiences in multiple classes within each accused department, anecdotes from conversions with scores of professors during their office hours or results of data collected and analyzed on the matter. However, the author supports the argument with nothing more than cliche phrases related to gambling and possibility. As such, the accusations qualify as ignorant and libelous.

    As it stands, this opinion piece offers nothing to the important, worthy conversation about political bias on college campuses and merely repeats conservative talking points. I am saddened to find the College Republicans have reached such a low since my departure.

    Amy Snider
    Syracuse University ’12
    B.A. Political Science and History
    Former President, College Democrats at Syracuse University

  • CF

    The reason that our society’s collective intelligentsia largely shuns conservative thought is because it is often laden with hurtful, discriminatory, and backward ideology that is unhealthy for any society. While there is an enormous value to conservative ideology and policy, the GOP has let itself down by abandoning key demographics of these United States of America.

    Remember that the Constitution — the document that many hard-line Republicans purport to be staunch defenders of — was written to be a set of rules and guidelines for a government that represents the way that “We, the people of the United States” want to be governed. Unfortunately, many Republicans cannot come to grips with the idea that people, societies, and human race have continued (and will continue) to evolve through time.

    I’m glad that Campus Republicans have brought Huckabee to speak at my alma mater, and wish I could be there to listen to what he has to say and engage in the hopefully healthy debates that this event should spark. Just don’t tell me that the reason conservative thought is (largely) disregarded by most intelligent people – including those at SU – is owing to any other reason than the arcane absurdity of (many – not all) of the very nature of these principles.

  • JD

    And it’s poorly argued opinion pieces like this that drive republicans on campus away from CRs… Instead of blaming others in broad-reaching statements for the lack of popularity of your ideals, reach out to students directly by holding more events with other groups on campus like College Democrats and have open and honest conversations. How do you expect the party to grow if you just passively blame professors and the education system? Conservatism in America is changing, and change isn’t a bad thing. However, anchoring our party in outdated rhetoric will be the end of it.

  • Matt Cassie

    “We must remember in terms of the popular vote, Obama received only a narrow endorsement.” Though President Obama won the popular vote by about 3 million, he won the Electoral College by a much larger margin, so some would say that is a much more significant endorsement. If the popular vote is what matters, why are Republican controlled state legislatures across the country attempting to gerrymander the districts in each state? You can’t have it both ways Mr. Demkiw.

  • dmoney

    Such a low? I’m sorry, and what exactly have the College Dems done recently that was of note? Patrick Kennedy’s greatest accomplishment was being born into a powerful family. Governor Huckabee built his way from the ground up now boasting former presidential candidacy nomination, a popular television and radio show, and an impressive record while in office. I’m very amused you’re throwing judgements at the College Republicans when the legacy you left behind with the College Dems is laughable. Also, you graduated? Dont you have anything better to do than harrass the CRs on the D.O.? That said, your snarky comments are probably part of the motivation that has caused the CRs to climb up the tier system. So congratulations….keep it coming.

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