After Horowitz, the Hoopla

I’ve been following the letters to the editor exchanges in the University of Rhode Island’s student paper, The Good ¢5 Cigar, subsequent to David Horowitz’s appearance on campus, including an angry offering from the man himself. In today’s edition, however, is a letter from John Biszko, a Tulane student displaced back home, as it were, by Katrina, that is particularly poignant:

I feel absolutely compelled to write in to the Cigar because since the time I have become a part of the College Republicans I have come under an unfair and vicious onslaught unlike anything else I have ever encountered. I have studied at Providence College, the University of Connecticut, Tulane University of Louisiana, and the Special Operations University of the U.S. Military, and I have never encountered such blatant and inexcusable attempts at liberal political indoctrination in classrooms before.

Personally, I’m inclined to advise the young man simply to enjoy, grow, and improve from the experience, and I can’t decide whether the barbed point with which he closes enhances or diminishes the wisdom of such counsel (emphasis added):

I will also add that my intelligence has been insulted by blatant attempts to present Republicans as uncaring, and that my uniform has suffered onslaught by anti-military sentiment expressed by professors from the podiums of their classrooms during class periods that myself and other students pay dearly for.

Of course, our consideration of the matter isn’t merely academic; Mr. Biszko neglected to mention that Rhode Islanders all pay dearly for the public university.
Also in today’s edition of the Cigar is a letter from another student conservative, Jesse Gillett, who makes this curious defense of the College Republicans on a discrete, but related, issue:

I apologize, Miss Grant, for pointing this out to you again because it may still come as a shock to you; the essay made no attempt at stating (or whining, as you likely want people to think) that affirmative action discriminates against whites. To say that the College Republicans stand for such a ludicrous idea, without providing logical reasoning, is despicable.

I lack the time to read the backstory, so I can’t say whether Gillett’s point is accurate with respect to the essay in question, but the claim strikes me as of the type that lend credence to the notion that the speaker is hiding actual beliefs and intentions. It is plainly true that affirmative action discriminates against whites. That may not be the most important argument against the practice, but it’s true nonetheless. As for what the College Republicans “stand for,” well that I can’t say.

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18 years ago

Like you, I have been following the Cigar’s coverage of the URI CR’s Coming out Conservative Week. AS a conservative, I find the exchanges on the part of the liberal faculty and students rather illuminating as to just what our tax-dollars go to pay for.
As a member of the College Republicans myself, I am disheartened to know that if one of these faculty members or students were to meet me for the first time, their perception would be framed immediately by my political affiliation. I believe that this rush to judgement is fast-becoming a new socially-acceptable form of prejudice that is just as dangerous to our social discourse as is racism, sexism, or homophobism
The CR’s mission is much the same as any Republican organization in this state: It seeks to create a balanced dialogue on campus, and to foster a healthy competition within the arena of ideas.
I am a conservative because of my education and in spite of the indoctrination that occurs at URI.
I suggest that conservatives actively engage those that choose to use rhetoric in continuous debate. Armed with facts rather than sound-bites, principles in place of posturing, and consistency in the face of contradiction, we WILL win the battle of ideas. That is what the CRs will continue to do, and what I know this blog will do as well.

Justin Katz
18 years ago

Well, t, it wasn’t that long ago (five or six years) that I felt like I was the College Republicans at URI. That being the case, I’d tweak your observation some: anti-conservatism is on a trend of becoming a newly unacceptable form of prejudice. The prejudice is only so noticeable because it is being challenged. It is only recently that campus communities have had to face the idea that perhaps anti-conservatism isn’t simply an objective indication of compassionate intelligence.

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