Re: Outgoing State College Republican Chair: Make Sure What You Say is Politically Correct Before You Say It
It’s apparent that the sort of bareknuckle, in-your-face ideological battles that his fellow College Republicans are waging is too much for Wingfield.
Some may recall that Wingfield was the head of the Reformed Christian Fellowship at Brown University, which was suspended last year. Wingfield perservered and, with the help of FIRE, they were reinstated. Wingfield’s resignation seems to indicate that -when it wasn’t his ox being gored–he wants to be “moderate.” He stated, “We are conservatives, not liberals. Use wisdom, and be virtuous when you exercise free speech.” Wingfield is correct that College Republicans should use wisdom and be virtuous, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still be tough or humorous. Unfortunately, “being nice” isn’t going to get you noticed on college campuses. If College Republicans want to make a mark, they need to select a replacement for Wingfield who won’t be so skittish about taking the battle to the ideological opposition. It looks like there may be a couple people at URI or RWU who may fit the bill.
UPDATE: Contrast Wingfield’s free speech construct with this from Andrew Klavan’s (via Dale Light):
The thing I like best about being a conservative is that I don’t have to lie. I don’t have to pretend that men and women are the same. I don’t have to declare that failed or oppressive cultures are as good as mine. I don’t have to say that everyone’s special or that the rich cause poverty or that all religions are a path to God. I don’t have to claim that a bad writer like Alice Walker is a good one or that a good writer like Toni Morrison is a great one. I don’t have to pretend that Islam means peace.
Of course, like everything, this candor has its price. A politics that depends on honesty will be, by nature, often impolite. Good manners and hypocrisy are intimately intertwined, and so conservatives, with their gimlet-eyed view of the world, are always susceptible to charges of incivility. It’s not really nice, you know, to describe things as they are.
Then again, I forgot…Wingfield is a Chafee Republican, not a conservative.