Right Wing Students Afraid to Share Opinions at George Washington
There’s an epidemic of free speech silencing going around our school. I’m talking about students with right wing ideals. I’m talking about the hundreds of students who are too scared to speak their opinions because they think they’ll be ostracized. And they’re not wrong. In fact, several students believe that if they take a conservative stance on an issue, they’ll be alienated. Below are some interviews of right wing students at George. Because of identity concerns expressed by the interviewees, I have decided to keep the interviews anonymous.
Below are interviews by two people, both who prefer to stay anonymous. The anonymity requests alone prove that people are scared to share their opinions. The interviewees were asked the same questions, and their responses were eerily similar. Interviewee number 1 described himself as a authoritarian conservative, and interviewee 2 described herself as a central libertarian. When asked if he can freely express his opinions, interviewee 1 said, “No, because I have friends who would judge, and I don’t want to lose friends for the sake of politics.” When asked how it feels to be surrounded by people with different opinions, interviewee 2 stated, “Honestly I don’t really care because you can believe what you want and it’s not my business.” Interviewee 2 was extremely respectful of other people’s differing opinions and hopes people would show her the same respect for her opinions as she shows for their’s. When asked about a controversial opinion they feel strongly about, both interviewees said abortion. From my knowledge, they’re both pro-life. Interviewee 1 had this to say about abortion, “I have a serious problem with abortion because it’s so immoral.” Lastly, they were asked if they knew people who shared some of their viewpoints on important issues. They both said yes. Interviewee 2 specifically stated, “I know people who share some of the same but not all.”
Now throughout these interviews, some general questions arose. One, which was more prevalent than the others: “why are students scared to share conservative opinions when (according to research) most of their generation holds fiscally conservative values? According to Huffington Post, 8 out of 10 members of Generation Z described themselves as fiscally conservative. Forbes backs up this statement as well. “A U.K. Study at The Gild did a survey of almost 2,000 adults and found that on issues like gay marriage, marijuana legalization, transgender rights, and even tattoos, 59% of Gen Z respondents described their views as ‘conservative’ and ‘moderate’. This is a radical change from 83% Millennials and 85% of Gen X who state that their views are ‘quite’ or ‘very liberal’ on those same issues.” So why aren’t more right leaning students expressing their opinions? From research, it can be concluded that it’s most likely because of the large blanket of backlash and stigma lying over traditionally conservative opinions. Students would rather not anger their peers than risk their friends and social life for political reasons, which seems to be respectful.
But if you want to share your opinions, no matter how extremist they are, go for it. George should be a campus of challenging traditional ideas and laws in the name of progress towards a brighter future.