Denison has shaped who I’ve become and what I plan on becoming post-graduation. I love our community, and yet something about it really bothers me. The lack of deliberation on campus is truly unsettling. I would be hard-pressed to find someone on campus that truly has no real political beliefs, as Denison is an incredibly political campus. Throughout my time here I’ve written many articles that highlight my own political beliefs, and while my views have changed over time, I stand by my writings. Looking back at my op-eds in The Denisonian,  I see my transformation from a right-wing Trump supporter to a Libertarian who just wants to let people do whatever they want. However, perception doesn’t show this, as many still associate me and other Republicans with the bad stereotypes they hear on social media.

This is my biggest issue I have. People don’t talk to one another. Everyone always wants to be a champion of crossing the aisle and being open-minded, yet that just doesn’t happen. Whether that’s posting my articles on Twitter to have radical socialists roast me and get mad when I ask to talk about the issues, not giving me a platform to express myself to the student body, or even just refusing to address the actual points I’m trying to make but rather explaining why I’m a horrible person in the Bullsheet. Very rarely have my articles attracted students to want to sit down and actually talk about what I’m writing about. Why is capitalism the best form of economics? Why should the welfare system be abolished? A 500-word Denisonian article can only explain so much. Instead, what I receive are responses in the campus news publications or on social media making fun of my views; these responses only explain why they’re right about what they believe.

Look back to 2016. There were so many prominent conservative voices on campus. I wasn’t even close to the only one speaking out. Since then, the hate and the immaturity of students on campus have  essentially dried out the conservative voice. As the #30 most liberal college in America, this student body has really proven its ranking. Conservatives are afraid to admit what they believe in and refuse to speak out anymore. When we talk about bringing prominent voices to campus like Ben Shapiro, we’re accused of racism. When we talk about having a biased education here, we’re given a class period on Adam Smith. When we try to advertise for events, our posters are torn down.

When you let raw emotion dictate how you react to political matters, it can only go badly. Everyone should be allowed to express their beliefs and who they are, and yet those students who advocate for self-expression are the same ones who inherently refuse to allow a conservative perspective to be respected.

I’m not asking people to change their minds because of my writings. I’m not even asking people to listen to me or others. All I want is for people to stop being petty and wake up to realize we’re all adults;if you have an issue with something me or another conservative said, talk to us. Don’t tweet about it then refuse to respond. Don’t disrespect Conservatism then decline to explain why. Don’t rely on dated and biased stereotypes you get from the internet to explain your lack of empathy toward Republicans.

Becoming a “discerning moral agent” doesn’t involve disrespecting your peers. It doesn’t involve slandering your classmates. It doesn’t involve immaturity. President Weinberg champions this phrase for the exact opposite reasons. This holds true for everyone, myself included. Together, as a campus, let us ACTUALLY be united. Whether that’s calling out racism and getting ignorant children to stop tearing down C3 organization posters. Or stopping incidents of bias and vandalism on people’s doors. Or stopping people from coming into my personal room when I’m not there and tearing apart my Republican posters and leaving the remains on the ground for me to pick up. Death threats are nothing new to Republicans here, and that is a horrible excuse for Liberalism. I urge everyone, to please listen to one another. Even if you don’t agree with someone’s beliefs, listen to what they have to say. Don’t make assumptions, but actually take time to learn.