What It’s Like to Be a Conservative on a Liberal College Campus

Ryan Struyk, ABC News, April 25, 2014

When Luka Ladan started his freshman year at Vassar College in southeast New York, he started noticing a difference between himself and the majority of his classmates.

“We were talking about the upcoming election,” he said. “I was in a class talking about Republicans–Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush. Whenever a name was mentioned, one kid would snicker and then five to seven would just laugh at the name.”

When the 2012 election finally rolled around, it didn’t get much better for Ladan when President Obama won and the campus seemed to erupt in celebration.

“[All the students] were just packed into a building. Everyone was cheering, ecstatic that they won,” he said. “I remember sitting in my room because I voted for Romney.”

The College Republicans dove into exposing this demographic this week by starting a Twitter campaign called #MyLiberalCampus, encouraging conservative students to speak out on their experiences.

“Sometimes I’ve questioned my beliefs because so many of my fellow students believe in something different,” Ladan said. “Am I wrong with believing this? Is there something wrong with me? I remind myself that you should show resolve, but it’s tough.”

And there’s no College Republican group at the 2,500-student school, he said, because GOP supporters could “never manage to” get the necessary 25 signatures.


This is a common experience in this age group: 66 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds voted for Obama in 2008 and 60 percent did in 2012–the largest numbers in decades, according to the Pew Research Center.


Several students pointed to the latest debate that will play a central role in the upcoming 2014 midterm elections: Obamacare.

“From all the talk on campus, if you don’t want this healthcare, you’re a bad person. But that’s not what we’re trying to say. We’re saying there’s a better, more financially responsible way to do it,” said [Northeastern student Megan] Haas. “They’re not thinking of their future. They’re not being responsible. Someone’s got to be the voice of reason.”

Ladan echoed similar experiences at Vassar College.

“There are classes where we talked about Obamacare in the class, and 90 percent of the class is obviously for Obamacare,” he said. “It’s tough to be confident about what you believe in when there are so many people stacked up against you.”



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  • I’m not much interested in the economic agenda of people who have neither real gainful employment nor their own mortgage or rent to make every month nor a spouse and dependent children.

  • DudeWheresMyCountry?

    Maybe people are getting dumber. The technology of today is keeping people stupid. Back in the 1990s when I was at a very, very liberal university if 90% of a class was adamant about anything, at least a third of that 90% would break out.

    • Northern American-Nationalist

      The difference between Gen Xers and Millennials…trust me.

    • 1stworlder

      they have been brainwashed by the electric jew.

  • dd121

    Why would she even go to Vassar when their are great universites with conservative values like Liberty, or Bob Jones University?

    • Geo1metric

      Grove City College in Grove City, Pennsylvania still teaches the Western Classics. It is a fine liberal arts college that fought the feds and won.

    • CalMark

      Oh, get real. Liberty or Bob Jones? Unless you want to marginalize yourself for life, I don’t know why anyone would choose one of those schools. The mission should be to include independent and conservative beliefs in all schools – especially the big ones – not just isolate oneself to small, mostly irrelevant universities like Bob Jones.

      • dd121

        There’s no way for us to turn Harvard and Berkeley into bastions of conservatism or even make them marginally more conservative.
        As for marginalizing yourself, most of a person’s success of failure will be determined by your performance in the workforce, not what school you went to.

  • IstvanIN

    What passes for “liberals” nowadays are in fact bolsheviks who believe in one party rule with everyone having but one viewpoint.

    • Einsatzgrenadier

      As far as I’m concerned, liberalism = classical liberalism, which emphasizes limited government and individual freedoms, such as freedom of contract and freedom of association. It is the very antithesis of the expansive regulatory and redistributive role of government envisioned by “cultural Marxists”.

      • IstvanIN

        Exactly, which is why consider myself a liberal and hate how the term has been hijacked by people who are anything but.

        • Daniel Schmuhl

          Classical liberalism is the parent of modern liberalism and they share considerable overlap and characteristics.

      • Alexandra1973

        In that case I could be considered a classical liberal.

    • John R

      Essentially, the modern day “conservative” Republicans are the new liberals. The “liberal” Democrats are really left wing radicals. There are no true conservatives left in mainstream politics anymore, outside of places like this website.

  • Tom Thumb

    In ten years, there won’t be ten of these White students who are liberals.

    • John R

      “You have to be heartless not to be a liberal at twenty, and brainless to still be one at forty.”

      • DudeWheresMyCountry?

        “Nobody leaves prison a liberal.” Robert Downey

        • 1stworlder

          I am pretty sure most blacks that get out of prison still want more free stuff.

  • Dave4088

    Vasser college has always been a stronghold of communists and the anti-white left. Part of the problem is that non-whites comprise a higher percentage of 18-29 year olds than at any time in our history. I strongly encourage kids stuck in this situation to transfer if they have the means to do so.

  • Not only do the conservatives get ganged up on by the students but also by the pony-tailed sandals-wearing hippy dippy cultural Marxist profs. And their grades and social life social life can suffer as a consequence. None of this says anything good about higher ed, which is why I repeat: Do not donate money to any university. It will go to promote die-versity.

  • Daniel Schmuhl

    Actual conservatism is non-existent these days as a movement. Most contemporary conservatives want things to stay the same or go back a few decades. It’s more or less just a difference of personality. Conservatives will prefer the status quo and worship Wal-Mart. They don’t really have much of a fleshed out ideology other than *muh freedums*. Most self-described conservatives I’ve met are just delusional classical liberals/libertarians.

    If you came out as an actual reactionary in defense of theocracy and slavery, you would probably get kicked out. Nazism is also not allowed, though Stalinism probably is.

    • RisingReich

      Stalinism is promoted every chance they get.

      • 1stworlder

        statism as well

    • DudeWheresMyCountry?

      You get a B+ minimum for the semester for wearing a Che Guevera t-shirt. The 20% of the students in today’s universities that are actually smart must wonder what it was like to go to a school where they actually challenged people. Can you imagine? Why we could probably put men on The Moon (and bring them home safely) with computers that didn’t have the processing capability to open a smart phone application.

  • WR_the_realist

    What is truly sad is that Luka Ladan equates Jeb Bush with “conservatism”. What the hell do any of the Bushes want to conserve? The Constitution? Hell no. The predominately European origin or our nation? Of course not. Fiscal sanity? Are you kidding me?

    • evilsandmich

      My (generally libertarian) buddy who was working on his PhD had an academic advisor who was viewed as the campus conservative since he categorized himself as a ‘Clinton Democrat’.

  • RisingReich

    “College Republicans” – what is that supposed to be ‘Junior Stupid Party’ or ‘Stupid in Training’?

    Barking up the wrong tree if they think the ‘Senior Stupid Party’ wants to fix anything.

    • tlk244182

      Still, given their age, I am encouraged by their willingness to swim against the Cultural Marxist tide, since it indicates a capacity for independent thought. I was a Republican myself until they called the ’12 election for Obama.

  • The Final Solution

    This is why I’m so glad I attended college before I became a realist. No way I could tolerate going to college now. I worked at a liberal arts college for a few years and the liberal atmosphere was so poisonous, so suffocating it was maddening. 90% of staff are also liberal. I remember attending some employee orientation and the subject was conserving resources and some leftist was boasting about offsetting his commute with carbon credits and everyone seemed to be nodding in agreement. I just laughed and shook my head. What a freak. The whole campus, staff and students, all congratulate each other on being the same, having the same experiences and beliefs. Never again.

    • DudeWheresMyCountry?

      Individualism is a funny thing. When I went to college in Northern California 20 years ago I met and knew many granola, hippie, dead-head, Haight-Ashbury types who all thought of themselves as non conformist individual thinkers that weren’t taken in by the rules of society. It quickly occurred to me that virtually none of them were unique; in their ideas, politics, musical tastes and even appearance. They were all carbon copies of one another, all trying so hard not to be sheep at every turn of their identity they failed to realize they just became part of another sheppard’s herd. Individualism is a state of mind, not a haircut or a hippie acid band! The problem with true individualism today is that it takes thought, research and some soul searching… and people don’t have time for that kind of enlightenment.

    • tlk244182

      Was taking a night course at the local CC but dropped the course. Couldnt take the Marxist propaganda barrage, and was genuinely afraid that I would lose my temper and assault an especially obnoxious older student. They’re like a pack of hyenas.

    • Grantland

      I was born sensible. I caused gasps of horror when I quit Sunday school at 6 “because it was fairy-tales”. I did hard math, applied math, Computer Science at University only because the Humanities crew was a stinking mess of filthy leftist dykes, Jews, negroes, hippies and other disgusting freaks.

      • The Final Solution

        I suspect that these days even math and sciences have been poisoned by the liberal agenda. Just as they’ve infiltrated the common core curriculum.

  • Does not bode well for the next generation.

  • Berkeley Guy

    This is why I am a conservative liberal progressive … oh wait, what is that?

    I’m the old version of liberal progressive–the kind that believes we should be giving and charitable, and that we should increase our scientific knowledge, but that this requires hard work and discipline. It requires not watching television or hanging out on facebook or some other vapid, life-draining activity. It requires capitalism to be implemented.

    I don’t know how people use these buzzwords like “liberal” and “progressive” and “conservative.” I use them in my own way. Progressive to me means more public debates on what people are afraid to talk about, not being socially fashionable in calling others names or seeking ‘gotcha moments’ because they don’t agree with me. Conservative means that the classical notions of hard work, saving, discipline and focus, strong family values and so on need to be ‘conserved,’ held onto, guarded and cherished. Liberal means studying widely, being charitable to others, but not to the point of altuism madness at my family’s expense.

    The person in this article, wherever he is, need not worry. Herd mentality is not something to be praised. On that note, I am never scared of being around a crowd of because arguments (even mean and nasty accusations) from fascists and communists and whoever else help me evolve my own stance and to clarify my positions. Engaging with others who are against your viewpoint is a wonderful exercise in building your strength of character.

  • John R

    OK. People. Let’s not pick on the Younger Generation too much. First, 66% voted for Obama first time around, but only 60% the second time. And consider that the 18 to 29 year old demographic is more heavily non-White than the general population. Finally, let’s just remember who is really responsible for empowering all these non-Whites in the first place: The members of the Baby Boom Generation, who now dominate the universities and government. We were the “idealistic young people” who felt that we could reach out to non-Whites and have our “Age of Aquarius.” Yes, eventually, most of us grew up and realized how the world really works. These young people haven’t had a chance to do that, yet. Actually, young White college kids are pretty conservative compared to our generation, so people, tell that liberal teacher to “leave those kids alone.”

    • Slot Machine

      They are mostly libertarians, you know, the Don’t Judge Me political philosophy.

  • MBlanc46

    It was tough to be Goldwaterite on campus in 1964.

    • Geo1metric


  • Mrfinoni

    I don’t think it is prudent to out yourself as a conservative on a liberal campus. it might work to engender passions….. not unlike playing the devils advocate for attention…. to get dates. Just don’t commit….ask a lot of questions…. be polite… play squash….. etc.

    • tlk244182

      Good advice.

  • Ella

    And these poor young fools will be forced to pay for Obamacare one day when they earn some type of living. I’ve seen our private healthcare plummet this year in doctor choice and location convenience.

  • Sick of it

    I snicker at names like Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush as well. What kind of “conservative” is this guy?

    • RisingReich

      Probably not our kind. Most likely thinks either one of those two would be great choices.

      • Pro_Whitey

        Young and has not learned much yet. I went through a similar evolution. I would like to get through to that kid to help skip some steps.

        • tlk244182

          Me too.

    • tlk244182

      A young one.

  • Petronius

    The Liberal:

    Liberalism is an ideology that is Marxist and Utopian in doctrine. It has to be seen as a kind of secular religion. Thus anybody who questions The Ideology is regarded as a heretic, and the true believers respond accordingly. The heretic gets a bad grade from the professor, child expelled, kicked off the team, college speech codes, social isolation, public scorn and ridicule, article or book rejected for publication, job application denied or lost, threats to restrict free speech, etc.

    Hence also Liberal mottoes: You’re a racist. We’ll bring a gun. Punish enemies. Off the pigs! Burn it down! All of us were immigrants once. Celebrate diversity. You’re finished blondie! Bye-bye blue eyes. Who cares what happens to them? Here’s a tender piece, sir.

    The Conservative:

    Conservatism is the opposition to ideology in politics. Conservatism is an attitude or disposition and a way of living, not an ideology. Being a conservative is something you do, not something you believe.

    A conservative is someone who knows that things could always get worse. His mottoes are: If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Live and let live. Mind your own business. Let well enough alone. Stick to your own cabbage patch. Good fences make good neighbors. Read the bill. How can I help you? Merry Christmas! Perhaps one of the finest expressions of pure conservatism is this from G. K. Chesterton: “Don’t ever take a fence down until you know the reason why it was put up.”

    The conservative is realistic and non-Utopian. He has an intuitive grasp of genetics and biology. He is clever enough to understand that there are no solutions to most social and economic problems, which are in fact not problems at all, but permanent conditions of human existence. He realizes that human beings are unequal and imperfect, that not all races are equally gifted for civilization, that hierarchies are natural and necessary, and that most of the ills in the world have biological, psychological, and moral causes rather than social causes. And that government, by tampering with the existing social order, invariably substitutes new and worse problems by undermining the healthier segments of society.

    For the conservative a healthy political society reposes in the enjoyment of inherited traditions and customs, and the art of politics is to preserve these arrangements, and, when it becomes absolutely necessary to modify them, to do so only by moderate and prudent measures that apply the principles inherent in the country’s existing constitution, traditions, customs, and laws. The purpose of government is to maintain conditions which leave individuals free to make their own arrangements and deal with their own situations as they think best, with an absolute minimum of government interference.

    • Alexandra1973

      “Don’t ever take a fence down until you know the reason why it was put up.”

      Boy does THAT ever apply to integration!

    • Geo1metric

      Excellent analysis.

    • tlk244182

      GKC is my hero.

  • TXCriollo

    Ya I remember the days of college and being a conservative it was hard. The thing that makes it worse is the fact that all the profs support liberals, so if your conservative they attack you and make you the bad guy

  • Raymond Kidwell

    Usually college campuses are a good place to find rational and informed discussions. Anybody with a critical mind who wasn’t born a billionaire will support a lot of “liberal” issues such as more worker protections, regulations etc. but unfortunately it also comes with anti-white discrimination pro affirmative action etc. But at some point I realized the Republican party is all for massive floods of immigrants and supports Israel unflinchingly and pro affirmative action as well so I can’t see any real significant difference between the two. I think white people who vote republican because they think republicans represent values of hard work and honesty and pro-white are just deluding themselves.

  • Geo1metric

    You must work your tail off trying to teach 12 courses; I’ve done some teaching, adjunct, and my heart goes out to you.

    Have you tried another field of work? Or have you tried for jobs overseas?

    Hang tough.

  • 1stworlder

    Once I meet enough blacks to realize that there are none in reality that are as smart as the ones seen one commercials I changed, but I worked with a black doctor that malpracticed himself to death before that.