Thank You To My Liberal College For Turning Me Conservative

Jackson Richman, Red Alert Politics

FreeMarket Central

“I think government taking care of those without health insurance is noble. I think Wall Street is greedy. I think we need a higher minimum wage. I don’t think the rich pay their fair share. I think that just because there is Freedom of Speech, that doesn’t give someone a license to be hateful. I think Barack Obama will be a great, first African-American president.”

That was my liberal self until my freshman year of college. If the stereotypes are true, college should have turned me into more of a left-winger and a social justice warrior.

It didn’t.

By the end of my freshman year at George Washington University, I took an introductory comparative politics class where when asked if the middle class is needed for a democracy to survive, I replied that the Bill of Rights is more important than socioeconomic classes. Moreover, disgusted with the Left’s penchant for anti-Israel sentiment, I officially paid dues and joined GW College Republicans, where I learned the tenets of the GOP: free market capitalism, deregulation, fiscal responsibility, and a strong national defense.

After an invaluable internship at The Weekly Standard, courtesy of the conservative Young America’s Foundation’s National Journalism Center, I became more of a skeptic and critic of what I was hearing overall. Instead of “group think,” I decided to “individual think.”

I realized that I shouldn’t fight for “social justice,” rather for “individual justice.” I realized that, as Ronald Reagan famously said, “Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem.” I realized that government shouldn’t dictate most aspects of our lives. Obamacare is failing to insure all Americans and is full of lies like “If you like your plan, you can keep it.”

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For [early immigrants] America was truly the land of opportunity. For the first time in their lives, many were truly free to pursue their own objectives. That freedom released the human energies which created the United States. There were few government programs to turn to and nobody expected them. But also there were few rules and regulations. There were no licenses, no permits, no red tape to restrict them. They found, in fact, a free market, and most of them thrived on it. 

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