Since beginning my academic career at Chapman University, I have had the privilege of coming across a diverse array of people from all ethnicities, religions, and cultures. This was one of the main reasons why I committed to attending Chapman University for my undergraduate degree. I have always admired how welcoming Chapman is and how the university makes it a point to be inclusive of everyone on and off campus. I have met some of my closest friends through joining clubs such as Chapman Snow Club and The Players’ Society. However, all of the carefree fun in these groups came to a grinding halt due to the global pandemic and the upcoming election. Additionally, the unstable and unhealthy tension between the ever-clashing political parties has forced me to reevaluate who I can honestly discuss sensitive topics with.
I have never been one to speak openly about politics. However, I have observed that the activist news media has brainwashed our generation into only believing the official narrative – completely undermining and belittling our right to think for ourselves. Furthermore, this manipulation by the media makes it difficult for anyone who has “controversial” thoughts to speak up about them and exercise their freedom of speech.
I want to use a specific example that has weighed on my shoulders for a long while now. I identify as a proud queer man and member of the LGBTQ+ community. I also identify as a right-leaning conservative. Somebody who characterizes themselves with those two identities is not heard of much – if at all – because more times than not, the media will not mention us, or we will not speak up due to fear of being immediately scrutinized and ostracized by our peers.
Most people who identify in the LGBTQ+ community are members of the Democratic Party. However, that is not a cumulative representation of everyone who is LGBTQ+. I am one of the outliers. People should never feel pressured to follow a specific narrative because they are of a particular group identity. Everybody should be allowed to formulate their own opinions without intimidation by peers. In fact, according to an article I recently read from Newsweek, an astonishing 20 to 45 percent of the LGBTQ+ community are in support of President Trump. This data epitomizes the notion that the LGBTQ+ community is not an ideologically-monolithic group, but it appears that way because LGBTQ+ dissidents are intimidated into silence.
In our current time, the Democratic Party has become, in essence, the party of hypocrisy. The use of tactics – such as guilt, ostracism, and systematic scapegoating, which further the leftists’ own agenda while blindly ignoring the truth – has been the party’s downfall. For the party that allegedly supports all people of all backgrounds, it also blindly ignores and demonizes the great handful of people in the same minority groups who dare to have alternate, conservative viewpoints.
The same can correspondingly be said about the LGBTQ+ community. As a group of diversity that supposedly symbolizes love and acceptance, I feel as if I can no longer trust my own community to be open-minded and tolerant. Equality cannot truly be equal if it only happens sometimes. Ostracizing an individual because of a differing viewpoint on an issue is only a contradiction with what the LGBTQ+ community claims to stand for.
To give a personal example, one of my liberal friends (who is also LGBTQ+) posted on one of their social media accounts that “if you are not a progressive thinker and keeping the best interest of the country at heart by voting for Biden, then I have no interest in talking to you.” Just consider how that would make someone like me feel. Personally, it makes me feel isolated and ashamed. Moreover, this hypocritical intolerance is why individuals within groups of diversity are afraid to voice their unique opinions about important and controversial matters.
As I mentioned before, one should never feel ashamed for their non-conformative beliefs. Possessing the liberty to speak up about one’s opinions is of great importance, which is why it is the first right protected by our Constitution. However, it is now being diminished. Overall, these are the reasons why I decided to join Chapman Republicans on campus. As a Republican student organization, the values of traditionalism, patriotism, and most importantly, freedom of opinion are what this club strives to embody.
I am very fortunate to have found a club where I feel I can have a rational discussion with others about a variety of political and social issues where students are free to voice opposing views without fear of personal retaliation. If only we as an American society can learn to actively listen to each other without immediate vilification… then we will have taken a significant step forward toward a better future. A future free of prejudice.
Ferris (pseudonym) is a senior student at Chapman University majoring in Business Administration.