Denison’s dystopia of political suppression

Nathaniel Beach ‘20 is a PPE major from Columbus, Ohio.

NATHANIEL BEACH, Sports Editor — A common theme among the College Republicans across the United States is that of suppression. Viewpoints that don’t align with left-leaning rhetoric are often shunned, put down, or suppressed.

Many who disagree with the Right tend to ridicule this sentiment, especially on Denison’s own campus. I get a platform to write about conservatism, so how can Republicans be suppressed? The writings I publish are an anomaly in a time of societal decline in productive and engaging thought and discussion. I argue that bias has infiltrated not only Denison’s campus but our society as a whole.

Denison is a microcosm of what the United States is like today. Students on campus have continuously been silenced or scared into suppression for their personal politics. They’re made to seem that because they vote Republican, they are for whatever reason immoral compared to liberal viewpoints.

Through talking with students in Residential Communities, I learned that the class of 2022 lost numerous students to transfers as a result of their fear of being a conservative on this campus. Professors in class refuse to write the President’s name on their board during lectures or even canceled class after the 2016 election. Some student groups constantly post on their social media pages or create posters with clear anti-Republican biases, and campus news publications who prefer social justice advocacy over reporting the news are just small, yet very real examples of the systematic suppression of an opposing viewpoint.

I published an article over the summer explaining why I was pro-life. I was bombarded with comments and individuals reaching out with hate-filled remarks. Multiple comments were deleted off of the Denisonian’s facebook page due to threats against me. Conservative students have had their rooms broken into, with threatening notes placed in their private quarters, and in my case my room was broken into and my posters were torn up and thrown onto my floor.

I am the President of the Denison College Republicans. With that comes the responsibility of being a strong advocate for the Republican-affiliated students on campus. It’s a sobering job, in that I receive countless emails, messages, and notes from students explaining how they’re scared to be a part of the group or even share who they are with their friends out of fear of what the campus will do to them. Students are so indoctrinated by American millennial society into a narrow-minded way of thinking that it leads to resentment and animosity toward those who disagree. As George Orwell stated, “if liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

Obviously I don’t want to constantly be hearing about why socialized medicine is the greatest thing ever, or why abortion should be legal, or why amnesty needs to be given to illegal immigrants. However, what separates Republicans from Democrats seems to be the willingness to listen and learn. I step out of my comfort zone and go to other group meetings. I take classes on topics I’m not knowledgeable in. Other Republicans on campus do the same. I keep attendance at DCR meetings and know only a select few left-leaning students who come to learn about an opposing viewpoint and don’t wish to live in an ignorant bubble of their own beliefs.

I’m tired of students coming up to me and talking about how much I’ve grown in my beliefs because my views aren’t as Right-leaning as a reputation precedes me. It assumes I’m wrong in my beliefs and only by adopting the left-leaning majority’s beliefs am I correct or #woke. This is dangerous for deliberation. I’d like to see these same students take as much time to learn about what being a Republican actually is.I’d like students to stop living in ignorant bubbles of their own self-righteousness and allow Denison to listen to an alternative perspective which can truly allow us to become discerning moral agents. Feel free to email me at beach_n1@denison.edu if you’d like to continue this discussion.

Nathaniel Beach ’20 is a Philosophy, Politics & Economics major.

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