As the culture wars rage on, I have been thinking about a particular area that we as Conservatives need to improve in: youth. While we have a decent number of Conservative writers and political commentators contributing and getting important information and perspective out into the world, we lack the voices of younger Conservatives. This is one of the reasons I got involved in the political realm as a young writer.
Currently it seems the Left have a monopoly in the area of youth. They get young writers trained up and have their work published quickly, and most of the protests that occur involving young people consist of those from the Left. This leaves Conservatives at a disadvantage in the culture wars, in need of young Conservatives to rise up and fight alongside those of us already duking it out in the political arena.
So often we hear the views of Conservatives who have, to some degree, established themselves in the realm of politics, be it in writing, activism, or the like. But we do not hear enough from younger Conservatives who have begun to discover the way systems in this world work, and how many are skewed towards Left-Wing ideology. In fact, I would argue we barely hear from this demographic at all, at least in Australia.
In the United States, there is a political activist group called Turning Point USA, created and operated by Conservative commentator Charlie Kirk. Their following and membership base largely consist of young Conservatives, many still in college. Chapters of the organization are run in Universities across America, providing an outlet for Conservative Students to connect and join together to fight back against the Leftism that runs rampant throughout American universities.
I mention them because Australian universities are not immune from this ideological virus that continues to infect the education system. As a university student still studying a degree in Communications, I have seen first-hand the bias that springs up left, right and centre, in lectures and in marking. To give you an example, several lectures for one subject I have studied of late consisted of Marxist theory painted in a positive light. Even when it came to a creative writing subject, they managed to slip postmodernism and feminism into a lecture on crime-based fiction.
There is one incident however that I think provides valuable insight into the university system as it stands. A previous subject pertaining to journalism included a lecture discussing climate change, making the bold claim that “99.9% of the world’s scientists agree that anthropogenic climate change is real”, and following that up by questioning whether it was “responsible and ethical journalism to give equal coverage to climate sceptics” in the media. In an effort to combat this, I took it upon myself to write a letter to the Course Convenor, refuting the claims of the university’s lecture with peer-reviewed studies. I made a simple request of them; not that they remove the lecture, but that, if they wish to include such claims, they present the opposing views so that students are given the opportunity to make up their own minds on the matter. Of course, despite the apparent gratitude I received for my feedback, I doubt anything was changed apart from the marks for my final assessment.
But while this likely cost me a few marks, I felt it was worth it. Why? Because we need to stand up to the system. Conservative students have spent far too long being run over by Left-Wing ideology in the education system. We have long been told to just give the people who control these institutions what they want. I could not tell you how many times I have heard an iteration of the following: “It’s only a few years, once you finish your degree you can start fighting back.” This is the easy option. But it is costing us dearly. Sure, it might benefit us in the short-term, but what good is that if the system never changes? All we are doing is allowing Leftist ideologues to maintain their hold on an incredibly influential institution. Who knows how many more students entering these places untouched by political thought will be indoctrinated with the destructive ideology perpetrated by those working within the system?
This is why students need to start fighting back, and other Conservatives who are no longer in the system need to support their fight. Young Conservatives need to start making noise, they need to start making their voices heard. It is all well and good to be a Conservative in the shadows, but it can be so much more liberating to come out into the light and fight for what you believe in.
The time for silence is over. If activism is your thing, start a group, get out into society, and do all you can to get your message as far and wide as possible. If you are a young writer, pick up a pen, or start tapping away at your keyboard. Get writing and get your work out there. You could start a blog like I did to share your thoughts with the world. Or you could write for The Good Sauce. In fact, if you are a young Conservative writer, feel free to get in touch with me via Twitter or through my blog (linked in my bio). I would love to hear from you and get more young up and coming writers contributing to the realm of political commentary.
If Conservatives want to win the culture wars, we need as many voices as possible sharing our values and beliefs with the wider society. And we desperately need more young Conservatives to join us in the fight. I am not saying it will be easy, but it will be worth it.
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Joel Agius is a young Catholic Conservative writer currently studying journalism and creative writing with Griffith University. He writes on freedom, religion and the human condition, mainly focusing on the Australian and US social and political scenes. He also volunteers as a Special Religious Education teacher in State primary schools, and occasionally contributes to The Spectator. You can find him on Twitter or read his work over at his blog. If you would like to support his work, you can click here.