I know first hand how overwhelming it can be to be one of few (if not the only) conservatives in a majority liberal environment. From casual chats in the dining hall to the classroom to social media, it’s easy to feel outnumbered and even easier to avoid controversy by remaining silent. But there’s no dignity in that. This is advice about owning your faith in capitalism, liberty, and personal responsibility without apology, no matter how unpopular your opinion.
Know your stuff
As much as liberals will take bogus statistics and figures that support their narrative for face value, they pick apart and fact check any statement made by a conservative from the first letter to the last punctuation. You need to quadruple check anything you say, as well as seek sources with a left leaning bias to test your own understanding of a given issue.
When you don’t know what you’re talking about, don’t talk about it
If you aren’t knowledgeable about something, don’t pretend to be. Don’t accept or deny what someone else is saying as fact, but acknowledge that you aren’t familiar with the information at hand and will need to do your own research before discussing it. Refuse to be dragged into a gun fight with a knife. If someone continues arguing with you about something you’ve admitted ignorance to, end the conversation. They don’t want to understand where you’re coming from and they’re not interested in discourse; they want to embarrass you.
Don’t tolerate unjust accusations
Don’t let your opposition brand you as racist, sexist, classist, homophobic, transphobic, Islamaphobic or any other type of bigot- especially if these claims are made with baseless, over-intellectualized conjecture. Make it clear that any such allegations must be backed with ample, factual evidence and that you will not accept personalized, “progressive” redefinitions of these isms or phobias. Don’t let even the slightest implication of bigotry slide, as it’s a slippery slope, and one of the easiest (and laziest) ways for leftists to silence conservatives.
When anything remotely political is being discussed, a friendly discussion can turn into a heated debate faster than Bill Clinton can unzip his pants. While talking about things that you’re passionate about, it’s easy to get passionate, and it’s easy to get angry. I’ve found that the less intelligent your opponent is, the easier it is to become frustrated, but it’s important to maintain a clear, level head. If you find yourself cutting off the other person, interrupting them, raising your voice, or acting otherwise rudely, recognize your behavior, acknowledge that you are in the wrong, and apologize. If your opponent is behaving this way towards you, wait for them to finish talking, and call them out on it. End the conversation if they continue addressing you like this. A disagreement doesn’t have to mean disrespect.
Say it loud and say it proud
I’m a female, black college student from Boston, MA. There are liberals as far as the eye can see in every direction. The vast majority of people I know lean left. As much as Democrats preach tolerance and acceptance, anyone on Twitter when Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, revealed that she was a Republican during an interview can tell you otherwise. It can be intimidating to vocalize your opinions, knowing that you’ll be met with hostility– especially from people that you consider friends. But if you can’t be honest with a friend about what you believe, they aren’t a friend. No worthwhile friendship depends on your silence. You can agree to disagree, but don’t shy away from your principles or beliefs out of fear. Be courageously conservative, not a conservative coward. Quite frankly, you have a duty to speak the truth whether or not it’s popular.
Pick your battles
If you’re in line at Starbucks and someone wearing glasses they don’t need starts talking to someone carrying male tears paraphernalia about how communism like actually rules and just hasn’t been implemented correctly, put your headphones in. I promise you, it isn’t worth it. Why put a bad taste in your mouth right before you pay for your overpriced concoction? Save yourself the headache next time and just go to Dunkies.
Grow a thick skin
All of the “compassion” and “moral superiority” that liberals pride themselves on is out of the window when it comes to conservatives. Expect to be called every name in the book, and learn not to take it to heart.
Most of all, remember why you’re a conservative. No matter how many politicians disappoint you or abandon what they claim to stand for, and as horrible as they can make the party look, no amount of selling out or flip flopping will change the faith in America and its people that define conservatism.