A week ago, the Martin Center published an essay by Joe Warta on the survey he did of conservative and libertarian activists on college campuses. Today we publish a follow-up essay by Joe in which he relates some of the comments he received from students.
Based on those comments, it seems that school officials are something of a problem — not usually hostile, but not helpful either — and the main characteristic of the students is apathy. Sometimes conservatives encounter fuming outrage from leftists, but more often they are ignored. As a Clemson student said, “The student body’s apathy is our biggest problem. Clemson has one of the most right-wing student bodies in the country, but they don’t engage. The left-wing students obviously are more vocal and more militant, so getting a right-wing message to the largely apathetic silent majority has been our struggle.”
Widespread student indifference to political activism might be interpreted optimistically; maybe most are focused more on their coursework (and campus fun) than on political movements of any kind. On the other hand, it might indicate general acceptance of the big-government status quo. In either case, conservative activists have a difficult task in alerting their fellow students to the damage that our federal leviathan is doing to our freedom and prosperity.