Neil A. Carousso produces and co-hosts WCBS Newsradio 880’s Small Business Spotlight series with Joe Connolly. Click here to watch the weekly video segments featuring advice for business owners on survival, recovery and growth opportunities.
  • Divided, We Stand: Have Liberals Forgotten that Conservative Lives Matter?

    By Neil A. Carousso

    There is an epidemic of radical liberalism on college campuses. Evident by frequent protestsuniversity conferences like one at Hofstra University intended to promote “conversation and action on campus and the community in response to racism and Islamophobia” in the 2016 presidential campaigns, and a lack of administrative accountability for disrespecting authority, especially our police officers who risk their lives to keep citizens safe.

    It’s fine if you identify as a Democrat or if you are liberal on some issues. In fact, many “conservatives,” who have homosexual friends, concede to gay marriage as a right, and understand that there are exceptions to the pro-life stance. However, radical liberalism, and radical conservatism, is hurting this great nation. Our country is extremely divided and politically polarized and you are seeing the result during this presidential election season. But, on college campuses across the United States, if you are a Republican, you are considered a bad person.

    First of all, what is a “conservative?” What does it mean to be a “conservative?” Dana Perino, who was the press secretary under President George W. Bush and currently the co-host of “The Five” on Fox News Channel, eloquently wrote in her book, “And the Good News Is…Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side,” about the difference between liberalism and conservatism, which she struggled with as a college student who didn’t let politics define her life.

    Former U.S. Press Secretary Dana Perino writes about the difference between liberals and conservatives and why her decision to be a Republican was "easy."
    Former U.S. Press Secretary Dana Perino writes about the difference between liberals and conservatives and why her decision to be a Republican was “easy.”


    “Conservatism by its very nature is compassionate,” Perino wrote. “Conservatives are charitable, forgiving, and are always— always— more willing to laugh at themselves (and yes, we have plenty to laugh at). I understand why some conservatives rejected his phrase of ‘Compassionate Conservative’— perhaps they found it redundant— but that spoke to me, and it opened the door for me to be more active in participating in the public arena.”

    Perino also wrote about the “rigidity” within the liberal circles that stifles discussion and passionate debate. For example, if I say “All Lives Matter,” because I believe in respect and humanity for all people regardless of race, gender or gender identification, disability, military status, etc. (you get the point), I’m called a “racist,” a word that is thrown around without any thought or context much like saying a prayer without really understanding the meaning of the words one is reciting.

    “They are doctrinaire and rely on sanctimony while ignoring facts. I find that very unattractive,” Perino wrote about liberals in her book, continuing, “And when the facts on the ground don’t match up to reality, that’s when I’ve experienced liberals lashing out at conservatives for being ‘mean,’ as if that’s going to solve anything. These are like arguments that children have with their parents — conservatives are mean because they deny a third scoop of ice cream. But feelings don’t change facts, and it is not ‘mean’ to point them out. I want hard, practical truths — and then I apply my principles to them.”

    Liberal students are probably liberal by default since many do not understand the concepts of economics (other than “spreading the wealth”) and national security concerns with the rise of ISIS, and prefer to be politically correct with the belief that they are inclusive as opposed to Republicans. Many on the left believe that Republicans “spread hatred” and are insensitive, which is far from the truth and an inappropriate generalization and stereotype.

    There is a big difference between emphasizing the need for national security and everyone’s safety by enforcing immigration laws that already exist and putting safeguards in place to prevent future acts of terrorism and allowing upwards of 10,000 Syrian refugees into our country without proper background checks when ISIS has infiltrated the refugee population in Europe, to carry out the Brussels attack on March 22, and the Islamic State says they will do the same in the U.S., which is their prime target.  ISIS has beheaded journalists in order to prevent reporting on their terror training and tactics and they’ve launched a genocide against Syrian Christians, but college administrators, and other liberals, are concerned about political correctness instead of educating students about real world events in a scary time in American history.

    Colleges and universities promote divisive programs like one focused on “Islamophobia.” Do you think you can be a Republican or conservative and be comfortable in your own skin on a college campus? You better have tough skin and learn to keep your mouth shut. Free speech doesn’t apply to everyone in this country of its own. Colleges actually promote “Black Lives Matter” protests, with participants in that radically left-wing group shouting anti-police slogans, led by influential people like Reverend Al Sharpton who led a chant “What do we want? Dead Cops. When do we want it? Now;” this further divides citizens and the blue collar men and women who keep us safe everyday.

    Are there exceptions? Yes, there are always exceptions and in cities like Ferguson, Missouri and Chicago, Illinois, major reform is needed and plans have already been put in motion, but its citizens must be willing to cooperate instead of breaking police car windows and smashing government property and purposely trying to set-up officers while taking cell phone videos, making officers almost afraid to do their job. We need to go back to the times when we respected police and thanked them for protecting us, much like we should do for those who serve overseas and come back traumatized. I couldn’t hold a post; could you?

    It’s the divisive narrative, starting at the top with President Barack Obama that trickles down to the U.S. Department of Justice and to the states, which really should have the power as opposed to Obama issuing executive orders like a recent one that threatens to take funding away from public schools if they do not adhere to the President’s “suggestion” of allowing students, who identify as a gender, to use facilities that match their gender identification. That’s a type of issue that should be debated as there are many concerns on both sides.

    The biggest issue is the unconstitutionality of withdrawing federal funding for public schools who don’t answer to the feds in the first place. In addition, we aren’t merely talking about bathrooms. That’s a relatively easy solution: either only have stalls in public bathrooms or make all bathrooms private. However, what do you do with public locker rooms, which are occupied by kids and adults who literally walk around a YMCA locker room unclothed? Do you want your 6-year-old son or daughter exposed to any person’s naked body after his or her swimming lesson?

    We need to give this issue its due attention instead of President Obama deciding for everyone how the country will move forward. Frankly, many don’t care about sharing a bathroom with someone who is transgendered, meaning they went through the surgery or are in the process of changing his or her anatomy; it’s more about the principle of checks and balances within government and big brother hanging over Americans’ heads. Furthermore, with more and more allegations of sexual harassment in schools of all levels, how do we ensure that a sexual predator doesn’t take advantage of someone? Think about high school locker rooms or single-sex dorm rooms.

    If we’re going to talk about bathrooms consider the more serious problems people face in other countries like homosexuals who face the death penalty in countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. There are harsh laws against gay expression in countries like Russia and imprisonment for being gay in Egypt, India and others. Luckily, besides some cases of bullying, which mostly start in schools, we respect and welcome people of all races, genders and gender identifications. Women hold positions of power in many industries. Donald Trump even hired women to run construction sites at a time when old-fashioned thought was the way it was in this country and his own traditional father, Fred, did not approve of putting women in positions of power, but The Donald put the most qualified person in charge. In many organizations, not all, women get paid the same for the exact position with identical responsibilities as a man, hired at the same time, would be compensated. But now, the tables have turned in which white men almost have to apologize for their race and gender, which they cannot control. Minorities dub Republicans’ rhetoric a “white male agenda.”

    Things are so backwards on college campuses. In March, Rachel E. Huebner, a Harvard University student penned an article for The Crimson, Harvard’s campus newspaper, in which she wrote that professors and administrators now “presume that fragile undergraduates need to be protected from any form of dissent,” calling on university leaders to discern that is “incompatible with the very premise and goal of an education.”

    Furthermore, students censor their peers. Huebner wrote that a female student refused to sit across from a Harvard classmate because the student was pro-life. In addition, Huebner said when her friend moved into his dorm room as a first-year student, he began to hang an American flag on the wall before his roommate stopped him, declaring the flag to be a “political statement that he was unwilling to make.”

    There have been various cases involving chalk, including one at Emory University in which students wrote “Trump” on campus pavement only to be slammed with protests that were described as “free speech” when in fact these protesters, like at the Chicago protests outside a postponed Donald Trump rally in March, used their free speech to curtail the candidate’s free speech after booking and filling a venue, used their First Amendment rights to prevent other students who they deem “hateful.”

    Earlier this month, the Claremont Independent reported that a group of liberal activists at Claremont McKenna College in California called out minority students and faculty who disagreed with their cause by placing them on a “shady person of color” list. The racial protests escalated on the campus in November. That “shady person of color list” contained public demands such as the resignation of the college dean and the creation of a permanent “safe space” on campus.

    The list of examples in which the radical left has oppressed conservatives, especially involving colleges and universities, seems never ending. If people only listened to each candidate and really understood the issues, one could make an informed, unbiased decision on whether or not to support a candidate, regardless of political parties. Violent protests are unnecessary and counterproductive. Consider this: when anti-Trump protesters damage police cars and cause a violent scene, undecided voters feel the sense of patriotism and strong leadership that the now, presumptive GOP nominee represents and listen more engaged to Trump’s narrative.

    Despite what political party you identify with, remember that we are all Americans and at the end of the day, the government needs to work together for the common goals of the country, including safety and economic growth and opportunity. Whoever is elected president on Tuesday, November 8, must be supported and given a chance to lead and improve the divisive nature of today’s society and make policy that will lead to future success of the country and its citizens for whom politicians work, promoting the values of American Dream that hard work is rewarded and leads to a better life for future generations.

    Featured image courtesy of Ralph Fresco/Getty Images from an anti-Trump protest at Emory University on March 23, 2016.

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