Thursday, September 18, 2008

Why are college students(18-22 yrs old) so liberal?

(This is an opinion post and it is VERY opinionated. It is my opinion. It is a departure from this blog's purpose but one that sometimes needs to be taken.)

Why are college students so liberal? More specifically fiscally liberal? Maybe a dose of the reality of the "real world" would make them more conservative? If you ever want a dose of reality about where our tax dollars go...spending about 30 minutes in the emergency room or the free clinics down at your local county hospital will turn a die-hard liberal into a conservative! I watched as people openly advised each other how to get more aid from the government without working. Watched as a perfectly healthy looking woman bragged about how she gets disability payments. Watched as they talked about food stamps, welfare, free rent, and so on and so on as if they were badges of honor. What I was seeing is how giving too much aid to a human being takes away their self-respect and their work ethic. Government aid does not help people. It cripples them. The tragedy of the government run Indian reservations should have taught us that lesson.

What was I doing at a county run hospital? I am a college student without health coverage. Does that make me a hypocrite? No, I am a college student who is improving myself in order to contribute to our society. Not to mention I am already fully vested in the Social Security System. My examples are of people who openly do not want to work and actually pursue more and more aid from our government. I have less of a problem with government aid as long as the recipient is going to school, working, or receiving vocational training with conditions.

Like previously stated, I have come back to college to finish my education. I consider myself to be a moderate that leans a little to the right but no one could ever call me a die-hard conservative or a toter of the Republican party line. Since coming back to college I have gotten a good laugh, every now and then, when overhearing a young college student spouting idealistic liberal thoughts for the world to hear. This happened so much that I thought to myself, "why are young college students so liberal?". Now, I am not talking about moderates who lean a little left. I am talking about the way left group. It is a fact(proven in much as polls can prove anything) that college students are more likely to be liberal than the overall population. My pet peeve and the focus of this article is how fiscally liberal young people are.  So, why are people fiscally liberal in college and then get more conservative when they get out into the "real world"?.

Here are four articles and polls siting the liberality of college students and faculty:
Data from Cal Berkeley
Data from UCLA
College Faculties: A Most Liberal Lot, Study Finds
Pragmatic Americans Liberal and Conservative on Social Issues

As the writers of South Park pointed out(Episode 902, Die Hippie, Die), college students are so liberal because they get on campus, take a freshman psychology class, a freshman humanities class, and all of the sudden they are experts on the world and how the world should be. As a person who has had to make ends meet in the "real world", I can not help but be amused by this phase that young students around me are going through. See, most of them are fresh from mom and dad's house. Most of them have never had to work for a living, and I do mean work for a living, not a part time job while in high school or college. They have not yet earned a $6000.00 paycheck that is only $4000.00 after the government is done taking their part in order to fund those idealistic programs that so many liberals want. They have never worked 60-80 hours in a week only to see other citizens of this country get paid for doing nothing or get paid for the simple act of having another child.

It is a fact that the general population is less liberal than college students so it is obvious that the realities of the real world, the realities of supporting a family, the realities of making a mortgage payment, and the realities of making ends meet everyday have the effect of toning down the idealistic but naive ideas of young college students.

And, yes, I know, I know, every young liberal college student is going to rail against this post and say it is not true, probably call me some bad names, but get back to me when you are 32 years old...tell me then if I was right or wrong. Obviously not everyone completely abandons their liberal views, or even their fiscal liberal views, after college but a large number do. And, yes, I know that college graduates are more likely to be liberal and that liberals take that to mean that to be liberal is to be enlightened. The reason college graduates are more likely to be liberal is because of liberal college professors. (Hmmmm? I wonder? Could it be that liberal professors are more liberal because they haven't been out in the "real world" either? Maybe not.) Anyway, college professors are overwhelmingly more likely to be liberal and, after four years of college, is it any wonder why college graduates are more likely to be liberal? Of course this is my opinion and I do apologize to any professors who are reading this blog. Especially any professors whose classes I am currently taking. I still want an A!

(Even if you hate my have to admit that the South Park clip is funny!)


Karl Roman said...

Great Post,
I've found myself thinking about the issues of which you speak and I've come to a lot of the same conclusions. I've also found a lot of the college aged people I know to be conformist and oriented towards copying others. After all, college is about fitting in and their are a lot of cliques. Perhaps once one person in a dorm starts spouting idealist, liberal propaganda, others follow and those that really do think for themselves are afraid to say anything at all.
New York, NY

Jared Henderson said...

You know, I don't think it is fair to make just about any of the comments you made regarding professors. For one, college professors aren't nearly as liberal as people claim they are, and even if they are, their personal views aren't what is being taught in class. Also, I would say those professors are in the 'real world' and have had to worry about money pretty often. Most professors make about $30,000 a year starting out, and they have more student loan debt than typical college students.

Jared Henderson said...

And Karl, if you mean stating a liberal opinion, then yes, a lot of students spout 'idealist, liberal propaganda.' Just because you disagree with what is being said doesn't mean it is propaganda.

Simim said...

It's not really propaganda, but it is idealistic and vague. Because it's easy and trendy!!

It's very, very simple to spout off "equality for everyone!" and then expect the "government to handle it."

It's bringing up an issue without a solution, or even a possible way to form that solution.

Kinda like yelling out, "the dishes are dirty!" and then expecting someone else to clean them. If you think the dishes are dirty, well, get off your ass and clean them yourself!

bloggle said...

"spending about 30 minutes in the emergency room or the free clinics down at your local county hospital will turn a die-hard liberal into a conservative!"
I went to my University's clinic many times and found it to be very efficient, friendly, and effective. And free. When I went to the emergency room, the $9,000 bill (for some CAT scans) was covered by the University's health plan. Why would these fantastic benefits bother me?
I had free health care. It made me realize that every American should have access to free health care, just like every other wealthy nation in the world. I was lucky to live in a single-payer health system for 4 years.

RD said...

There is no such thing as "free". Have not learned that? Of course not -- given you don't have a clear grasp on economics and what makes the world turn. Someone paid for your healthcare - taxpayers. If everyone has "free" healthcare where will the capacity come from for Doctors and Nurses to support such an endeavor? Will they come out of thin air? Due to the large patient base and demand now along with abuse of the system will large waitlists not form? That CAT scan you got -- good luck getting another one within 2 years - No hospital will want to invest in new technology because the government will limit payments to them. New private health practices will form that will not take government patients - you know why? Because people won't want to wait years before seeing a Doctor. And then you know what happens next? Government intervenes again and makes all physicians and healthcare workers government employees -- Welcome to socialism folks.. it has never worked. With controlled pay by the government and more than likely placement to where one can work what is next? get the jist?

Natalie Euley said...

I will say right now- I am a sophomore in college with liberal views. But you know what? I have those views for a reason. First of all, money is money. It's material. It's just stuff. Second of all, there is absolutely nothing wrong with taxes. Think about it this way: if you had some change in your purse, and there was a St. Jude box on the counter by the cashier you were about to pay, would you donate? If you say no, you are clearly greedy. After all, what's a few cents going to hurt? Not doing it is only going to hurt someone else. Thats what taxes are- that money goes to people in need. Government is a charity. Do you give to Toys for Tots or Compassion child or even your church? Taxes are the exact same thing, so get over it. I did not get this opinion from my professors, parents, or anyone else. If anything, everyone around me is a conservative because I live in Alabama. These views are all my own, from my own heart, because I care about other people. I have not had a job. But my first instinct when I was babysitting, or a Girl Scout, or anything else, and I got handed money, was that I didn't deserve it. Medical research, national security, those people deserve it, because they help us thrive. People laboring across the world deserve it. But not me. You are clearly greedy if you don't feel that. If your first instinct is, "Finally! That TV is mine!" then you are greedy. I am not some liberal college student. I am a generous and humble person. That's all there is to it. If you don't want your money going to those in need, who deserve it more than you, then your greed and pride will mean you will never truly be happy and satisfied. Plain and simple.