by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Almost every Wednesday night of my freshman year at college, I donned my blue, two-piece suit to prepare for an evening of debate. The topics ranged from practical politics to philosophy, morality, religion, and everywhere in between. The debate society within which these debates take place, the Federalist Party, leaves no ambiguity as to its political philosophy: it’s unabashedly conservative. The real kind of conservative — the kind that worships God and tries to live out virtue.
So, I surely go to school at some obscure, Christian college, right? No, I go to Yale.
And the Federalist Party’s existence is not the only thing about Yale that listeners of conservative media might be surprised to hear. They might be similarly surprised to learn that the largest student organization on campus, with over 350 members, is the William F. Buckley Jr. Program. The program hosts lectures, debates, and seminars aimed at bringing a conservative political message to campus.
I suppose most conservatives, when thinking about the political climate at Yale, would not expect to hear that the school’s largest student group is named after one of the founders of the post-war conservative movement. They’d expect to hear about the liberal echo chamber, the socialist indoctrination, and the “snowflakes.” Well, there is a lot of that. …
… I could talk about how I have to carefully word my political comments in class discussion, how I have been forced to watch a PSA video informing students that masturbation is the safest form of sex during the COVID pandemic. … I could talk about all this and more, but come on (man!): This is really the low-hanging fruit. After reading God and Man at Yale the summer before my freshman year and consuming years of conservative media, I was prepared for the Left’s cultural and administrative dominance over the university. I was not, however, expecting to encounter a robust conservative community.