“Though liberals do a great deal of talking about hearing other points of view, it sometimes shocks them to learn that there are other points of view.”

William F. Buckley wrote this famous statement in 1959, in the book “Up from Liberalism.” This was written during the early years of the American conservative movement. His quote rang true at the time it was written and continues to ring true today, even on the campus of Trinity University and especially in light of recent events. 2 weeks ago, a liberal donor to Trinity University wrote about her decision to pull her donation to the school. In her article, she cited Milo Yiannopoulos as another reason why she pulled her funding. God forbid she finds out about Ryan Anderson; she may demand the return of everything she has ever donated to Trinity University.

Let’s discuss how ridiculous this is. First of all, simple research would reveal that Trinity University did not bring any of these people. Student Involvement and other administrative groups dug their feet in and made the attempt to bring any of these three speakers a very difficult endeavor. Who brought these people, you may ask? As the legendary Obi Wan Kenobi said, “Well, of course I know him. He’s me.

Unlike when Our Revolution brought Bernie Sanders to campus for a political rally (not an educational speech), there was no fast-tracking or opening of doors for conservative speakers to speak on this campus. (Sorry, but Trinity Progressives gets no credit from me for bringing Bernie Sanders; if you can’t hold weekly meetings I guarantee you can’t bring a speaker on your own). Trinity most likely would not have rolled out the red carpet for Senators Ted Cruz or John Cornyn (Class of 1973) to host a political rally at Trinity University on short notice, especially on the Friday before spring break at 7:30 p.m.  

During my time at Trinity, aside from David Cameron, former conservative prime minister of the UK, my organization has been the only group to bring conservative voices and ideas to campus. Keep in mind that David Cameron could decently be considered a blue dog democrat in the American context. So think about this: 3 out of the hundreds of speakers brought to Trinity that have been important enough to advertise (plus one video) is such a travesty to Denise Boehm that it is worth pulling her funding. Remember anyone who disagrees with you more than 3 percent of the time is a bitter enemy and should not be associated with.

This isn’t to say her first amendment rights should be stripped and that everyone who donates to Trinity should be locked into donating to the university forever. She obviously is perfectly within her rights to remove her annual donations from Trinity, just as I am within my rights to critique her rather laughable reason for doing so.

Now, in her letter she made a claim that most liberals will make. In the third paragraph from the bottom she claims she is okay with “different viewpoints,” just not the viewpoints I have brought to campus. Now, she will probably say that she would be okay with a  George W. Bush style conservative being brought to campus, in spite of the liberal hegemony of the 2000’s making Bush 43 akin to Lucifer. It is likely that regardless of whether I had brought paleo-conservatives, neo-conservatives, theo-conservatives, or libertarians, I would have brought unacceptable-conservatives, according to her.

This, of course, all goes back to Mr. Buckley’s quote: “it sometimes shocks them to learn that there are other points of view.” During my time at Trinity, almost all of the people which I consider now to be friends who aren’t on my side of the political spectrum were shocked that, one: I was conservative, two: I actually had reason to back up these views.  

Some liberals at this school often struggle to see conservatives as equally human. I witnessed liberals slowly realize that we are caring individuals, too, at an event sponsored by David Tuttle pertaining to what life is like as a conservative on this campus. Yes, some have to have over an hour-long conversation with someone before being able to see them as a human being simply due to differences in philosophy.

Trinity is an overwhelmingly liberal school, and without bringing speakers like these, the liberal atmosphere would essentially be unanimous. We conservatives tolerate an opposing atmosphere all the time; we don’t get to pick and choose when to publicly disagree, because we are always already opposed. In light of conservatives tolerating a 24/7 liberal onslaught, it seems a bit arrogant for a liberal to get so upset about three measly moments spread out over two years. Keep in mind, this campus has one outed conservative professor out of 306 instructional employees. Perhaps one is too many? Trinity clearly has not turned into Hillsdale or Liberty in your absence.

In conclusion, I find it nonsensical that a liberal alumni at an overwhelmingly liberal school that hosts overwhelmingly liberal events should pull her donations over three measly events put on by a small, on-campus club. Furthermore, to decide to financially punish the school for events it did not host and only begrudgingly allowed access to its facilities for is absurd. Trinity has already suffered enough as a result of admissions allowing the Wendt twins onto campus, why make the school suffer more? Don’t be shocked when you find out the other side exists on your campus.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Dear Mr. Wendt,

    Perhaps you did not understand the words, “Peer review,” that I mentioned in relation to the work of the speakers you brought on campus. Peer review is when other academics in the field read what you write, ascertain the validity of the sources that support your viewpoint, the validity and reliability of your statistics, and the soundness of your argument based on proven research. You can research qualitative vs quantitative for more information. Those are two different kinds of research you are either ignorant of or blantantly disregarding for the sake of your own unreasoned argument here.

    Milo, Dinesh, and that strange group you like who express their opinions which are completely unsupported by sound research methods (I checked!) are propagandists. Now one could say that of almost anyone expressing a point of view. But you’d have to look up their references to decipher what is truth and what is embellishment, as I did.

    When I was on campus, I was honored to listen to Valery Giscard d’Estaing, and a long list of conservatives from the U.S. I listened to all the Republican candidates throughout the primary season, and interviews and writings of conservatives in government now. I don’t think there is only one point of view or way to approach things, and a balance of interests can yield the most fruit legislatively.

    The people you have promoted spew hatred, racism, extreme vitriol and cite “facts” that no scholar has been able to validate. Yes, Trinity, as an institute of higher education, shouldn’t have them on campus because of their inability to support their arguments. The speakers’ overt fascism and racism are yet stronger reasons not to give them a platform, no matter who pays for it. These people aren’t “conservatives.” They are bottom-dwellers who enjoy the attention gained from their outrageous statements.

    I have never characterized, your sibling or any other Trinity student in the overly-dramatic, sometimes quite rude language that you fling at me. I respect your rights to say what you want, support who you want. However, like the speakers you are so interested in bringing to Trinity, you and your brother seem to relish attention for attention’s sake, be it good or bad, informed or uninformed. Certainly you tend to lean toward arguments that cannot stand the rigor of review, conservative or otherwise. They create quite a clamor, though, and that’s quite a rush, based on truth or not.

    • “However, like the speakers you are so interested in bringing to Trinity, you and your brother seem to relish attention for attention’s sake, be it good or bad, informed or uninformed. Certainly you tend to lean toward arguments that cannot stand the rigor of review, conservative or otherwise. They create quite a clamor, though, and that’s quite a rush, based on truth or not.” sums it up well 🙂

  2. Two points of order regarding the title of this column – Liberal alumni have no right to overreact.

    1. The difference between “overreacting” and “reacting” is subjective and the characterization of Ms. Boehm’s comments as an “overreaction” is in my opinion, not accurate. While I do not agree with her position entirely on the topic, as her comment to which you refer and her response to this column suggests her opinions are not those of oversensitive alumna rather those of someone concerned with accuracy and academic standards.

    2. Even if this were an “overreaction”, I am not willing to allow you (or the person on the staff writing the column headline) to define what is or is not one’s “right”. Words matter. Choose them wisely.

    Lastly, though not a campaign event, Senator Cornyn most definitely had the red carpet rolled out for him when honored as the Trinity Distinguished Alumni Award in 2001. And it should be noted that Republican Congressman Michael McCaul was similarly honored just two years ago.

  3. This campus has benefited from the presence of the Wendt brothers. I am a liberal faculty member who believes that the university is a place where students should encounter a wide variety of viewpoints, including offensive viewpoints with which I disagree.

    Milo Y. is an obnoxious, hateful troll who seeks to provoke an overreaction on the part of his liberal opponents. Ryan Anderson’s ideas about sexual orientation are homophobic, transphobic, and willfully hurtful. Dinesh D’Souza rationalizes torture, mocks the survivors of mass shootings, and is a felon.

    In addition to the fact that these ideas are so repulsive, Milo and Dinesh are *insincere*. They have no interest in actually listening to their ideological opponents. They have built their personal brand by emphasizing anger and provocation.

    Would-be censors on the right and the left say “I believe in free speech, but *these* ideas are so terrible that they do not deserve to be protected.” This is a dangerous position to take. What happens when dominant forces decide that *your* ideas are terrible?

    I agree with almost every single criticism that Denise Boehm voices against these guest speakers, and — though I disagree with elements of her position — it is not accurate to describe this as an overreaction. As Patrick Pringle notes, words matter. She absolutely has the right to withhold donations from the university.

    I respectfully disagree with Denise Boehm’s claim that “Trinity, as an institute of higher education, shouldn’t have them [these speakers] on campus because of their inability to support their arguments.”

    If a speaker is genuinely invited by a campus group, that speaker should be allowed to speak. The fact that Trinity allows someone to speak does not mean that Trinity is endorsing the speaker’s views. It simply means that Trinity upholds the right of student organizations to bring speakers to campus.

    Rather than banning these offensive speakers and turning them into martyrs, we should allow these provocateurs to visit and then watch as Trinity students use logic and reason to demolish the bogus arguments that are being floated by these trolls.

    To those on the left who are disappointed in Trinity’s stance on this issue, I encourage you to consider the many educational benefits that stem from allowing our students the opportunity to engage with (and rebut) these offensive ideas. Our students have been pushed and challenged during the past several years, and they are stronger and more articulate as a result of being placed in this position. They will be more effective advocates of liberal viewpoints because they were challenged during their time at Trinity.

  4. Still salty that Trinity Progressives can put on a better event in 2 weeks than you can in 2 months eh? Last time I checked you were the one who didn’t even know how to run an event whenever y’all brought milo and had to rely on crowdfunding (ironic that conservatives have to rely on the community), and had no clue that you needed things such as insurance. It’s clear that you need to go out of your way to insult other organizations on campus, because after three years you’ve yet to do nothing of significance or get people to care about your club on campus

  5. As an older, less “progressive” alumnus, more than a little surprised at the outcry over fringe speakers. In 1976, we had a fringe speaker on campus; Ronald Reagan spoke to a full audience at Laurie. I thank my lucky stars that I was a student then, as shout downs and crude/rude behavior were unseen/unheard of. If we didn’t agree with the speaker, we either didn’t go or talked among our peers as to what we thought afterwards. I didn’t vote for Reagan in the primary, but did feel that he had good points and was not the monster that liberals made him out to be.

  6. Ah Wendt, do you know how we science majors talk about you? Whenever we read about you or hear about the latest ego stroking you’ve done this week, we say “no wonder he’s got time, he’s a poli-sci major.”

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