Student who penned anti-conservative op-ed now claims he didn't really mean it
- A Washington University in St. Louis student wrote an op-ed in which he claimed that conservative ideas "add little value to our discourse."
- The school's College Republicans president and even Washington University's vice chancellor denounced the piece.
A Missouri student responded to backlash after he published an op-ed claiming “conservative ideas are not equal to liberal and left ideas.”
The quote appeared in an article entitled "It's OK that conservatives don't feel welcome," published by Student Life, the student newspaper at Washington University in St. Louis.
"There’s no reason to actively accommodate conservatives—especially fans of the president—because their ideas add little value to our discourse," author and student Sean Lundergan wrote in the piece.
"We shouldn’t create an impulse among the student body to pretend, out of politeness, that there’s anything valuable in the Republican policy agenda," Lundergan said later. "The Republican Party primarily exists to enrich a small group of already-rich people, and does so quasi-democratically by scaring old white folks about people with darker skin."
“Instead of wasting our time and mental energy on some right-wing argument no one really believes, we should spend time having meaningful conversations. How can we guarantee everyone health coverage? What’s the best way to redistribute wealth? How can we mitigate climate change, a thing we all agree is a problem?” he continued.
Drew McPike, president of Washington University's College Republicans chapter, appeared on Fox & Friends Sunday saying “we all have one shared goal and that's to continue to better America's future...to dismiss conservative ideas simply because they aren't yours is counterproductive to that goal.”
McPike later told Campus Reform, “If I had to say anything [it's] that I'm happy to see a lot of people coming out against the ideas expressed in the article, but I can only hope that it leads to real change."
Lori White, vice chancellor for student affairs at Washington University, wrote a Letter to the Editor in Student Life in which she said, “the notion that politically conservative beliefs and/or politically conservative students are not welcome on our campus is entirely inconsistent with our community values of mutual respect, openness, and tolerance."
White went on to say that the university will be holding its annual “Discovery, Dialogue, & and Action” on Feb. 19 and 20. She urged students and faculty to attend and "learn to better relate to one another."
When reached for comment, Lundergan directed Campus Reform to an article he posted Sunday.
“I would never suggest that certain voices should be silenced—as I said in the original piece, we must allow conservatives to discuss their beliefs," he said. "I think part of the uproar is a result of the brevity of the piece—700 words isn’t enough space to give context to every reader.”
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @GenSanchezz