Saturday, March 16, 2013

Confessions of a former conservative

My freshman year in college, I knew I wanted to major in journalism. As such, I wanted to find a school paper to work on,  and write for.

I wrote a freelance piece for the main student newspaper at the University  of Oregon. The paper was called the Oregon Daily Emerald, and I got paid by the column inch, but I wanted to build up a portfolio. I looked for more writing opportunities, and landed at the only conservative newspaper at a very liberal university, called the Oregon Commentator.

How conservative was this paper? The office was the size of a closet, the walls were littered with posters of conservative heroes like Ronald Reagan, Phyllis Schlafly, and William F Buckley. I was the only female on staff. To be honest, at that time I didn't know what my political beliefs were. I just wanted to write. My first assignment was to do a profile on Peter Defazio, who was running for congress in 1986 and is still serving. I didn't get paid, but the powers that be liked my work, and gave me more. Meantime, one of the other young conservatives took a liking to me and asked me out. He became my first boyfriend and broke my heart in 17 places, but looking back on it, he and the other young men who worked at The Commentator, contributed greatly to my not being a republican today.

First of all, all of these men were sexiah him, and how other young women at the university would "go down like an anchor". Not exactly pleasant talk. In addition, there was too much fartin Eg and belching, at least for my taste. The guy who was my boyfriend, would poke fun at the Jewish faith of another staffer. To be fair, this person didn't seem to mind the ribbing, but I didn't get it.

My boyfriend and I were made Editor and Managing Editor, respectively, but was I really conservative? I wasn't sure.  Then I started talking social and political issues with my boyfriend.

He was pro-gun. He called himself a responsible gun owner, but hunt and kill raccoons for fun in the forest surrounding his Medford home. One time, my parents let me go visit him, and he went outside.The sound of gunfire was loud and shook the house.

I have never touched a gun and still don't want to be around them.

He was way to the Right on the on the issue of abortion--hated it--no exceptions. To me abortion is not a black and white issue. I am fortunate to have never had to choose.

He made fun of the ethnic student unions, such as the Black Student Union, and the like. In protest, he formed the Irish Student Union. I guess he felt that Europeans don't have enough representation at our nation's colleges.

Finally he didn't like the Gay and Lesbian Alliance at the UO. He referred to lesbians as "Bull Dykes" and probably other things when he was with his buddies.

Right or wrong, this gave me the impression that conservatives hate women, love guns, and are homophobics.

I hope I am wrong, but for now, I'm a flaming liberal.

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