by Gabriella Morongiello
I recently traveled to Washington with some immigration policy
reformers. For three days, she and I trekked all over Capitol Hill
discussing the controversial immigration reform bill with
legislative aides and members of Congress.
Responses were varied: some listened intently as we expressed
concern, while others simply nodded their heads apathetically.
However, none of these responses compared to the reaction of a
young woman in the hotel elevator who caught site of the "Stop
Illegal Immigration" pin I wore proudly on my blouse. During our
short ride, I had become the recipient of a distasteful stare and
murmur of disapproval. Although the icing on the cake was her
unwarranted smear. "Racist," she muttered as she exited the
This type of cowardly attack on my political views is something
I have grown accustomed to as my encounters with the left are
frequent. Liberals tend to make little secret of their distaste for
my conservative ideology. I've been labeled a close-minded bigot
and sexist. I have even been branded "naive" by a professor in the
presence of a filled lecture hall. But racist? That was a
Having spent hours debating government spending, immigration
reform and Obamacare, I've noticed, with few exceptions, that my
liberal friends offer opinions derived from emotion and
"You oppose Obamacare? You must not care about poor people."
"You think global warming is a sham? You people who believe in
creationism just reject science."
These are just a few of the ignorant and reactive arguments I
have heard from my peers. They use them because they are effective,
because it is much easier to utilize emotion in an argument than
evidence and reason. They use them because they put me, a young
conservative, on the defensive. Rather than having an informed
debate rooted in logic, I am put on the defensive, allowing them
time to search their brains for more platitudes, bumper sticker
phraseology and incendiary labels; anything, but actual facts to
back up their argument.
It is difficult to be a young conservative, because it
requires one to develop a sound and fully vindicated argument.
Supporting an argument with relevant facts and sources takes
memorization, research and confidence. It is much easier to argue
for big government as the solution to all of society's inequities
than to avail yourself to hours of YouTube lectures with economist
Milton Friedman, the archived writings of our forefathers and the
Constitution, or to study historical data that now delineate the
failures of Johnson's Great Society and FDR's New Deal.
In her book Slander, Ann Coulter writes, "If it were
true that conservatives were racist, sexist, homophobic, fascist,
stupid, inflexible, angry, and self-righteous, shouldn't their
arguments be easy to deconstruct?"
A recent example of liberals' emotionality versus conservative's
reasoned approach became evident when the tragedy of Newtown
gripped our television talk shows. Liberals screamed for more gun
control, universal background checks and a total ban on assault
weapons. Yet, when I posed the simplest question to a progressive
friend he was flummoxed and unable to combat simple reason. I asked
him the following:
"In front of my home there is a sign stating 'Nothing inside is
worth dying for.' The words are written above a human silhouette
with bullet holes through the cranium and chest cavity. Next door,
there is a liberal with a sign on his mailbox saying 'Gun free
zone.' Wait a minute," I stopped.
I continued, "He doesn't really have that sign on his mailbox
even though he lobbied our city council to put that sign at the
entrance to our city... Why do you think that is?"
Gabriella is an intern this summer at the National
Journalism Center and attends Oregon State University.