wikiHow to Be Conservative in a Liberal School

Well, welcome to your new high school or college. You're a teenager, but you know where you stand on the political scale: strongly conservative. And, you don't want your beliefs to be smothered by your oh-so liberal school. How do you handle the next four years?


  1. 1
    Maintain your own self-concept, with an open mind (to consider, discuss and sincerely argue beliefs). Because you are at a liberal school, the majority of teachers and most students there will probably be liberal, too -- or progressive. Don't feel that you have to conform to whatever is popular. Be conservative, just don't be a snooty one. Keep your own head straight.
  2. 2
    Be careful. Standing up for what you believe-in in class, as unfair as it seems, could land you in a lot of unnecessary arguments. Choose your battles -- for when and the ways you deal with them.
  3. 3
    Protect your rights as a citizen.
    • So what do you do if a teacher is going outside the lines of free speech such as politicizing the class or propagandizing students? Tell someone, like a guidance counselor.
    • If you have a real problem with the way your classes or the school is run, write a letter and present it to student senate/council, school board or the dean or principal.
  4. 4
    Don't be overtaken by an overbearing standard of political correctness. State your true opinion in class debates. If they have a problem with your constitutional rights, be ready to legally defend your position.
  5. 5
    Share your beliefs with others and be open to listening to theirs. You're not better than everyone else.
  6. 6
    Always remember that when you want to make a controversial statement, have facts, statistics, etc. This is a good principle in the first place no matter what your opinion, and it stops people from making you look ignorant or uneducated.
  7. 7
    When debating with a liberal, keep calm. Don't feed the stereotypes of conservatives being overly-aggressive or tedious or "afraid to change".
  8. 8
    Present interesting arguments, and if your opponent wants to get angry, let him/her! Maintaining your calm, rational demeanor in such a situation will help immensely.
  9. 9
    Look more deeply at the issues, as learning more about them will always help you to either strengthen your opinion or change it. Stay current with reading assignments in the text. Being familiar with the subject is also handy for class debates.
  10. 10
    Try to give a conservative twist while discussing a liberal idea. In some cases, a modern, moderate conservative can be similar to a classical liberal. In the U.S., the Founding Fathers were "liberals" breaking the mold of the "old conservative" monarchy, Right of Kings form of government. But their original U.S. Constitutional intent is now "classical liberal" and being admired and followed by conservatives, and the current liberals are quite out of touch with traditional liberal American democracy.
    • There are several examples of progressively-minded people taking on non-traditional beliefs and actions. For one, in some traditional and religious circles, marriage has been defined as a precursor to having children. For another, most conservatives in Western countries such the US are against abortion, and most liberals are in favour of it. If you are arguing against abortion, you could say that babies in the womb were considered just that: babies.
    • In some countries, such as the U.S., the majority of judges are appointed, not elected. Sometimes liberal governors' or presidents' changes are troublesome, as some liberal judges take it upon themselves to institute their views (legislating from the bench) into changes via their judicial re-interpretations of existing law. For example: the controversial changes called "right to privacy" and "a woman's right to choose" were decided upon in the U.S. by the appointed members of the Supreme Court. They were NOT made more directly by the American people through Congress, NOT by elected state legislatures or state public referendums and NOT ratified. That kind of radical change is arguably not all for the better, and some of the changes could be considered incorrect interpretations of law, and amoral or immoral in traditional views.
  11. 11
    Consider your views for discussions on changing the judicial, non public-census form of change -- perhaps even, by a supporting a constitutional amendment to make sense of legal interpretation of law. Does the present system frustrate you by not having the right to decide what you want by your individual vote in some more overt representative form. Do you hope for change, but presently our not coming to a majority consensus may threaten democracy, domestic peace and tranquility -- by not using one of the more traditional ways of electoral change by representative government of the people "by the people"!
    • For example, the American revolution was largely in favour of "Taxation without representation" under the 1700's British Magna Carta, with their House of Lords and the power of their old-monarchy. Now, realizing the state of constitutional re-interpretations by appointees in countries such as the U.S., you might question your representation/or lack thereof in making huge sea-changes with a whole tidal wave of issues where "absolute-power corrupts" good or bad. Would you think that corruption of power happens in the "unlimited power" of a judicial system that can over-whelm/-kill an entire national debate?


  • If the teachers ask for who supports conservative ideas, don't be afraid to raise your hand. There's someone out there feeling the same way as you.
  • Know your arguments, and be able to defend your opinions. Here are a few examples and suggestions:
  • Don't be afraid to listen. They're liberal and you are conservative... So what? Political stance doesn't make you better, smarter or dumber, and even if you don't share the same beliefs, listen to them and begin to get ready to answer them logically, if appropriate. You might learn a thing or two about the topic so that you can understand their thoughts better. Then you can make a better argument when the time comes.
  • Not everyone's opinions will fall neatly into liberal or conservative boxes, especially if they are religious, disabled or from another culture - and that's ok.
  • Bear in mind that your environment has an immense influence on your sense of the world. The kind of assumptions and boxes that people in your country may not apply in others.
  • Make a distinction between the ideal situation and the actual one. Some people can take things personally if they're directly affected by it.


  • Be aware that conservatives have a reputation for being overly personally involved or may be accused of attacking the person in (ad hominem) argument or debate. Do not feed these beliefs, as it will only make you appear more like the stereotypical conservative, and will not earn you respect in an "intellectual" debate setting.
  • Don't be aggressive. In some cases it's better to listen. You can get in a lot of squabbles.
  • Firmly stand your ground in political debate, but do your best to use a reasonable tone, avoid loaded language and name-calling. If you can maintain an image of intelligence and rationality while your opponent becomes aggressive and irrational, this will help convince others of your credibility. That way, you are less likely to face alienation from your classmates and teachers for your opposition to their Utopian political beliefs (and who knows, you may even "convert" a few!).
  • Know the opposition. Be a friend to liberals at your school, and spark up some political debate. Keep it friendly, but there are definite advantages to knowing their arguments in advance, and it can help you hone your debate skills for the classroom, essays and tests.
  • Don't lose your political identity but one should always be well aware of new ideas.
  • Be aware of your own biases - what looks sensible to you may look ridiculously over-the-top to others who don't share your values or context.
  • Remember that the Internet isn't the same as your country or your acquaintances. Don't assume that it'll only be the people you know or see who are reading what you write or arguing with you.
  • Do not assume that people from other countries do or don't share your values. On the one hand, claiming that "everyone" shares your values is arrogant when you're judging from a select group in the first place (e.g. what a local in another country thinks of your nation's foreign policies is probably different from what the average liberal or conservative in your country thinks). On the other hand, don't assume that foreigners or immigrants are liberal - it weakens your points and strengthens your opponents' (e.g. a lot of Latin Americans are traditional, but are alienated in the U.S. by Conservatives who mark them out when criticizing immigration).
  • Remember that what seems immoral or irrational to you may seem sensible to someone else, e.g. it's easier to understand why some people may object to conversations around how wonderful mothers and fathers are if they've grown up in abusive families, or easier to understand why someone might feel that traditional marriage discriminates against them if they're unable to have children as a couple or break up a marriage that happens under false pretenses.

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