The Right Perspective


Maggie Burnetti

According to a recent survey completed by some LHS students, 53.3 percent of students identify themselves as politically liberal. DOI staff member Ben Kanches is not a part of this majority; he’s with the 20 percent of self-identified conservative students.

Contractualism, equality of opportunity and individuality have become the new cornerstones of the young right-wing movement, which I identify under. Unfortunately, due to stereotypes, the legacy of the old right has led to quick judgments about those who today describe themselves as Republican.

On a survey filled out earlier this year by around 10 percent of LHS students, roughly 53 percent of students who responded identified as a “liberal.” Twenty percent identified as “conservative,” while the other  the 27 percent were either “centrist” or other. For young conservatives at a high school, these statistics, combined with the historical stereotypes, have become an interesting challenge.

I would like to make it known that I do not hate anyone because of their political beliefs or morals and am always willing to have a civil debate through text, over the phone or in person. I have plenty of left-leaning friends who I get along with better than some of my right-leaning friends.

Rather than sit and cry like a victim, I have decided to embody my beliefs and morals. I decided to start debating those who had differing opinions than mine.

The term “alt-right” has been thrown at me multiple times when controversial issues come up, and I would like to educate those who use this term to describe me and those who are conservative at Libertyville High School. As defined by Merriam-Webster, the term “alt-right” refers to a group “whose members reject mainstream conservative politics and espouse extremist beliefs and policies typically centered on ideas of white nationalism.” However, my views do not fall under the “alt-right” banner. I support the Second Amendment and am pro-life; I believe in limited government interference and President Donald Trump.

Following the horrific event that happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February, I had the chance to participate in a gun control debate with some fellow students at the Libertyville Village Hall, where audience members were encouraged to ask the panel of six students (three being liberal and three being conservative) any and all questions regarding the debate. Anyone was allowed to come and, to our surprise, we had a big audience of parents, students, the mayor, elected officials and citizens of the community.

This debate was more than just some students tossing facts back and forth trying to stump the other debaters. It was a chance for conservatives, like myself, to speak up about beliefs we strongly follow.

Regarding the more recent Justice Brett Kavanaugh hearings, it was obvious that most of the school had a differing view than I did. I was told my opinions were not only sexist but that I was not listening to the so-called “facts.”  I was shamed for voicing my own opinion on someone that I believe did nothing wrong. I posted an “I believe him” photo on my Instagram story and the amount of hate I received was inhumane. I believe the facts were not there for an actual hearing. Do I believe that people lie? Yes. Do I believe that it was very coincidental that Christine Blasey Ford waited 30-plus years to bring up that she was sexually abused? I believe him.

There is nothing inherently wrong with being labeled; however, it is ethically unjust to label someone as something they are not, especially if it’s in order to hurt their reputation.

My political opinions do not usually come up in school because we are in school, for one thing, to learn. We are here to learn to become functioning men and women of our society.

Despite what you might hear or what it might seem like at times, politics do not rule the lives of most conservative students at LHS. We know who we are. We are students, sons and daughters, and most importantly, Americans. We understand that we are not going to change anyone’s minds.

We are average Americans, teenage students just trying to get through the day, worried about relationships and colleges. Being conservative in a left-leaning school isn’t the end of the world for us; it is merely a slight discomfort. I can guarantee that we have more important things to do than be our own victims.