Adventures in Political Clubs At The University of Central Florida
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There is a common misconception that American universities are political hive minds creating temples to Bernie Sanders and attacking anyone that is to the right of Friedrich Engles. While some colleges are dominated by progressive and left-wing ideas, politics and policy are on a spectrum which is almost entirely forgotten by pundits who spew more nonsense than facts. These sorts of individuals rant about the “socialist takeover” of American colleges and the state of the American college political mindset while failing to acknowledge the wide range of student political clubs and organizations on campuses.
In an attempt to better understand campus politics, I visited politically-based clubs and organizations at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Disclaimer: Orlando tends to be more Republican than most urban areas and college towns.
Progressive Action at UCF
The members of Progressive Action at UCF sat around a conference room in soft swiveling chairs. The room was split 50-50 between artsy girls and the type of guys who’ve never touched a football in their lives. The purpose of the meeting was to debate the death penalty but discussion soon gave way to nodding as everyone agreed that the death penalty was never an option. Sure, they used different wording when discussing the death penalty, but their conclusions were ultimately the same. In the interest of spicing things up, I decided to go full George Bush and become a sudden advocate for the widespread use of the death penalty and torture. For obvious reasons, this did not make me popular with the other members, but the passive-aggressive glares beamed in my direction were well-deserved given that I clearly provoked them. Surprisingly I was welcomed back, but with visible and vocal hesitation.
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The College Republicans are neoconservatives that couldn’t see an economic bubble if it popped in their face. Rather than come up with ideas of their own, they simply tout the current party line. They are loyal to a fault. Instead of pushing for tribalism, the group would benefit from brainstorming better solutions for problems that affect all Americans. Talking with members of UCF’s College Republicans was less stimulating than having a discussion with my air freshener about how paint dries.
Turning Point USA
At the tent of the Turning Point USA table there was a giant beach ball that anyone was able to sign. Being the mature person I am, I of course signed a penis on this ball. The members of Turning Point USA at UCF are apparently big fans of penis-signing because it provoked a long conversation that ended in mocking a prominent Democrat. The members of Turning Point USA at UCF are blatant and willing to offend, which fits my style. They are against anything that could threaten free speech and consider free speech the ability to speak your viewpoint without political punishment. Yet the group makes itself out to be Libertarian while riding the current administration’s bandwagon. Turning Point USA at UCF is also conducting a fight against socialist boogie men, but seem to confuse Democrats dedicated to justice with socialists. The members of Turning Point USA at UCF are cool and fun people but ultimately misguided.
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Young Americans for Freedom
Applebee’s is the typical meeting place for these politically-minded individuals. What the true political stance of Young Americans for Freedom was unclear as we just got drunk and talked about music. Joining this club’s chapter while getting drunk at Applebee’s is not a proud moment, but it beats talking about politics.