Old UACR leaders contradict values

Joe Puchner

After reading the front-page article that ran Monday, “Clash of Conservatives,” which documented the “ongoing ideological struggle between two factions of the [UA College Republicans],” it seems clear that the only struggle going on in this organization is over the decision of whether or not this group should continue to represent Republican and conservative values.

As an individual who supports Republicans mainly because of their anti-abortion and pro-traditional marriage stances, I was disappointed when I heard the organization’s executive members had seemed to cave on these very significant social issues.

For this reason, I, along with many others I know, purposely stayed away from the College Republicans, since it seemed like quasi-Democrats, or liberals in conservatives’ clothing, were tragically manipulating the organization. I am pleased to know that some members of this organization decided to stand up for conservative values and attempt to turn the University of Alabama College Republicans back into, well, Republicans.

To illustrate this point, I wonder what would happen if an anti-abortion student tried to become president of the Alabama Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Justice, the pro-abortion rights group on this campus, and attempted to turn the organization into an anti-abortion student organization? I wonder what would happen if a Catholic student tried to become the president of the Baptist campus ministry group and attempted to turn the group into an organization that professes the primacy of the Pope and the doctrine of the transubstantiation, unambiguously Catholic beliefs? I sure hope someone in these organizations would have the spine to try to change the leadership if this happened, because if someone were to do something like this, they would be undermining all the reasons for these 
organizations’ existence.

Why, then, does it seem scandalous when members of the College Republicans seek to change leadership when the individuals running the group espouse anti-Republican and anti-conservative values? If college “Republican” leaders love abortion and same-sex marriage so much that they are willing to sabotage a student organization to promote these causes, then they should probably go join another organization.

This is not “censorship” of ideas – this is just common sense. Student organizations have a right to support specific positions and a right to elect leaders who identify with the goals of the organization. Anything else would be counterproductive. If organizations are not able to select leaders who support their mission, then what’s the point of the organization to begin with? Socially conservative positions, like opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage, are fundamentally Republican positions. The College Republican organization exists to promote Republican values. If the Republicans won’t take a stand on these issues, then who will?

Joe Puchner is a sophomore studying mathematics. His column runs biweekly.