College Republicans Ascendant...At UC Berkeley???

<p>I thought I was hallucinating. Page One, today's WSJ. Excerpts:</p>

<p>"A political-science major, Mr. Prendergast, a college senior, is serving his second term as president of the Berkeley College Republicans. Faculty, administrators and student-government officials all say the conservative organization, which has about 650 members, has become one of the campus's biggest student groups, outstripping its main rival, the Cal Berkeley Democrats.</p>

<p>On this day, Mr. Prendergast was busy recruiting college freshmen."</p>

<p>""Don't be scared," Mr. Prendergast yelled out, as college kids walked by. "We don't bite."</p>

<p>The growth of the Berkeley College Republicans at one of the nation's most liberal campuses echoes some broader political trends. At Berkeley, while leftist students still dominate and outnumber conservatives, the liberal groups have splintered and are now spread across factions from the Cal Democrats to the International Socialist Organization to groups formed to oppose the war in Iraq. At the same time, several faculty members say, there are more conservative-leaning students than in the past, propelled by swells of patriotic feeling after events like Sept. 11 and an increase in the number of religious student groups."</p>

<p>The Republicans (and other righty organizations) had tables out at the big square where college tours end at Berkeley. (Forget the name but it's where all the big protests occured.) Our tour guide made a point that everyone is welcome - though I'm pretty sure they are still in the minority!</p>

<p>The Berkeley College Republicans may appear very strong by membership statistics, and indeed conservative factions on student campuses tend to be much more fanatical than their liberal counterparts, this explaining the rising prominence of Republican groups in today's universities. However, at Berkeley at least, liberals still outnumber conservatives in the general student population at least 3 or 4 to 1, and in the city per se, it's more like (literally) 10 to 1.</p>

<p>I think this is just another example of RNC organizing and supporting grass roots efforts. Heck, conservatives have always inhabited most campuses, even liberal ones. </p>

<p>FWIW, Berkeley still has ROTC units.</p>

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...conservative factions on student campuses tend to be much more fanatical than their liberal counterparts...

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<p>This gets my vote for "Least Defensible Assertion" of the day.</p>

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...conservative factions on student campuses tend to be much more fanatical than their liberal counterparts...

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<p>I had the same reaction as the earlier poster to that quote. From the same WSJ article:</p>

<p>"Being a Republican at a liberal college isn't easy. Andrea Rasmussen, 22, an integrative biology and anthropology major who is a vice president of the club, says some fellow students once threatened to shoot her for her conservative beliefs. Mr. Prendergast, who also works as a local restaurant waiter, says some of his friends have been spat on and called fascists."</p>

<p>Horrors!!!</p>

<p>There's nothing new in this -- the republicans were the biggest club on campus as far bas as the early 80s. In those days, huge Reagan/Bush signs were commonplace along frat row (figures.) Berekeley is many things - that's what makes it so exciting.</p>

<p>You can find anything from soup to nuts on Sproul Plaza (I think that is where you were referring to mathmom). Glad to hear the tradition of a wide spectrum of view lives on, although in my day I do remember them shouting down Jeanne Kirkpatrick when she was invited to speak on campus. Berkeley, home of the "free speech movement".</p>

<p>Ah, to be young and beleive absolutely in some ideal! The memories... </p>

<p>Now, I'm just old and cynical.</p>

<p>You can find anything from soup to nuts on Sproul Plaza (I think that is where you were referring to mathmom). Glad to hear the tradition of a wide spectrum of view lives on, although in my day I do remember them shouting down Jeanne Kirkpatrick when she was invited to speak on campus. Berkeley, home of the "free speech movement".</p>

<p>Ah, to be young and beleive absolutely in some ideal! The memories... </p>

<p>Now, I'm just old and cynical.</p>

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Now, I'm just old and cynical.

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I hear you on that. </p>

<p>As for the Republicans... I do think that they tend to be better organized than their liberal counterparts. Some of it is actually the uphill battle they face among their peers (see previous posts - it is not uncommon for outspoken conservatives to be physically attacked); they know that they have to be tougher, stronger, and smarter in order to win. Not that this justifies what liberals do to their conservative classmates....</p>