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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Saturday, April 20, 2024

misCONceptions: Which way, conservatives?

Throughout the semester, MisCONceptions will attempt to make sense of our current political climate, and provide a conservative perspective worthy of dialogue.

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Editor's note: MisCONceptions is a column with four contributors. This article was written by Trent Bunker.

The photograph that will live in infamy: equal parts indignant, humiliating, resolute and spray-tanned. In many ways, the recent mugshot taken of former President Donald Trump in the wake of his fourth indictment is a poignant analogy for the future of American politics. Gone are the days of winning elections by amplifying one’s own prudence and character. Instead, our modern grievance politics, invigorated by mudslinging, fosters an anti-cooperative ethos that will bury and suffocate the placid general public under a pile of vengeful sludge.

If nothing else, Trump’s mugshot instills fear for the future of our republic, regardless of your party affiliation. It appears as if the news cycle is slowly corrupting the few remaining undefiled recesses of our cortisol-addled minds. Like a medieval torture device, these stories of indictments, coups, accusations, name-calling and corruption weigh down on the chest to the point of implosion.

Unfortunately, American politics have yet to undergo the worst of their travails. After all, the 2024 Republican primaries, as well as the general presidential election, still lie ahead ominously.

The forthcoming year will test the resolve and seriousness of the conservative movement. It will be a time for decisions between candidates, policies and values. It will be a time for bridge-building between former adversaries, current compatriots and future allies. And it will be a time for tie cutting from grifters, charlatans and the wolves in sheep’s clothing.

How should conservatives navigate the treacherous landmines lurking beneath the surface of the American political system? Our response will be judged by our fellow citizens, many of whom are as politically motivated as the Tufts student body.

Over the course of the semester, this rotating column hopes to present Tufts’ conservatives with a viable path forward for our movement, while exposing the substantially larger, non-conservative contingency in the Medford/Somerville area to ideas that they may not otherwise hear among their friends, classmates and professors. We will attempt to chart a path through the debris of our crumbling political system, while putting forth a set of ideals for the beleaguered American public to rally around. We despise nothing more than the negative partisanship which has paradoxically morphed both Republicans and Democrats into opposition parties.

Our ambitions are large, so please forgive us if we stumble.

We are certainly not facing a lack of material this semester. After all, our campus has been embroiled in weeks of protests and union negotiations over the treatment of resident assistants — a national news story. Outside of Tufts, the leading Republican presidential candidate is collecting and touting indictments like baseball cards, while his opponents are rapping “Lose Yourself” on the trail and the current senile U.S. president is embroiled in a corruption scandal regarding his son’s foreign business dealings. And let’s not forget the recent Supreme Court ruling which overturned decades of precedent regarding affirmative action in university admissions, a development with the potential to affect Tufts for decades to come.

It appears to some that our nation will never heal from its deep spiritual sickness. How will we ever find common ground? I believe there is hope; in fact, like an object in a side-view mirror, reconciliation is closer than it appears.

Aside from the grifters who delight in plunging our nation into chaos, most Americans recognize that these issues are not normal; they are not the signs of a functioning republic. As long as we can preserve our agreement on the problems, the solutions remain within striking distance.

Thus, this column aims to tackle the aforementioned issues — and much more — from a conservative perspective, keeping in mind that we (like our leaders in D.C. and Tufts’ Ballou Hall) don’t have all of the answers. So, we thank you for joining us and we hope you stick along for the ride into the pits of American politics.