Hello, my name is Robert Clemm and I’m addicted to Thefacebook. Sad to say, many of us can probably insert our own names into that statement. I never thought I’d get caught up in something like that, but it has been a great tool for reconnecting with friends and simply as a time waster. In recent days, it has come to my attention that I have a “hate group” on Thefacebook – the “Rob Clemm is a Big Douche” group.

I realize that by even putting this out there, I’m going to exponentially increase their membership, but in an odd way, I want to use this column as a way of thanking them.

First, I do find it to be highly amusing. As one of my friends put it, “Your badass factor just went up by a factor of 10.” I was also struck by the fact that my RA was a member.

But that changed once RA evaluation time came around. Guess that whole “Safe Zone” tolerance training didn’t click. At the most basic level, I’m just happy people are reading my articles and they are getting a response.

But I am sure you are wondering why I might want to thank them. I think it’s more correct to say I don’t want to thank them, but thank all of you liberals out there. I extend a thanks to every one of you who cringes at seeing my articles, or try to find the quickest way to turn my article into a paper airplane.

Why, you might ask? Well, I think that coming to a liberal college campus has been one of the best things for me as a person – specifically in writing for the Campus Times. As a conservative, I have no delusions about the fact that I am in a small minority on this campus. But, as “iron sharpens iron,” this has made me better for it.

Dare I, as a conservative, say that diversity is nice? Well, not exactly. But, I have benefited from the fact that I know I have a hostile audience. Every time I sit down to write, I know I have to do my best to be well reasoned, rational or, at the very least, entertaining. Also, the debates I’ve gotten into have helped me realize what arguments work, what positions I truly hold and have made me a more solid conservative.

So, I guess I would raise a toast to the rest of campus and thank you for making my college experience more fulfilling and rewarding.

At the same time I would hope you would appreciate me. Now, this isn’t a plug for sympathy, but simply recognition that having a conservative in your paper has helped you. In fact, you should hope for even more of us to come out of the woodwork.

Too often, liberals here have said how they’ve wanted to declare war on “Jesusland” and create Thefacebook groups hoping that the whole lot of us would up and disappear.

But, just as having so many liberals around has helped me, you should hope for more conservatives.

Many on this campus, I feel, lose out by having only us “few, we happy few, we band of brothers.” As a liberal you could go throughout your whole four years never really getting challenged for the positions you hold. You could go from group to group and listen to inside joke after another, content and happy in this bubble that all “right thinking” people are on the left.

But, you’d also leave stunted in your political growth, because as comforting as this bubble would be, the real world is a lot more polarized and diverse than here. I feel you’re missing out if you don’t leave here better understanding what you believe and why.

So, as I raise a glass to all you liberals out there, I’d hope you’d do the same for us conservatives. And heck, if you feel bad about it later, you can always make up for it on Thefacebook.

Clemm can be reached at rclemm@campustimes.org.

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