Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Reflections on College

We've all heard stories about going away to college and coming back a changed person. I think it's true. I believe that in those four years, in which you are free from the structure and customs of your family life, one of two things happens to you. You either reject everything you've been taught to date or you gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of what you had learned so far. I'm not talking academically. I mean one's world view. The way one sees the way things operate in the universe and among humans. I was one of the latter. My entire experience at college reinforced my beliefs in conservatism, the importance of family, the evil of totalitarianism and the foolishness of moral relativism.

I have a friend who had a similar background as me, who was the nephew of a prominent local Republican politician. He went to a very presitigious university and came back with all kinds of ideas which that were in direct conflict with my own. In trying to have civilized conversations with him, he always resorted to the same kind of tactics as the woman that confronted me in the Mojave Desert (see T-Shirt Diaries Part 1). Every time you cornered him on something, he had to fire back that the US had done something worse or he would switch the subject or he would try to confuse you with a reference to some obscure "expert." He called me and the other defenders of the embargo and the so-called hard liners of the 'Miami Mafia" intransigent. That always got my goat. The definition of the word intransigent is "not capable of being swayed or diverted from a course; unsusceptible to persuasion." FDR was intransigent when it came to getting rid of Nazism. When it comes to Fidel Castro, hell yes I'm intransigent.

It's not that my friend had become communist. He wanted Cuba to free of Castro but I think he's one of these people that thinks that socialism really works. The problem being Fidel and not the system itself. Of course that comes from an expensive education that taught the the United States and its capitalist system is responsible for most of the World's ills. He seemed to have bought that argument hook line and sinker. He obviously wasn't a dumb guy otherwise he would have never made it academically, but I think his foundation must have been weak in some way (that I couldn't see in High School) otherwise how could he reject everything he had come to know in his life so far?

Damn Shame!

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