Trigger warning: If you think socialism is great, you will not enjoy this story.
Earlier this month, socialists, communists, and labor movements across the world celebrated International Worker’s Day — and this celebration spilled over to American college campuses. In response, conservative students across the nation organized a national “Socialism Sucks” Day of Action.
Instead of finding fellow Bernie fans, they got a slap in the face from reality.
My university is Florida International University, where I’m also a full-time student and graduation-bound this summer. I was so hyped up about putting on this Day of Action event that I planned it for more than a month — and the night before I barely slept. For a young, conservative political activist like me, trolling liberals on campus with ideas, common sense, and logic is a better kickstart to my day than a shot of Cuban “cafecito.”
We were set up to recruit with “Socialism Sucks”-themed material and had a concrete plan for the day. I knew that the material we were using would provoke great reactions from students on campus. What was the design of our materials, you ask? The same as Bernie Sanders’ campaign collateral.
So, early in the morning, with the help of a few friends and activists, we loaded up a canopy, tables, and tabling materials in the car and headed to campus. We finished setting up around 9 a.m., and I must say, I was very proud of the finished product. No matter what angle you looked at our little set-up from, you could see our message: “Socialism Sucks!”
Yes, we were trolling liberals from all angles.
Throughout the day, liberal Bernie Sanders fans would see our signs from far away and would excitedly hurry over to us, only to be disappointed and confused upon reading “Socialism Sucks” instead of their socialist, 74-year-old Messiah’s name.
Instead of finding fellow Bernie fans, they got a slap in the face from reality. We coupled our “Socialism Sucks” signs with similar messages such as “Taxation is Theft,” “It’s Not Free If Your Neighbor Paid for It,” and “You’re Entitled to Nothing.”
After their excitement, followed by disappointment, came an eye-roll so far back into their craniums that they might have seen the hollow space where their pea-sized, socialism-loving brains reside.
Surprisingly, though, we didn’t get any belligerent reactions from these students. It was obvious they disagreed with what we had to say and our message, but they didn’t dare try to debate us. Perhaps they knew we were armed with the facts — something that they do not have.
[lz_infobox]This piece is part of a CampusZette series exploring the culture, oddities, and experiences of students on college campuses through their eyes.[/lz_infobox]
The more pleasant surprise was that students on campus caught a glimpse of our signs and rushed over to see what we were all about. They told us they were so happy to “finally find a conservative-leaning organization on campus they could identify with,” and happily signed up to be part of our Turning Point USA chapter.
We distributed buttons, pins, stickers, and posters with the “Socialism Sucks” message on them and ran out quickly. Some were so enthused they asked for several stickers to place all over campus. Others took a bunch of posters to hang up in their dorms. It’s as if the silent conservative majority only needed to see a couple of irreverent posters to come out of the shadows.
Then came the crowning highlight of the day. Dr. Pedro Jose Greer Jr. — associate dean for Community Engagement and chair of the department of Medicine, Family Medicine, and Community Health at FIU’s College of Medicine — came up to our canopy to lecture us on how taxes were actually great.
My friend and I slipped out our phones and started recording … We just knew this was going to be good.
He said nobody has ever been arrested for tax evasion. Seriously. This kind of ignorance coming from an FIU professor (or so I thought that’s what he was at the time) astonished me.
“You’ve never heard of Al Capone?” we asked.
He responded, “Well, OK. I wasn’t alive then.”
Our debate went on a little longer; he also said he was fine with the government taking half his salary because he makes a “sh*tload of money.”
If this day taught me anything, it was that there is a real enthusiasm for conservative viewpoints on campus and that the left has a very hard time articulating its views when challenged. The young Bernie fans had little to say, and the leftist campus administrator who confronted us made himself out to be a fool.
We signed up about 40 new students that day, distributed a ton of material (all of which will continue to circulate on campus for the rest of the year), and captured a glimpse of what’s wrong in higher education, all in a day’s work. Quite frankly, I can’t wait until we have our next trolling event.
Driena Sixto is a senior at Florida International University.