Young Tories need to stop playing the victim card
My life was a lie. I lied to my parents, I lied to my friends and I lied to myself. It took me years to admit to what I truly am. But after talking to my best friend, I realised that it was time to come out. I sat my parents down, took a deep breath and finally uttered the words: ‘Mum, dad, I’m a Tory.’ They both let out a sigh of relief. I sat back, surprised at their reaction. ‘I thought that this would hit you like a ton of bricks’, I said. ‘It’s okay, son’, my mum replied, ‘we were just terrified you’d tell us you were a Lib Dem’.
Okay, this didn’t happen. But the way some young Tories talk, you would think ‘coming out’ as conservative is some kind of emotional ordeal. On a panel discussion on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme recently, a young Tory student from the University of Kent claimed that ‘a third of all of our [student] association are gay, and most of them have said it’s harder to come out to their parents as a Conservative than as being gay’. He said that Tories at university were ‘almost vilified’.
Lots of conservatives seem to feel like this. Earlier this year, Fox News pundit Tomi Lahren claimed that ‘being conservative is much harder than being a woman’. It is ironic that those who often talk about how much they loathe identity politics are now claiming the mantle of victimhood. In any case, they need to cut it out.
If you have different views to the rest of your peers, you should have the guts to argue for them and challenge the status quo. Stop wallowing in self-pity just because you’re right-wing. A lot of young Tories say they aspire to be the next Iron Lady, but playing the victim game is a sign of weakness, not strength.
Strong political beliefs are worth little unless you stand up for them. Young people should realise that they will never be respected for their views if they moan about being disagreed with. It’s no good calling every left-wing opponent a snowflake and then whinging about being teased for being a Tory.
These young conservatives have more in common with their lefty peers than they think.
Ieuan Joy is a writer and student.