Conflict. Most people fear this. Those of us who are non-confrontational freeze when someone disagrees with us, and some of us even run the other direction. However, conservatives must view conflict as something we can benefit from rather than seeking to avoid it.

It strengthens our arguments

When conservatives engage in discussions or arguments about different values, it strengthens our own viewpoints. Disagreement helps build your ability to argue logically, and forces you to improve your researching abilities. The better researched an argument is, the more confidently you can present it, and the more authority it carries.

It brings our ideas to light

When conflict occurs, conservative ideas are brought to the forefront of the conversation. For too long, conservative arguments have been stifled and ignored simply because people were too afraid to bring them to light.

On college campuses, it is much more difficult to find a conservative professor, and even more so one who will admit their beliefs. A large part of this shift occurred as fewer conservatives pursued higher education and instead went into educational leadership outside of universities. But causes aside, this shift has helped contribute to current feelings of polarization and conservative isolation on campuses nationwide.

In the classroom, it is our responsibility as conservative students to present our viewpoints, despite the potential for being shut down. Instead of shying away from confronting a classmate or professor who disagrees with us, we should be willing to share our opinions right off the bat. When your professor makes everyone share a fun fact about themselves the first day of class, proudly say, “my name is ______ and I’m pro-life!” Depending on the class, it might become a topic of conversation throughout the semester.

Who knows? You could be the one to spread conservatism on your own campus!

It builds our community

Community is insanely important to people. The left does a phenomenal job understanding this concept. However, on most college campuses, there is a huge population of closeted conservatives who are too scared to talk about politics.

Fear of politics shouldn’t be governing our student bodies in the way it is today. When conflict arises between the left and right, instead of running for cover, we should stand firm. There are a surprising number of peers willing to stand on our side. People follow conviction. Seeing others proudly supporting issues important to them will encourage fearful students to openly agree. This promotes the growth of incredible communities, ones that will encourage you if not speak out themselves.

Next time you face conflict because of your conservative values, embrace it. To embrace conflict with diplomacy and grace is to come out stronger than you went in.