Cupp speaks about politics

By Jonathan Epstein

Cupp speaks about politics

S.E. Cupp, a conservative commentator, spoke on the liberal-conservative dichotomy of values at Brandeis U. on Thursday, as part of an event sponsored by the Brandeis Libertarian-Conservative Union.

Cupp, a host on Glenn Beck TV and a New York Daily News columnist, began with an excoriation of what she perceives as liberal conformity on college campuses. “Your youth is supposed to be about rebellion. College is supposed to be about self-exploration, in more ways than one. It is supposed to be explorative, rebellious,” she said. “I do not know what is rebellious or explorative about trusting your professors or mimicking your other classmates.”

Citing an example of liberal conformity run amok, Cupp said, “There is nothing rebellious about sitting in a coffee shop smoking clove cigarettes and discussing The Communist Manifesto, or its sequel, The Feminine Mystique. There is nothing rebellious about marching through the quad with 300 other teenagers who have never had to pay taxes or seen a doctor’s bill, protesting war, inequality, global warming, meat, corporate corruption, etc.”

She extended this criticism to popular attitudes on religion, saying, “And there’s nothing rebellious about railing against the evils of organized religion, making fun of Christians [and] mocking morality as antiquated or philosophically problematic.”

Cupp provided a solution for the dearth of rebellion on campuses. “What would actually be rebellious is a march for fiscal responsibility,” despite the fact that it “does not sound sexy,” she explained.

Concluding her speech, Cupp conjectured that it is unnatural to want a powerful government. “We are all natural conservatives,” because “we are instinctively and biologically self preservationists,” she surmised. We want to live “in a free and decent society, where we have total, or near total, control over the sovereignty of our own lives, our destinies, our families, our wallets. We are not programmed to want the state to make our decisions, to decide how we spend our money, to take away our inalienable rights in the interest of feigned fairness.”

Cupp did acknowledge the limits of downsizing government and conceded that libertarianism was impractical on a large scale.

She put forth a critical view of previous and contemporary American protest movements. She labeled the generation of student protestors in the 1960s as a “weird, drug-addled cult of unwashed morons.” She stated that they were foolish for challenging the establishment because the Democratic Party was in power. She also said this is similar to today’s Occupy Wall Street protesters.

Speaking on the Occupy movement, Cupp asserted, “when they take up Obama’s class-war narrative, they are not … fighting the establishment. They are really just pawns for a reelection bid. They are empowering the establishment, of course. They are not standing up for the little guy.”

“It is about taking power away from individual voters and giving more of it to the government, specifically a really, really small group of people in the government, literally the one-percent,” she added, decrying that this generation of liberals believes “growing government counts as a cause.”

Asked to speak about her atheism, Cupp replied that she still respects religion and that her non-belief in God “does not make me mad at Her,” adding, “I’m not a militant atheist.” Cupp emphasized that she does not criticize those who do believe and that it is acceptable, for politicians like Rick Santorum and Sarah Palin to be influenced by religious belief.

Preceding the event was a controversy on the event’s Facebook page between BLCU members and Brandeis feminists, who objected that the first line of the event description read, “Do you like beautiful women? Do you like politics?” Asked for her opinion on the matter, Cupp responded, “I am careful about how I present myself. … I don’t believe that, just because I’m young and female, … I should have to ugly up, or dress like a man to be taken seriously.” eliciting near-unanimous applause from the politically diverse audience.

There was also a dispute over the financing of the event, causing the BLCU to seek funding from outside of Brandeis, according toBLCU vice-president Ricky Rosen. “Because the [Finance] Board would not give us sufficient funding for the event, we worked with Young America’s Foundation, a national organization that provides funding for conservative speakers to come to college campuses, and they provided financial assistance for the event,” he said in an interview with the Justice.

Rosen added that the event, which had a turnout of roughly 50 students, had the potential to broaden the influence of conservatives on campus. “The common perception among Brandeis students is that there are not a lot of conservatives on this campus,” he said. “We hope that this event is the beginning of a more diversified political culture here at Brandeis and that BLCU can build off this momentum and become a legitimate political force on campus.

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