When I began college back in 1991, I had just come out of a period of extended unemployment, and newfound purpose. I remember having spent most of my days involved with local as well as national political issues. This period culminated in many full days—hundreds of hours volunteering (that’s unpaid for those of you who cannot wrap their minds around the concept)—on the political campaigns of local candidates, attending block club meetings, and working with nonprofit organizations.
The political atmosphere of college (s) back then was/were reflective of the political atmosphere of America in general; a few politically active individuals and organizations and a level of subdued contention among competing interests in Washington and nationwide.
Twenty years later, the political (and by extension, the social) polarization is unlike that at any other time in American history except for maybe the period leading up to the Civil War or during the 1960s. Just as in those periods, we have politically-involved individuals—both unaligned activists and those affiliated with organizations and political parties—who have arrogantly (and ethnocentrically) christened themselves as “true Americans,” while maligning those who do not share their values as “un-American,” “socialists,” fascists,” “uncaring,” “elitist,” "racist," and a whole host of subjective pejoratives.
Below the surface of these accusations are sentiments of class divisions, dueling socioeconomic ideologies, and—with the first African-American in the White House—racism (although some of those most rabidly against anything Obama-affiliated will simply deny that race plays no issue…and I emphasize some, lest someone accuse me of being “elitist”). Conservatives accuse Liberals of wanting to turn America into a Socialist Utopia, while liberals routinely accuse conservatives of caring about nothing more than the Free Market (the truth of the matter is that I find both individuals ideologically umbilicaled to those particular narrow views of the world to be morally bankrupted at times).
So, thanks to Beyond The Political Spectrum reader Tim Handorf over at Best Colleges Online.com (thanks Mr. Handorf for soliciting the information for this piece), I thought it would be great to provide those aspiring to become involved in politics and political activism with a list of (some of the ) 12 Most Politically Charged College Campuses in America. And hopefully those seeking to become part of the politically-inspired in this country will become truly educated, and spur true solutions which give the American people what we need rather than what some narrow, ideologically-encircled politician and/or “activist” thinks we should have.
12. American University, Washington D.C.
11. Oberlin College, Oberlin Ohio
10. Wesleyan University, Connecticut
9. University of Wisconsin, Madison
For the rest of the list, read here.