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Conservatives Should Be More Brave, Proactive, and Leverage Weaknesses of the Left: Professor

In the face of extreme policies peddled by the radical left, conservatives need to respond more boldly by using the power of institutions and leverage the weaknesses shown by the left to stop its destructive policies, according to a professor and researcher at a school of government.

Extreme politics that brought about pushing transgender ideology on children, the southern border crisis, and crime surges in big cities requires “strong, real, self-confident men and women to say ’absolutely no’ to this,” said David Azerrad, an assistant professor and research fellow at Hillsdale College’s Van Andel Graduate School of Government.

Many young people at colleges and universities who advocate for woke principles do not truly believe in them, Azerrad told EpochTV’s “Crossroads” program in an interview on Sept. 12.

“The kids who are at these elite universities are careerists. They’re ambitious … So they do the woke posturing because they feel pressure to their left,” Azerrad said, “but they never pay a price.”

“If you started putting pressure [on them], a lot of them would fold in line and collapse like a deck of cards,” the professor said.

For example, if a prestigious university institutes a policy that any student who disrupts a speaker is immediately expelled from the university with no diploma, the students’ behavior would change as they will not be willing to sacrifice a diploma for their woke principles, Azerrad explained.

Not True Believers

Some say that wokeness is a religion, Azerrad continued, but religions “produce people who sacrifice their lives for the cause.”

“I don’t see a lot of that with our wokeness. I see a lot of signaling. I see a lot of performative wokeness,” Azerrad noted, “and this gives me hope because it means they could be crushed more readily because they’re not genuine fanatics.”

There are, however, young people who are true believers, Azerrad said, making it clear that he could not provide the percentage of them.

Supporting the woke stuff is for young people the way to get into good universities to climb the corporate ranks. Azerrad said, but ultimately” the ruling passion in their soul is not a passion for social justice–it’s comfortable living.”

Azerrad said he believes that if they are forced through the power of the institutions to make a choice, many of them would fall in line. But this approach has not been tried on them all that much, he added. “This is another thing that gives me hope.”

The pollings do not indicate that Millennials and Generation Z, also known as Zoomers, have turned conservative, but there is a mounting backlash of millennials and Zoomers who are much more right-wing than the Boomers or Generation X, Azerrad noted.

“Right now, it’s not a large number,” but polling is static and can change, Azerrad said. “Don’t discount the power of statesmanship and effective governance and powerful rhetoric to move hearts and minds. … There’s more and more appetite and energy, and more dissent amongst them that I think could be harnessed, channeled, deepened, and broadened.”

Putting Pressure on Ruling Class

Azerrad thinks that the ruling class is much weaker than perceived because they hire and promote government servants based on diversity criteria instead of competence level.

Therefore, they are not capable of running these major institutions as efficiently and ruthlessly as they could, Azerrad pointed out.

“The right needs to just learn from the left,” said Azerrad, who teaches students his thoughts on the new left, including its theorists from Herbert Marcuse and the Frankfurt School.

Herbert Marcuse was a prominent Marxist scholar of the Frankfurt School, a group of Marxist theorists first associated with the University of Frankfurt in Germany and later with Columbia University in New York upon relocating to the United States in 1935.

“[The new left] view themselves as a minority, which they were at the time, who want to take over institutions that are hostile to their beliefs,” Azerrad said.

It would be helpful for the right to think in terms of defunding adversary institutions, having them bear the consequences of their woke actions, and rewarding and honoring friendly institutions, Azerrad said. “Know who your political enemies and friends are, and send money and honor only to your friends.”

Epoch Times Photo

For example, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis revoked a tax break for a multi-billion corporation over its woke actions, Azerrad said.

In April, DeSantis signed a legislature-passed bill to dissolve Walt Disney World’s self-governing status in central Florida. The revocation could have significant tax implications for Disney.

The move came after Disney issued a critical statement about a DeSantis-backed bill, the Parental Rights in Education bill, that prohibits teachers from instructing about sexual orientation and gender identity topics to children under the third grade.

There should be more governors taking similar actions. Azerrad said. “[This is] using the power of institutions we control to put the corporations back in their place.”

However, the right should not copy the left in their actions aimed at attacking their political opponents, Azerrad said.

“You should not attack a Democratic elected official who’s dining with their family at a restaurant. That’s unacceptable” Azerrad warned. “You shouldn’t issue death threats to sitting Justices of the Supreme Court, who are appointed by a Democratic president.”

Republicans Need to Play Active Role

The right usually focuses in its policies on tax cuts, school choice, and bolstering the military with money, Azerrad said. It also did some occupational licensing reform, but it “has not dealt some devastating blows to the left” that would be equivalent to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Azerrad pointed out.

The Civil Rights Act ended segregation in public places and prohibited employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

Epoch Times Photo

“We still have a base,” Azerrad said, referring to millions voting for then-President Donald Trump in 2020, “there’s such a significant segment of the American population that still loves this country and is attached to the American way of life. And I think we could grow that number.”

According to the Federal Election commission, 74 million people voted for Trump in the 2020 presidential election. (pdf).

“The base is consistently to the right of those that claim to represent it in the conservative movement in the Republican Party.

“This is where we need more pressure to create more DeSantises, more JD Vances, more Blake Masters, and then in the conservative movement—more intellectuals that are willing to be confrontational with the elites.”

J.D. Vance, a Republican U.S. Senate candidate from Ohio endorsed by Trump, criticized the Washington establishment for “moralistic instead of strategic” foreign policy, especially for funding gender ideology around the world.

U.S. Senate candidate Blake Masters for Arizona blamed the Biden administration for the crisis on the southern border, especially fentanyl smuggling, which causes thousands of death yearly from its overdoses. Masters called for the impeachment of President Joe Biden for his role in the illegal immigration crisis.

 Jack Phillip, Nathan Worcester, and Allan Stein contributed to this report.

Ella Kietlinska


Ella Kietlinska is a reporter for The Epoch Times focusing on U.S. and world politics.

Joshua Philipp


Joshua Philipp is an award-winning investigative reporter with The Epoch Times and host of EpochTV’s “Crossroads” program. He is a recognized expert on unrestricted warfare, asymmetrical hybrid warfare, subversion, and historical perspectives on today’s issues. His 10-plus years of research and investigations on the Chinese Communist Party, subversion, and related topics give him unique insight into the global threat and political landscape.

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