It is no secret that conservatism is having a little bit of an identity crisis. After losing control of the White House and the Senate in the last election, we find ourselves, on a national level, in the weakest position we have been in since 2010. We not only face a government under the united control of a party antithetical to our ideas, but we find that the powers in our society, from the media, to the arts, to higher education, to big tech, to even our erstwhile allies in big business, have all, to some extent, embraced a progressive worldview in which liberty and virtue have no place. Worse, conservatives enter this decade, not united by a common set of ideas, or even as allies of convenience against the growing shadow of progressivism, but rather in the midst of a full-on intra-movement civil war.
It was in light of this conflict that, when the leadership of the UT chapter of the Young Conservatives of Texas gave us the opportunity in early 2021 to create an independent newspaper focused on discussing conservative ideas at UT, we immediately jumped on board. The future of this movement, like all movements, lies in the next generation of conservative leaders, and we need somewhere in which we, the future of the movement, can hash out the arguments as to what conservatism will be. There are many debates to be had: from whether the government ought to be primarily focused on promoting freedom or virtue, to whether conservatives ought to reevaluate our commitment to a muscular foreign policy, to how we should deal with the increasing power of big tech companies in our society. We hope that, by allowing conservative students to submit articles to The Texas Horn, we can make this a space where we can, through free and respectful discourse, shape the future of the conservative movement.
But there is another reason why we think The Horn is important. UT is a very progressive school, and many students here have never been exposed to conservative ideas. If conservatism is to remain a potent force in American politics, then it is imperative that we expose as many young people as possible to the conservative tradition. While we don’t expect to convert them all into conservatives, we at least hope to challenge the progressive orthodoxy which dominates campus and challenge the progressivism of students who arrived at their political opinions not through careful reasoning, but simply through copying the beliefs of everyone around them.
These two goals of facilitating intra-conservative debate and exposing more UT students to conservative thought are both very ambitious, and we have little doubt that The Horn will, at times, fail to live up to them. But, as an editorial board, these are the principles to which we are committed, and we will make every human effort to espouse them in all we do.