Conservative Speaker David French Comes to Loomis Chaffee

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LC Strategic Communications and Marketing

David French, speaking about the time he said he received, “death aspirations” for his conservative political views. 

Lauren Volkodav '22, Web Content Editor

Over the past year, the divides between conservatism and liberalism – and political extremism more broadly- have grown through extremist opinions and lack of discussion as well as a lack of compromise between the two distinct parties.  

In an effort to diversify the political views shared at Loomis Chaffee and bring about discussions from different viewpoints, the community hosted conservative journalist David French, also known sarcastically as ‘lawyer’ by his fellow soldiers in Iraq, spoke during a convocation on February 20, 2019. Departing from the normal tradition of inviting liberal convocation speakers, David French offered a new perspective conflicting with many of the liberal views on campus. A pro-life supporter, Mr. French said, “having been a very active Republican and now being completely outside the two parties” he described the experience of supporting both liberal and conservative values as offering two very different experiences have enhanced his view of political issues.

David French’s speech also highlighted the backlash one receives for unpopular political views within a community lacking diverse political stances, describing his time at Harvard, as an “option-expanding grad school” but regularly faced counteraction for his outspoken, conservative perspective. 

Yet, having a diversity of political opinions within communities or school campus’ can force people to question the validity of their beliefs, while also strengthening their values, according to Mr. French. 

Furthermore, he discussed “the necessity of free speech” and the value it brings in arguments saying that it helps in moving from “error to truth” as well as “better understand your own position” and help us listen and communicate to see where opposing arguments come from. 

Not only has David French been an active member of politics but also is a United States Veteran, having served in Iraq. He said that his experience in Iraq has given him “the knowledge and information” to expand his writing and political views.

Although David French said he “regretted not being in the military when 9/11 happened” the feeling of helplessness during he felt during the aftermath did not last long because he was able to overcome this “fork-in the road” and “change his life” by joining the army when the age limit was raised.

Clearly deeply invested in the United State’s political climate and foreign affairs, David French’s success in the field of law and journalism and his experiences with politics and the army have helped define his core values. Overall, David French offered a fresh new perspective that helped in the attempts to help offer students a variety of political perspectives to hear and debate about.