I recently attended a symposium, held at the University of Toronto and sponsored by a group of politically savvy libertarian and conservative students, on the topic of free speech and expression in the current repressive cultural and political milieu. The audience of almost every other conservative symposium I have attended has been composed chiefly of elderly white men, with a modest sprinkling of women and a sparse handful of younger people. On this occasion I was gladdened to note that the age gap had been bridged, dividing equally between older and younger, while the distaff representation was comparatively prominent.
The fact that the symposium was organized by two student groups worried about their political and economic future, Students for Liberty and Generation Screwed, explained the mixed composition of the conference attendees and signaled a more hopeful future for the nascent conservative movement growing on campus as well as in the non-academic world. This young, right-leaning cohort — politically active, intellectually engaged, well-educated and civil — are in marked contrast to their leftist counterparts consisting of a mélange of snowflakes and hooligans, who were soon to make their presence known at the event.