By: Ella Rook
When you think about conservatism you might think of people promoting traditional family values, big military, and small government. Or maybe you think of the alt -right, protesters with Confederate flags, and white supremacists. However, the unassuming d.tech sophomore, Jemma Schroder probably isn’t who comes to mind. (Full disclosure: this author is working with Schroder in d.Leadership) Schroder spends her time sailing, organizing d.Leadership’s finances, and running the d.conservatives Instagram account.
d.conservatives is a new Instagram account, started at the beginning of the school year, that aims to “[promote] the truth about conservative values in our increasingly leftist region.” The account started by Schroder is aimed at people who “aren’t into politics, who aren’t actively looking for different ideas, and who aren’t actively trying to learn more about the world.” Schroder intends for the account to be a tool for these types of people to be exposed to another perspective. She stresses, however, that she isn’t intending to “convert” people to conservatism, rather to educate them so they can make their own decisions.
Although Schroder may seem like a poster child for conservative values, she wasn’t always that way. “I was an avid Tumblr user, I was what conservatives call a Social Justice Warrior, I was very big into that, but I didn’t understand anything, I was just basically a sheep,” said Schroder. It was only when she began to listen to Conservative talk show hosts like Ben Shapiro that she says she felt her eyes were opened to new ways of thinking.
Schroder eventually intends to use her account as the media outlet for d.tech’s Conservative Club, run by seniors John Gardner and Carson Peters. Gardner started the Conservative Club last year in response to students who he said had harassed him when he brought his Trump flag to school and wore it as a cape. According to Gardner, students had “thrown coffee at me and choked me with the flag.” He wanted to make a club where students could learn more about the origins of conservatism and its evolution, and express their conservatism at d.tech without backlash.
The responses to d.conservative haven’t been as extreme as those Gardner says he received. Senior Maxine Zigmond-Ramm followed the account so that she could, “see all the stupid things they post,” while senior Julia Wang liked their first photo because she, “wasn’t going to follow the account, but still wanted to show support [to the formation of a new d.tech account].” Both Schoder and Gardner agree that if you are interested in learning more about conservative values, or want to join the Conservative Club, you should follow their @d.conservatives Instagram page.