Michael Fincher might just be the most politically conservative student on the UC Merced campus. He is the editor of The Right Side, a conservative publication produced by the UC Merced College Republicans , the group Fincher co-founded last year. In his dual role of vice president of external affairs and treasurer, he helped organize a Tea Party event on campus to protest government spending last semester.
Although the sophomore from Madera chose UC Merced because of its rural setting and proximity to his hometown, he has quickly made it clear that he is not interested in sitting still, chewing the fat and watching the grass grow.
"It's who I am," he said about being active and outspoken on campus. "I love what I do in the club. Politics is my passion."
"I am a conservative first, Republican second," Fincher said. "I stand on principle. I am a Republican party member because it is affiliated with my beliefs, like fiscal responsibility; small government; no deficit spending or racking up large amounts of debt; a strong national defense; government accountability and individual responsibility.
"A lot of students come out of high school with regular, basic government courses and they haven't really been taught what the parties stand for and what their differences are," he said. "They are often misinformed, and label themselves something they really aren't."
Fincher enjoys being politically active on a campus that is small enough to promote debate and discussion rather than animosity.
"The leadership of both the Republican and Democrat groups on campus are pretty good friends, and one of my closest friends is a socialist."
Fincher may have just started his career as a student at UC Merced, but he is confident that he will continue to be politically active while here, and continue to avoid passive involvement well into the future. "I may just author a book, but I'll be active."