Think about it: the very foundation of America was to guarantee free speech for all people. Our founders did NOT have the ability to speak free while living in any of the countries from which they emigrated to America. Oppression from the elitist ruling class in Europe despised the allowance of the “lower class” to speak freely. So they simply disallowed commoners to do so. Americans should realize the “rescue” of the right to free speech DROVE those settlers to the New World. And IF Americans really did understand that, they would be much more adamant about preserving Free Speech. Remember the line in that famous song that says, “You just don’t know what you have till it’s gone.” Sadly, we’re headed in that direction.
We could spend much of your time today to talk about the faux “Free Speech” rallies which Antifa protestors attended and turned into riots with the pretense of attacking those who are AGAINST free speech — or “fascists.” These rallies all were for the presentation and discussion of FREE SPEECH! And Antifa nut jobs fought to keep them quiet. What a paradox! (The light of Truth most of the time exposes the evil that hides in the darkness)
Instead of us pontificating about Free Speech, let’s look in on the words of Robert Charles who recently gave a speech at one of the liberal bastions of the Ivy League — Dartmouth. You’ll be surprised at the results!
Robert Charles is a former assistant secretary of state for President George W. Bush, former naval intelligence officer and litigator. He served in the Reagan and Bush 41 White Houses. He was assistant secretary of state at the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs from 2003 to 2005. He served under Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Free speech is under attack on college campuses – but reaction to a conservative speaker at Dartmouth this month offers a glimmer of hope.
Data shows America’s college campuses are under siege. Anti-Trump sentiment, combined with socialist-leaning progressive tendencies, are dominant. From “safe spaces” for delicate ears to violence against conservatives, the nation is in the throes of intolerance toward free speech.
As violence against conservative students, faculty and speakers has risen, it has chilled intellectual diversity. While an overwhelming body of constitutional law supports free speech, the reality is discomfiting.
In June 2017, the Daily Caller News Foundation chronicled a spike in violence against conservatives on college campuses – including those speaking out in defense of free speech, opposing abortion, favoring border security, urging respect for the American flag, defending law enforcement, rejecting socialism, supporting Israel, or wearing a Trump “Make America Great Again” hat.
There were 35 violent acts that made headlines between June of 2016 and June of 2017 – including felony destruction, vicious beatings and black-masked “protestors” shutting down campuses.
A 2017 Cato Institute survey shockingly found a majority of Democrats believe “controversial” or “offensive” speakers – e.g. those defending police or opposing transgender mandates– should not be allowed to speak on college campuses. A 2018 Gallup college poll showed an eight percent jump – to 30 percent – among those who want no “offensive speech” on campus, with more than half putting cultural diversity above free speech, and a third supporting verbal suppression – shouting down speakers.
Add to that elected officials and other political figures jumping into the fray, telling people to: confront Trump administration officials in public and “tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere” (Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.); “get up in the face” of conservatives (Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.); “when they go low, kick them” (Obama Attorney General Eric Holder); and “you cannot be civil” to Republicans (former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton).
Is it any wonder aggression against conservatives is on the rise – both on campus and off?
And don’t forget restaurant confrontations against White House staffers and Republican senators, or a group of Kentucky high school students participating in a pro-life march who were taunted, taped and mercilessly ridiculed by national media and Hollywood – because one of them was wearing a “MAGA” hat.
Which brings me back to Dartmouth. This month. A lifelong conservative and an alum, I was invited to speak on campus, opposite a Democratic National Convention Committee “political operative,” another alum.
Having spent time in the White Houses of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, five years with Newt Gingrich in the House, a decade in naval intelligence, and serving as Assistant Secretary of State under George W. Bush – plus being a FOX commentator – I expected rough water. Especially in light of the fact that the Foundation for Rights in Education, non-profit defending rights at universities, had downgraded Dartmouth to a “red light rating” in 2018 for “restricting protected speech.”
Nevertheless, I rolled out conservative themes such as an emphasis on strong defense, smaller government and lower taxes. I expressed pro-life views and a commitment to free speech – noting the importance of placing nation above party, history and law above emotion.
Challenged to name areas for cooperation, I started with the national drug crisis, then immigration and border security, infrastructure, and free speech on college campuses.
It’s how they did it at the Constitutional Convention – which is how they settled on the First Amendment in the first place, assuring us freedom of speech. Wherever you may be.
After facing years of attacks from every side, free speech on college campuses finally has a supporter in the White House.
The Trump administration is set to release a new executive order requiring colleges and universities to support free speech in order to receive federal research funding. President Donald Trump’s proposal would add a “free speech requirement” to the contractual obligations that come with said funding, forcing academic institutions to demonstrate their First Amendment bona fides.
Whether or not one supports this executive order, Trump is right to call attention to an epidemic that has plagued American academia for years. From talk show host Bill Maher’s boycott petition at the University of California at Berkeley to the more recent protests aimed at conservative commentators like Ben Shapiro, campus liberals have become increasingly vitriolic toward differences of opinion — as well as those who voice them. Just last month, a conservative activist was assaulted at Berkeley simply for protesting hate crime hoaxes.
Freedom of speech is not a left vs. right issue. Both parties have an obligation to fight the radical activists’ assault on the First Amendment. As Americans, our right to speak freely and openly is guaranteed by the Constitution. Whether we agree with those speaking is irrelevant to their legal right to do so.
While Trump’s support is encouraging, we still need to remain skeptical of executive power (even when used with the best of intentions). A cursory glance at the earliest years of American history tells us exactly why unrestrained executive power hardly produces a harmonious existence for anyone. Renowned writer and journalist H.L. Mencken once told us, “I believe in only one thing: Liberty, but I do not believe in liberty enough to want to force it upon anyone.”
This is not to oppose the president’s executive order, but it is clearly not the optimal outcome. The American people must defend the First Amendment themselves — on the ground — so that an executive order isn’t necessary.