Impediments to free speech on college campuses
The at-large left’s knowledge of the United States Constitution appears limited to having heard that America has one. One wonders if liberals believe the Constitution, especially its First Amendment, has any intrinsic meaning other than “whatever we say.”
A recent Gallup poll revealed some ugly truths about the “high-minded,” self-superior, left-wing student component of the Democratic Party — and the left generally — among whom the word “inclusion” has become its antonym — a euphemistic excuse for excluding — silencing — even scholarly conservative thought and speech.
Rather than the limitless mélange of competing concepts and ideas it should be, the left treats free speech as a zero-sum game. In suppressing conservative speech, institutional activists counterfactually claim a “noble” purpose: setting aside “inclusive” opportunities for “marginalized” people to be heard. Ironically, demonstrations are a campus “thing.” Dozens of “marginalized” activist groups shout themselves hoarse daily.
Former dean of Harvard College Harvey Lewis wrote, “The weaponization of ‘inclusion’ is the most sanctimonious exercise I can remember at Harvard, and that is saying something in a place never known for its humility.”
In Gallup’s poll, almost half of students support speech codes. 64 percent believe “hate speech” isn’t constitutionally-protected and should be outlawed. Translated, 64 percent think that their cohort’s tender sensitivities limit the rights of others. Not coincidentally, the same kids reserve for themselves the exclusive, exclusionary right to define “hate speech.”
In reality, they don’t believe in free speech at all.
Progressives only pretend that speech is a zero-sum commodity. The only certain method for anxious, insecure liberals to protect their moral/intellectual vanity and win arguments with conservatives is to prevent them from speaking.
Tellingly, 37 percent of students think it acceptable to exclude conservative speakers from campus and shout down those who appear. Worse, 10 percent of 3000 students surveyed believe in the use of violence to silence “disagreeable” speech.
Putting that in perspective, in fall 2017, 20.4 million students were enrolled in American colleges and universities. Statistically, then, more than 2 million students are or could be in favor of using physical violence to silence others with whom they merely disagree.
For further perspective, the German Nazi Party had about 2 million active members when it came to power in 1933 following a 1932 election in which Nazis took about 33 percent of votes cast — roughly 20 percent of the German population. Party membership was only 5.3 million when Germany invaded Poland. Comparing statistics, America’s putative future, its aspiring campus brownshirts — commonly indulged and often encouraged by certain like-minded faculty and administration Gauleiters — have made an impressive start on imposing their own repressive regime.
Anyone who has read history knows the appalling excesses of the German Nazi experiment. The surviving “Greatest Generation” of Americans who sacrificed to defeat the Nazis and their Axis partners are aging, so, daily, there are progressively fewer Americans with first-hand, institutional memory of the Nazis’ sinister record.
Without them, who will step up, call out and correct their great-grandchildren’s tyrannical, anti-constitutional, fascistic impulses?