Liberals Launch Their Latest War On Free Speech

Shutterstock/Marcos Mesa Sam Wordley

Dan Backer Contributor
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Whether it’s tagging legitimate news stories they disagree with as “fake news” or launching increasingly-violent protests to shut down opposing viewpoints, it’s clear: the left is gearing up their war on free speech.

Like most wars premised on indoctrination, young adults are the ones being overtly radicalized. Protected by tenure, radical leftists seemingly dominate most institutions of higher learning. Once a free marketplace of ideas, today’s academia seems increasingly a modern inquisition against any who challenge the increasingly cult-like radicalism being infused into the minds of college students. According to a recent Gallup survey, a whopping 38% of college students now think the government should ban all “offensive” speech. What they find offensive, of course, is any remark outside of politically-correct liberal orthodoxy.  And they protest – riot – for it.

These aren’t your father’s college protests. Today’s mob rule on campus is something new.

At California’s Claremont McKenna College, protesters blocked the entrance to a campus building to prevent conservative author Heather MacDonald from speaking. Despite being a well-respected commentator, left-wing radicals justified their anti-intellectual actions by claiming to be preventing “fascism” and “racism” from taking hold in America. Undeterred, MacDonald entered in secret through a back door. When she arrived on stage, however, she found the hall nearly empty–because the mob also refused to let anyone interested in hearing her ideas enter the building.

At Middlebury College in Vermont, a protest against economist Charles Murray turned ugly. A self-righteous mob of 150 students violently attacked conservatives as they attempted to leave an auditorium, injuring the professor who was interviewing Murray. Students at Middlebury pay $60,000 a year to live in an enclave where totalitarian-style tactics are encouraged–so long as they toe the liberal line of thinking.

Most recently, students at Evergreen State College berated a biologist and demanded his resignation, after he objected to an event in which all white students were asked to leave campus for a day. When this liberal-but-not-enough professor tried to engage in thoughtful discussion, he was shouted down and a student screamed, “We don’t care what terms you want to speak on. This is not about you. We are not speaking on terms—on terms of white privilege. This is not a discussion. You have lost that one.” Encouraged by radical mentors, old liberal ideas of tolerance and free speech are being washed aside by young adults who deny even liberal-but-not-enough supporters a voice.

While colleges bend over backwards to cater to demands from the likes of Black Lives Matter in the name of politically-correct diversity, nothing has been done to protect conservatives who simply want to share such crazy ideas as personal freedom and responsibility. Neither Claremont, Middlebury, nor Evergreen have moved to suspend or expel a single student for silencing, and even violently attacking, conservatives. In the eyes of today’s collegiate faculty and administrators, conservative speech isn’t really worth protecting.

Some conservatives are beginning to fight back, however. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed a bill last month to restore free speech and equality by making it illegal for colleges to disinvite speakers based on their political beliefs and banned universities from charging conservative students more in fees to host speakers, under the pretense of needing increased security to protect them from mobs.

In California, a Republican-sponsored bill currently being debated would end the restrictive “free speech zones” at California’s public universities. This proposal would allow anyone to speak freely anywhere on campus – isn’t it shocking they can’t? Liberals administrators would no longer decide when and where students can speak their minds. Similar bills are slowly advancing in a handful of other states. But despite these signs of progress, it’s clear the left’s public war on free speech is only continuing to grow.

The overt leftwing war on the open mind isn’t just on campus. Major social media players are suppressing conservative speech while elevating liberal viewpoints.  Facebook and Twitter actively work to change how people receive information about the world. Twitter seems to constantly ban conservative celebrities, like Milo Yiannopolous, for attacking the left, but when high-profile liberals wish death to conservatives, like Kurt Eichenwald did last month, nothing happens.

Hypocrisy rules the day when the left-leaning judges and juries of online speech control what information regular Americans have available to them.

Facebook, in their quest to combat the “fake news” they think snatched the 2016 election from Hillary Clinton, has employed far-left “fact checkers” in order to determine what news is “correct.” Like “fact-checkers” at liberal newspapers, the results have been predictable: numerous legitimate conservative-leaning news sites have been deemed “fake news” because they don’t kowtow to the prevailing liberal media narrative. Even worse, small platforms for speech and the trading of ideas have been simply relegated to the bottom of Facebook’s algorithm, if allowed to exist at all. Despite Silicon Valley’s praise for “disruptors,” Facebook and their ilk appear hellbent to keep the liberal media complex as the status quo.

By attacking any outsider voice offering a new perspective as “fake news,” liberals are showing that they no longer want to debate. Today, the left—and, increasingly, some on the right—begin and end with anonymously-sourced denials and ad hominem attacks. They won’t debate ideas, or engage with those who espouse them, because, like the college radicals who claim people are racist fascists in order to justify shouting them down, they have predetermined what is and is not a legitimate discussion.

A free society is predicated on free speech and free association – democracy can only persevere if everyone can speak their mind, even if some find it offensive. If conservatives don’t start fighting back soon—at rallies, on social media, and at the ballot box—free speech as we know it may only apply to the liberal elites, their corporate allies, and their growing throng of mindless collegiate brown shirts.