Speech is about power, by Jeannie Suk Gersen.
The activities of universities and colleges would be worth little without some basic commitment to free thought, inquiry, and discourse among students, teachers, and researchers. But on many liberal campuses today students emphasize the downsides and limits to free speech. The William and Mary students’ refrains — which included “Your free speech hides beneath white sheets” and “Liberalism is white supremacy” — captured the notion that invocations of “free speech” most often enable domination, oppression, and hate. For some, the idea that free speech can be weaponized to harm the vulnerable not only justifies shutting down speech they hate but also makes free speech itself deeply suspect.
The more that free speech is denounced by the left, the more it is embraced by the right. ..
Two years ago, the University of California, Berkeley, cancelled a lecture by the far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, after protests of the event turned violent; President Trump then threatened, in a tweet, to withdraw federal funds from the school. At the time, the President’s suggestion appeared to lack a legal basis. Now he has created one, in the form of an executive order issued last month, in defense of free speech.
The Left-Fascist student “protesters” themselves say … that they are waging a power battle. They are as power-mad as any Nazi. …
We conservatives however deplore the fact that the Left have made campus speech about power. A pox on power! What is wrong with a sober, respectful and balanced discussion of the issues? Is that not what universities are for?
I know what is wrong with it from a Leftist viewpoint. It’s pretty obvious. A sober discussion of the issues that explores all sides of the argument generally results in a conclusion that clashes with dreamy Leftist fantasies. They cannot afford free speech. They are afraid of it. With free speech conservatives would win most of the arguments. Leftists display hysterical resistance to hearing conservative argumentation for good reason. It undermines them
So in the end, conservatives — in the person of Mr Trump — have to use power to combat the lawless and coercive power to censor that campus Leftists constantly exercise