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Free Speech Matters – President Trump is Right

Posted on Tuesday, March 5, 2019
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by AMAC, Robert B. Charles
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63 Comments
First Amendment

This week, President Trump announced plans for an executive order supporting free speech on college campuses nationwide. His action responds to growing suppression of conservative voices across “the academy” going back a decade. 

Colleges not honoring First Amendment rights will face denial of federal grants.  Liberals are up in arms, as are universities.  Arguments lofted against the President are as diverse as the dialogue on campus is chilled, self-censored, and vacuous.   

Some argue campuses are plenty diverse, others that the First Amendment needs no executive champion. Some argue the President has no right to arbitrate, while others claim this will open the door to conservative ideas.

So, what are the facts?  Scary.  Nationwide, colleges are adopting “speech codes,” banning words subject to “misuse,” banning speakers who require more security (since schools teach intolerance of tradition and tolerate violence against conservatives), banning religious groups that disagree with progressive orthodoxy, berating academics and students who support Second Amendment rights and gun ownership, who question federal overreach, socialism, climate-hysteria, drug legalization, and leftist demagoguery. 

Support for traditional American values – like unencumbered freedom to praise or criticize authority, hold religious views consonant with conscience and Biblical text, support law enforcement and military action, honor the American flag and anthem, oppose killing of unborn and just-born babies, and protect the integrity of citizenship, territorial sovereignty, drug-free communities – is anathema.  Not to be tolerated.

Tools deployed against students include kicking individuals and groups off campus, failing to protect students and conservative speakers from physical violence, withholding grades, advancement and social positions, as well as a plethora of social control techniques, from ostracizing and intimidating traditionalists to promoting “normalization” of leftist ideologies, norming illicit drug use, promoting racial resentment (e.g. “white privilege”), condemning patriotism, law enforcement, and traditional support for rule of law. 

Conservatives are progressively recast as “outliers,” young Americans reeducated to “understand” that the work, sacrifice and freedom that brought our country to this point are not worth studying or admiring, rather should be condemned, disowned, and rewritten.  Sound familiar?  Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao – as well as fascists – all subscribed to this idea.  

The boldly stated justification for censorship, a pro-suppression agenda?  According to speech policies, we must “protect the vulnerable,” “promote social justice,” and “assure diversity.” 

George Orwell would be so proud.  He predicted this development with clarity, care and granularity 35 years too early – in 1984.   Ray Bradbury predicted it too, his book-burning in Fahrenheit 451.   Arguably, one of the most thorough, articulate thinkers of our time, Russell Kirk, laid out the stakes in The Conservative Mind, published in 1953, updated in 1985. 

So, President Trump is right – we live in times that demand a defense of free speech, especially on college campuses.  But take the rejoinder apart. 

Liberals say they want more “diversity.” But what do they mean?  Diversity is no longer about greater idea inclusion, broader academic dialogue, more openness to intellectual, moral, and social difference. Diversity is not about expanding viewpoints, understanding truth, or inviting variety into the public square – more robust debate, discussion, advancement, idea dismissal or thoughtful integration. 

Diversity is no longer about seeking truth at all – although this remains the primary venture on which we should hope to enter, especially on a campus. Now, the term is constricted – by an unspoken code.  Today, it does not mean inviting different views to advance moral understanding, science or social unity, entertaining diverse viewpoints for general edification, but the reverse. 

Today it means, using race, demography, politics and group markers as surrogates for diverse thought.  It means settling old scores, resurrecting and preserving divisions – some of which were laboriously closed over generations – to advance the division of America.  Is that not odd, and profoundly sad?  

Diverse opinions are now quashed in the name of diversity, while physical characteristics are used to differentiate groups and advance a divided society, reelecting politicians who promote divisions and groupthink, while saying they are all for unity. 

So, campuses less and less promote truth, unity and genuine diversity – instead perpetuating divisions under the rubric of diversity.  Let’s be clear:  Speech and people are not made freer by suppression of speech and people.

As for the idea that speech needs no executive champion, a president has no right to arbitrate, and conservative ideas are dangerous?  Free speech needs no champion so long as constitutional rights are honored.  But when they are dishonored – and students are censored on our campuses – speech needs a champion.

The President, Congress and Article III Courts are not arbiters of free speech, except when free speech is chided, chilled and killed by violence, intimidation and misuse – and by accusing those who use words to communicate ideas of “misuse.”  Then, free speech needs defenders.  

Conservative thought dangerous?  Hardly.  Promotion of immediate violence of any kind and for any reason, short of self-defense or defense of another, against any American – or anyone on our soil – is forbidden, and does not count as free speech.  That is a conservative principle, tied to another one – rule of law. 

So, if you think this column is dangerous – if you think ideas like free and open exchange, use of words that may be offensive, direct, candid, insulting and strongly held; if you think advancing un-chilled speech – some hot enough to spur argument; and if you think rule of law to support open talk is dangerous, then – well, go back and read your American history. 

You may be surprised.  Free speech is about the human conscience, intellect, emotions and spirit – gaining a voice.  That is what our Founders fought for, died for and left to us.  Our job is to speak freely in defense of that sacred right.  That is what President Trump is doing.  And that is why he is right.

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Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
5 years ago

Fix it colleges , Univs OR lose funding.IE grants 2.
FIX IT NOW.
Tired of being kicked by sh** for brains professors, elitists, admin & Antifa.
Make= or shut down campus on Free Speech.
Hell Yeah Chap 13 the UC CSU CA system awesome
Make changes or Lose.

DOden
DOden
5 years ago

Could not have said it better. Universities have adopted Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” and know that our children are easy targets for their misleading propaganda. Can you imagine what would happen to the leftist movement if the majority of college graduates started their adult lives as Conservatives? The movement would be non-existent. Protecting the 1st amendment for ALL citizens is an absolute must!

VICTORIA T LOWRIE
VICTORIA T LOWRIE
5 years ago

Money talks and the removal of it talks LOUDEST.

Dean
Dean
5 years ago

Pres. Trump, Probably the best president we’ve had since Reagan

Loraine
Loraine
5 years ago

Finally there will be accountability for these universities to honor the freedoms that our forefathers created this great country on. I thank god for our president who is fighting for American values. The fact that liberals & universities have a problem with the president enforcing “freedom of speech”, justifies why it is the absolute right thing to do.

Frank Schaddelee
Frank Schaddelee
5 years ago

What a sad state of affairs…what would the “Greatest Generation” have to say? This is what you get after allowing idiots, and in many cases criminals, to teach American kids for 50-plus years.

Bob Nielsen
Bob Nielsen
5 years ago

It is a shame that we find in the “human condition” a plethora of greed and lust for unrighteous dominion over others. In a pure society of “socialism”, each enjoys the fulfillment of needs, care, and consideration of others. There is a shared harmony of peaceful coexistence. Unfortunately, we as a society of peoples across this globe suffer from the ailment of lust and greed. A utopia at this stage of our development is not possible because no matter how hard we may try, we find among us the occasional peoples who wish not to quell this desire found within us. The article read was excellent in the portrayal of that which infests our society today. Although “man” is not perfect, that which our nation has been established upon, our very Constitution, has proved to be the best we have been able to create to date which makes a society free to expand the greatness of humanity. Within the rule of law, we must no longer sit back on our laurels, but stand up and make our voices heard. That the “cancer” that has taken root in our gov’t., especially found within the Democrat Party ideology of today, those in our educational systems charged with training our future generations, must not be allowed to gain any stronger a foot-hold in our society. As the old saying goes, when in Rome, live as the Romans…when in a freedom loving society, perpetuate and encourage those precepts. As a surgeon endeavors to remove cancer from the human body, we must carve out the destructive ideology from any undue influence among us. The “A-O-C’s, Obama’s, leftist media and their ilk among us, being glib of tongue, must no longer be permitted to hypocritically guile us away little by little from the very freedoms we as a society cherish. Through guile, they play on emotion, skewing a situation, thought or utterance to deceive that which is good and decent among us.

Rick
Rick
5 years ago

Free speech is disappearing at an alarming rate. Speech, is only free, if you tow the PC/ leftist line of thought.
Decent will not be tolerated. These are the same people who call conservatives “fascists”. I think it’s time for
the “fascists” to tell these self appointed speech monitors what they really are…..Censors. They also need to
understand there are no censors allowed. If you don’t like what’s said…. tough… I have the right to say it … you
have the right to walk away or disagree…You don’t have the right to censor or infringe on my right to say it.
If you censor or infringe on my rights…. then we’re going to fight.

Karen Tullgren
Karen Tullgren
5 years ago

I already renewed and am waiting for this year’s packet. Thank you and keep up the great work!!!!

PaulE
PaulE
5 years ago

Of course free speech matters. The left has been using political correctness to effectively stifle any speech or views other than their own for quite some time now. This is NOT something new of something that cropped up under Obama. The left has essentially created islands of restrictive speech and thought at almost every college and university in the country. That the American people have stood by silently while this was all carried out is the real shame in all this. I am happy that President Trump is trying to at least lessen the total control the left has over speech and views at our nation’s colleges and universities, but the American people need to push back harder themselves. The idea that so many parents willingly send their children off to be indoctrinated, not in centers of higher earning, but increasingly centers that exist only to preach the values of socialism is insane. Then many of these same parents wonder why when their children graduate, what they get back is something along the lines of AOC. An idiot spouting ridiculous, failed ideas and carrying a mountain of student loan debt.

Brad Krones
Brad Krones
5 years ago

The author is not exaggerating about the assault that is currently ravaging the country’s universities. It is that bad. It is no coincidence that V. I. Lenin’s first act on the very day that he assumed power in Russia was to ban free speech. The leftists who are in charge of America’s education system, being the intellectual progeny of Lenin, understand what is needed to win.

R.S. Helms
R.S. Helms
5 years ago

Posted this to my blog “Bob’s Opinion” … rshelms.wordpress.com well written , timely and on point. Charles, sees the hope that our education system now has a hope to change from a socialist training camps.

Phyllis Armeli
Phyllis Armeli
5 years ago

Boy, in reading this, the words “George Orwell would be so proud”, I thought “how true, how true”. I read 1984 many years ago, never in my
wildest thoughts thinking it would ever come to pass — “newspeak”, “newthink”. How innocent I was. Our country has turned away from righteousness
and if you espouse words or thoughts that are opposite the sadly growing progressive liberal views, you are castigated — both verbally and physically.
Yes, we do need laws that protect speech (especially conservative). Things have gotten out of hand. We have to do something about it!

R.S. Helms
R.S. Helms
5 years ago

Reposted this to Bob’s Opinion rshelms.wordpress.com … Robert B. Charles hits a home run with this timely, reality opinion that shines some hope that our colleges and universities can be the starting point to changing our whole education system to a system of integrity and not a system for socialist propaganda.
Thanks Amac, for having Mr. Charles writing under your Opinion column …

gin
gin
5 years ago

About time! Public schools are completely off the rail, all the way down to kindergarten. They have brainwashed children to the point of perhaps no return.

Joyce
Joyce
5 years ago

Unfortunately this started as far back as Viet Nam. When a high ranking member of the Weathermen becomes a university professor instead of going to prison our society is seriously off kilter. Those people were terrorists of the 1st order. It will take dec ages to help our young people understand what a free society is if we are ever able to do so. This is sad and may forever destroy our country as we have known it.

20MAGA20
20MAGA20
5 years ago

I blame every single conservative alumnus or alumnae who contributes one thin dime to these institutions of brainwashing and behavior modification. Screw the alumni cocktail parties and season tickets to the football games. This is the future of the country we’re talking about. It’s not your old alma mater. It’s an indoctrination center that needs defunded…now. Money talks, bull…well, you know the rest.

Bill TX3
Bill TX3
5 years ago

Socialists (Democrats) plunder not only property of others but their speaking rights. Trump is the last of the protectors of the Constitution and the ideals which made our country great. He is taking action. Stop relying on others to protect your rights. What specifically have you done to show what you believe in?

Diane Puchyr
Diane Puchyr
5 years ago

I totally agree, but I think he should also not allow the taking down of statues. Even if these statues represent past injustice, they are part of our history!

Barbara
Barbara
5 years ago

This country was founded number one on freedom of speech, men and woman have fought and died to give this right to all Americans. If the radicals, socialists, democrats don’t like it they need to leave this country and go somewhere where they don’t have any rights! These people are idiots!

dino
dino
5 years ago

Free speech is in the eye of the beholder.If the liberal socialist dense o RATS don’t approve of it.Well what can I say to them,tough S#$T get a real life,somewhere else,i don’t care where.I am an AMERICAN and you liberals really need to be concerned about what you are dealing with,we will NOT let AMERICA become a third world country.

dave austin
dave austin
5 years ago

Definitely needed, but how do we know this won’t be used against us when the political winds change and is leveraged to force Catholic or Christian schools to allow antagonistic organizations to spew their nonsense there? Remember when Obama tried to force all schools to offer contraceptive devices regardless of religious affiliation? I can see the same thing happen … just a matter of time until they do this unless all schools become pluralistic in their efforts. In short, this executive order needs the same careful scrutiny that it would receive if it went through a bi-partisan drafting process, if just to insure that it won’t be used against our interests.

robert host
robert host
5 years ago

If AMAC believes in Free Speech why do I have to await moderation on what I post on this forum?

robert host
robert host
5 years ago

I am terminating my membership with AMAC for their hypocrisy. The posts I put on were “being moderated” and not posted. Doesn’t seem like free speech to me.

Todd Taylor
Todd Taylor
5 years ago

YES! We all need to be heard.

Linda Zerangue
Linda Zerangue
5 years ago

Well said! The uneducated are easy targets and easy to convince by those who desire to destroy the USA by condemning the tenants of the Constitution and would suggest violence and not civil debate as acceptable.

Doris
Doris
5 years ago

I hope the Education Department will start looking into what is being taught in the elementary and high schools by some of the teachers. I have a 7th grader who has a teacher teaching her students radical ideas and the conservative students are afraid to speak up for fear of getting a bad mark.

Gino
Gino
5 years ago

We must support the president especially with the upcoming impeachment process the liberals are planning

Stephen McLean
Stephen McLean
5 years ago

What is most disturbing is that there is a need for an Executive Order to counter academic resistance to constitutional freedom. However, the commentary speaks truth about this very real situation that has grown out of hand.

David Burkett
David Burkett
5 years ago

It’s about time!

Harry L. Burley Sr.
Harry L. Burley Sr.
5 years ago

Amen and Thank you President Trump. It’s obvious in this Amac writing that College Campuses need to be protected from Liberals who are against free speech and anti Christian ideas and a lot more, the sooner the better. It’s unfortunate that it has come down to this but I have watched this coming for years, and the time is now.

chaly
chaly
5 years ago

The only way to stop this is ‘hurts’! How is it that the leftist scum get to destroy this country while we just watch. It would be better to step up before shooting starts. When that starts the psys won’t have a chance! It would be a good idea to stop liberal educators.

American Believer
American Believer
5 years ago

Sorry, we lost the college campuses a generation ago. The only way to gain them back is to put education back in the hands of the state and start afresh with elementary school. Academia has become addicted to Federal funding, and Congress has become Pontius Pilate.
God bless the charter school and church sponsored private school.

julienne johnson
julienne johnson
5 years ago

Thank you – I agree!

Trish
Trish
5 years ago

I fully support Trump….I can’t believe the thick skin this man has. Most people would have caved and crumbled in his position by now. I pray God protects him and gives him strength to lead us through all this craziness!

JJ Johnson-Smith
JJ Johnson-Smith
5 years ago

Sadly, Free Speech DOES need a Champion and Arbiter, especially since it is the FIRST, Constitutional Right of a free people. Liberals want protections for LGBTQ issues, illegal immigrants, mothers who wish to murder their unborn or newly-born babies, the emotions of snowflakes, assaults on ALL rights that they don’t like,suppression of faith, etc.,etc. Yet they do NOT think the Bill of Rights should be defended? Guess what Snowflakes, it’s going to be defended, now and always, even if I have to do it alone! Want to help? Go to Facebook: Rapid Response Teams of NY. Start YOUR County Team asap!

Kay
Kay
5 years ago

Thank you and God Bless and Protect you, President Trump. You are the best president America has had in many many years. ??

Thomas F Hurd
Thomas F Hurd
5 years ago

It starts way before college. Our children are being taught this garbage in elementary school. We, as Americans, have to be more outspoken and clean up this horrible agenda that is taking over our country.

Keith Mc
Keith Mc
5 years ago

Just part of the liberals & left wingers plan to kill off America from the inside out……

Skyhawk
Skyhawk
5 years ago

Excellent discussion. We will lose our country if we don’t speak out in defense of the Constitution. We need President Trump more than ever, he is not afraid to take on a clear and present danger and the spineless Never Trumpers should start giving credit to this Godsent leader for our times
Let the liberal insults and racist accusations end on dead ears. Truth will overcome

Kathy Thompson
Kathy Thompson
5 years ago

It’s very scarry to think of my 18 yr old grandson going off to college this year. Not because of what could happen to him physically, but because of what his professors may shove down his throat. There are so many antiamerican liberals “teaching” on campuses these days, you just hope and pray he can hold his own against them. He has already come up against this in High school! He says he just doesn’t say anything though he thinks they are wrong.
I’m all for Pres. Trump’s idea of holding back federal funds for universities that refuse to give conservative views equal footing on their campuses. It’s high time we started fighting back. I’m also a veteran and I didn’t serve my country to allow these socialist/communist ideas to get a foothold. I believe in the Constitution and swore to protect it then and have sworn to continue to protect it now.

Lee
Lee
5 years ago

And Gov Cuomo of NY is trying to take away free speech rights by threatening various financial institutions and insurance companies with some type of penalty if they deal with the NRA, an organization that expresses what many people think – it’s a matter of free speech through proxy. That’s what I just read today. Sounds like something NY government would do….

don
don
4 years ago

Wow, aren’t we proud of the demoncrats, all they have done for the country in 3 years, now they are promising more free stuff, i thought we got away from that when nobama left the white house, i guess with all the illegals and those who want free stuff, thats how they will continue to build there party, they sure cant do it by improving the country, unlike Trump, he wants to earn the vote by doing good things for America, the demorats are just the opposite, those who follow that party must be proud, what can we say bad about this administration, not cover what has been done for america, i am sick of it.

don
don
4 years ago

a sad state of affairs, when the President keeps winning and no media other than Fox news even talks about it, why are people listening to the other networks, because of them, nbc msnbc cnn abc and others, talk about empeachment and other negative things, where do they get there marching orders, why don’t they say something positive on occasion, never, it would strenthen the health of this nation, it cant be negative all the time.

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