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Free speech is a right – even if you are a Conservative

America’s schools foster intolerance.  They’ve become places where students are taught not to seek out the truth or the thoughts and opinions of others who disagree with them.

Rather, our schools – particularly our colleges and universities – have become hotbeds of “hard left fascism,” as Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass put it in an opinion article last spring.

The notion that a progressive, leftist culture is firmly entrenched in our schools came to the fore yet again recently when a Rhodes scholar complained that the prestigious scholarship program is biased against conservative viewpoints.  Dan Lubrich, who represents the Rhodes Scholars for Intellectual Diversity, a group advocating for free speech and different viewpoints, went public with a letter he wrote to the Rhodes Trust.  In it, he accused the program of seeking to silence conservative opinion.

The group, itself, states plainly in its online mission statement that the management of the Rhodes scholarship trustees openly oppose diversity of opinion.  “Dissent is all too frequently not countered with facts and reasoned arguments, but with baseless accusations, ad hominem fallacies and outright insults.  Rhodes Scholars for Intellectual Diversity aims to stand firm against the danger of an intellectual monoculture which this entails.”

One recent report, based on a study by the Higher Education Research Institute, shows that liberal professors on our college campuses outnumber conservatives by about five to one.

The virus of leftist bigotry, meanwhile, is spreading.  Across the country, institutions of higher learning are prohibiting anyone with a conservative view from lecturing on campus.  And, in those instances where a conservative is invited to speak, they are likely to be met with violent opposition.

“It’s there in front of you, the thuggish mobs of the left killing free speech at American universities.  The thugs call themselves Antifa, for anti-fascists.  They beat people up and break things and set fires and intimidate.  These are not anti-fascists.  These are fascists.  This is what fascists do,” Kass wrote in his column.

As bad as the violence is, the suppression of free speech has potentially disastrous long-term implications for the nation.  Groups such as Antifa have an agenda – to take down our government.  And, if our liberal educators – wittingly or unwittingly – do not stand up for the rights of those who disagree with their views, our kids will have a grim future to look forward to.

One Antifa unit in Texas, the Red Guards Austin, makes no bones about the intent of their movement: to bring down our duly elected government and replace it with a Communist regime.

We must be aware of these threats against our freedom and not hesitate to stand up for our rights when necessary.

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Dan Weber

President of the Association of Mature American Citizens

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