An oped was printed in Princeton University's newspaper this week attacking conservatives' right to free speech, and it's already going viral.
In his oped, Princeton student Ryan Born wrote:
Conservatives would have you believe that their insistence on free speech is related to a desire for intellectual diversity and openness of discussion. When conservatives appeal to “free speech,” it is actually a calculated political move, designed to open up avenues of political discourse while shaming others from moving in active political opposition. I argue that when conservatives resort to this move, they can be safely ignored, as they are appealing to a right that does not exist. In my belief, when conservative ideas are opposed, there is no right that is being infringed.
Because “free speech” is a cornerstone of our rights under the Constitution, it can appear that conservatives’ socially free speech has this constitutional tradition as its backbone. However, this speech is something much different. As seen with many conservative groups, such as the Princeton Open Campus Coalition, conservatives are interested in being able to propose their ideas without any political opposition to their right to speech. I am not arguing that conservatives do not expect intellectual opposition to their content; instead, I am arguing against their right to be heard and accepted. I should clarify that I use “conservative” broadly to mean both those politically opposed to progressive aims, but also in particular to refer to those who invoke “free speech” to defend their access to political debate and to forestall political opposition to their viewpoints.
This oped perfectly exemplifies the attitude of liberal college students in this country today. Liberal students have rejected the idea of having thought-provoking political debates and have instead resorted to completely silencing conservative voices. They have turned their schools into "safe spaces" where they aren't "triggered" by those who oppose their liberal views.
Liberals spend much of their time advocating for equality and freedom for all, but they don't believe conservatives deserve these same rights. While they advocate for minorities to raise their voices, they also fight for conservatives to be silenced. This has been proven time and time again this year, most notably at University of California, Berkeley, where liberal students launch violent protests each time a conservative is scheduled to speak on campus. Berkeley students have been so successful in these protests that their school has been forced to cancel numerous conservative speakers due to security concerns.
Opeds like Born's are why an increasing number of conservative college students say that they are afraid to "come out" as Republicans to their peers. They don't feel free to express their conservative views due to fears of social repercussions, so they often remain silent and allow their liberal peers to continue living in their "safe spaces" unchallenged.
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