Free speech takes the L at Berkeley

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

JOE COOPER | MANAGING EDITOR

In a major victory for campus leftists and opponents of free speech, Ann Coulter canceled her scheduled speech at UC Berkeley. This move came after law enforcement warnings that there would be violence on the campus if Coulter went through with her speech, as well as the Young America’s Foundation’s decision to no longer support her speech.

This decision is a big mistake and will only lead to more defeats like this one. Coulter’s decision sets a dangerous precedent that if liberals threaten violence, they can get anything they don’t like canceled. This same thing could happen to more conservative speakers, and even moderates. Anyone who opposes the progressive agenda of ‘social justice’ and socialism is at risk of facing violent opposition to any political speech or event they want to hold or take part in. Student-led political activism could also face the threat of violent violence caused by offended liberals.

No matter what political views are being expressed, no matter how ‘extreme’ or ‘offensive’ they are, they should be allowed to be freely expressed without fear of violence from the other side of the aisle (usually the left side). Freedom of speech is among the most important values that we as Americans hold and should be protected at all costs. Unlike the right to freedom of speech, there is no such thing as the right to not be offended. The only acceptable way to express disagreement with opposing viewpoints is through peaceful protests.

UC Berkeley used to be known as the ‘free speech capital’ of the United States. Thanks to the ‘tolerant’ liberals we all know and love, this distinction no longer applies. All over the country, conservative thought is being suppressed, labeled as ‘fascist,’ and ‘protested’ by violent means. Free speech is especially under attack on college campuses, where political correctness is mandated and the truth is considered hate speech.

Conservatives cannot back down to the demands of crazed, anti-free speech progressives – not if we want to keep our freedom of speech. Backing down to liberal demands will only give them the upper hand, and the ability to decide what kind of speech is acceptable. For the sake of free speech, conservatives must stand up for their views, and stand up to the people who would rather have riots than talk about politics with those with whom they disagree.

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