It seems the left is succeeding in their efforts to turn our young people into hypersensitive snowflakes with no understanding of the constitution. A recent poll shows that an alarming majority of students have adopted an “alternate understanding” of the first amendment. Instead of interpreting the first amendment as protecting all free speech, they believe it only protects “non-offensive” speech. The College Fix reports:
In a white paper published last week, Jeffrey Herbst, President and CEO of the Newseum, argues that “an alternate understanding of the First Amendment has emerged among young people.” Herbst, a former professor and university president, writes students today have conceptualized a “right to non-offensive speech.”
Students believe speech that is offensive to a particular group of people should not be protected. Jeffrey Herbst, President and CEO of Newseum, wrote a white paper regarding the issue. He discusses a 2016 Knight Foundation survey:
Only 45 percent of students agreed that “People should be allowed to say what they want in public even if it is offensive to others,” and only 43 percent concurred with the statement that “People should be allowed to say what they want on social media even if it is offensive to others.”
While this report is not surprising, it should be disturbing to all liberty-minded Americans. The attacks on our free speech are becoming more frequent – and aggressive. The left is engaged in a concerted effort to silence opposing points of view. The riots at Berkeley, violence at Trump rallies, and disruption of conservative speeches on university campuses should leave no doubt that our first amendment rights are in danger.
This report is indicative of something even more insidious than the actions of groups like Antifa. Along with using violence to suppress conservative speech, the left is teaching our youth to avoid viewpoints that contradict their ideology. Instead of promoting the free exchange of ideas, they are finding new ways to shut down those with whom they disagree.
It will not be easy to counteract the left’s efforts to circumvent our first amendment rights; the left retains its hold on our universities, entertainment, and news media. Those who value liberty can only hope to protect our right to express our views if we regain control of the overall narrative.
Regrettably, conservatives seem resigned to the notion that the left has won the culture war. However, this does not have to be our reality. Half of the American public rejected the left in the recent election – which means there are significant numbers of people who do not share the Democrat Party’s views. This fact should show us that we have an opportunity to defend the values upon which our nation was founded. We have a responsibility to contend for the liberties the Constitution guarantees us. The reality is this: If we are not willing to stand up to those who wish to silence us, then we deserve to lose the rights we value.