It’s happened. Jonathan Turley, a renowned professor at George Washington Law School and legal scholar, is calling for federal government action in order to protect free speech — especially on our nation’s college campuses. Shocking? It’s not shocking at all.
This reality is both profound and ominous. Here’s another:
Turley wrote this in a recent email to The College Fix:
The greatest risk is that the government may not protect free speech, but rather favor certain speech.
As I transcribed Professor Turley’s quote, I thought: “Big Tech is already here; can the Democrat Party follow?” And then I thought, “It’s already trying like hell.”
Turley’s July 9 Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy article Harm and Hegemony, The Decline of Freedom of Speech in the United States (published by Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy) was Turley’s email. In it, Turley defended limited government intervention to protect First Amendment rights. Turley explained to The Fix that his proposals were structured to limit government intervention to content-neutral measures that protect the diversity of views.
Turley stated that “any effort to strengthen free speech values the United States must concentrate on universities,” Turley said, “which play an essential role as enclaves of political and intellectual discourse.”
Campuses of higher education are the places where intolerance is most extreme. Journalists, academics, and other journalists are ultimately responsible for the loss of freedom of speech values in the country.
Turley’s observation contains many examples of irony. Turley’s observation is filled with irony. “Higher education” today’s hallowed halls are no longer a place for higher education. Groupthink and threats to retribution have replaced open discussion and vigorous debate, and I dare say disagreement.
Tolerance and inclusion are no longer defined by the left. They now refer to intolerance and exclusion for anyone who is openly and willingly accepting of leftist ideology. Turley’s observation that people with opposing views remain silent, in large part due to the reality of my paragraph above, couldn’t have been more accurate.
Turley offers several options to limit free speech on campuses. One solution is to make federal funding conditional upon compliance with the principles of free speech. Amen.
Turley expressed reservations about federal intervention too much, stating that while he supports limited federal action, he also calls for “limited federal action.”
It is obvious that America’s universities have rewritten the notion of free speech. Although college campuses were once hotbeds of dissension, such as at Berkeley and the University of Wisconsin–Madison decades ago, suppression of speech or blatant censorship is now the norm.
The Harvard article Observed Turley:
Advocates of harm-based speech control today turn this idea on its head, treating censorship like a form of self-defense. This is the flawed logic behind campus’s common belief that interrupting or blocking speakers is a form of free speech.
Although protests do not tend to be dialogic between the opposing parties, they can be part of larger dialogues in which positions and points are articulated. Today, protests are often focused on stopping speech and entering areas where speakers can shout or shout.
What happens when a protest becomes a denial of freedom of speech?
Turley wrote that “it also happens when protesters block access to speaking areas.”
This is a form of protest, but also a way to block speech. The doctrine’s meaning will be lost or compromised if it is not allowed to be debated. This could lead to the doctrine losing its vital impact on character and conduct. The model of tolerance is rejected by contemporary anti-free speech arguments, whether they are explicitly or implicitly.
Turley finally told The Fix:
Freedom of speech is like water. It tends to find a way. It is part of our DNA. These anti-free speech measures are against the natural instinct of people to voice their opinions and express themselves.
Professor Truly’s warnings are already present on college campuses, in corporations, as well as on Facebook and Twitter, the so-called “mainstream media”, Disneyworld, and elsewhere.
Although the idea of censorship is a violation of freedom-loving Americans, it is frightening that so many Americans fear openly expressing their opinions.
This last line has always been the left’s intention from the beginning.