The suppression of free speech within academia is one of the most serious and pressing dangers that this country is facing. Without the ability to learn and express ideas that expand beyond the accepted liberal dogma, students attending even the most prestigious universities in the country will inevitably be indoctrinated rather than educated.
Of course, indoctrination has long been the end goal of the far left ever since they began taking total control over the education system. Thankfully, this is a plan that Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is attempting to thwart.
During a speech at the National Constitution Center’s annual Constitution Day celebration on September 17, Betsy DeVos said, “Our Constitution became the standard for freedom-loving people throughout the world by design, not by accident. The Framers gathered just a few steps from here 231 years ago – willingly and freely – to discuss, debate and propose to the states a national government that would restrain itself by empowering its people. Our ‘first freedoms’ – and what we do with them – shape our lives. The freedom to express ourselves – through our faith, through our speech, through the press, through assembly or through petition – defines much of what it means to be human.”
She continued, saying, “This freedom, preserved in our Declaration of Independence, comes from the truth that our rights are endowed by our Creator, not by any man-made government. And for a time, that was… ‘self-evident.’ But along the way, these Founding principles have been taken for granted. Today, freedom – and the defense of it – is needed more than ever, especially on our nation’s campuses. … As the purpose of learning is forgotten, ignored or denied, we are inundated daily with stories of administrators and faculty manipulating marketplaces of ideas.”
The stories that DeVos refers too are no doubt unfortunately commonplace. Today, many conservative students are faced with two equally tragic options: either pretend to tow the liberal line for the duration that they are in school, writing their papers with a liberal slant, remaining quiet or espousing views that are not their own during discussions, and overall hiding their true views or risk being ostracized by their professors and fellow students and receiving failing grades on everything they turn in.
Some conservative thought leaders have encouraged students to choose the former option, urging them to play along and earn their education then use that education to further the conservative cause once they graduate. However, the reality that conservative students are forced to suppress their views if they want to graduate should be deeply troubling to everyone regardless of their political affiliation.
It isn’t just conservative students that are negatively impacted by this suppression of free speech, though. Liberal students attending universities where this tragedy takes place are never exposed to views that fall outside their comfort zone. They are never forced to consider alternative viewpoints and are instead taught that anything outside of what they believe and what they are taught is dangerous hate speech.
At one time, universities were intended to open up the minds of students, exposing them to new ideas and opinions and forcing them to draw their own conclusions about politics and the very nature of reality. Today, though, many universities are closing off the minds of their students like steel fortresses, teaching them that not only is their view the only one that is true and moral but also teaching them that any other view they hear should be met with anger and violence.
The fate of our country rests on the youth. One day, the students graduating from these universities will be the ones solely in charge of the courts in America, the American political system, the scientific community, and everything beyond. With this in mind, it becomes our most important duty to ensure that these students are able to freely express their own views and freely access information from across the political spectrum. If we fall short in this task, the future will undoubtedly be very bleak.
There’s a lot of work to be done, and, even if Betsy DeVos tackles the issue with her full effort and attention, fixing the suppression of free speech within our education system will not be done overnight. Still, having a Secretary of Education that at least recognizes the problem is a vitally important first step.
~ American Liberty Report