Free speech does not cease, especially in a nation predicated upon individual liberty, nor does it inevitably qualify as “hate speech” simply because you disagree with or are deeply offended by the personal beliefs of others. There are no ‘safe spaces’ from the self-inflicted micro-aggressions of reality…i e., one’s own insecurities or deep-seated biases. Tolerance, disregarding the newly socially engineered version that slanders or threatens divergence, is a prerequisite of free will and the fundamental crux of open and constructive discourse; a Socratic ideal colleges should be obstinately preserving rather than forcibly constricting in the name of fostering political uniformity. Students, our own sons and daughters, should never be afraid to speak their mind out of fear of condemnation or retribution in our institutions of higher learning, let alone in the sovereign confines of a constitutional republic that openly rebelled against intrusive government, religious persecution, and the oppression of mankind’s natural born rights. If the immediate goal is to label all conservative views as hate speech, then the ultimate objective is the dissolution of our nation’s founding premise and the justified demise of due process. Tyranny goes by many names and you don’t have to be a college student to matriculate into the baited den of madness. One merely must realize that totalitarianism is a futile endeavor because human nature, regardless whether America is buried and replaced by the most progressive state, will always challenge the limitations of any authoritative society that seeks to stifle our unique faculties and man’s innate desire to be free.
To quote Voltaire, and rejoice in the “Common Sense” of Thomas Paine, I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it. Democrat, Republican, liberal, conservative, Christian, atheist, white, black, gay, straight, rich, poor, Trump, Sanders or Hillary…to bask in the light of liberty, the transcendent gifts of humanity’s intellectual, spiritual and empathetic prowess, is to shed the shackles of silence. I would much rather embrace the uncertainties of individuality, encourage the open exchange of competing ideas to challenge my convictions and unearth the best possible solutions, than to faintly exist amidst the blaring stigma of stereotype to justify mass conformity. Progress, our insatiable thirst for excellence and innovation, isn’t born solely from the comfort of serenity or the pulpit of self-righteousness; it is most often forged from the fires of failure, dissent, necessity and most notably, self-discovery. Two and a half centuries of Americans didn’t toil and sacrifice so their tepid descendants could bite their tongue and recoil in fear amidst the Orwellian tactics of political terrorists. They risked their lives and the welfare of their children so the flame of freedom, the very First Amendment of our inalienable Bill of Rights, would endure without refrain or regret. The unfiltered voices of free will knew what it meant to be an American; more succinctly, they overwhelmingly believed their liberties were a birthright, derived from the grace of God, and not the ransomed property of any rogue government or fascist movement.