In case you missed it last night, the third Republican presidential debate took place on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder, CO., and the pundits are still trying to figure out the winners and losers of the affair.
During the Rush To Reason radio program on KLZ560—where I am co-producer and co-host—we visited the “Free Speech Zone” to talk with many of the activists who were protesting the Republican event on a variety of issues, which is their constitutional right under the First Amendment’s protection of free speech.
And it’s against this backdrop that a survey has just been released that shows how such protests could soon be a thing of the past.
A new poll indicates that half of the college students in America approve of limits on their speech and the speech of their professors. And even more say that their schools should actively monitor the speech of speakers who come to campus and ban them if their speech is unacceptable.
The results are disturbing, says the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which was created to “defend and sustain” individual rights on higher education campuses:
“At first glance, some of the findings seem to bode well for campus free speech. For example, 95 percent of the 800 college students surveyed said that campus free speech is important to them, and 87 percent agreed that there is educational value in listening to and understanding views and opinions that they may disagree with and are different from their own. However, upon closer examination, the survey reveals some alarming insights into the anti-free speech mentality on college campuses today.”
For example, the poll showed that 32 percent of students could not identify the First Amendment as the section of the Constitution dealing with free speech. And one-third of those who could identify the First Amendment claimed it does not protect “hate speech.”
- 51 percent are “in favor of their college or university having speech codes to regulate speech for students and faculty.”
- 70 percent advocated “disciplinary action” against students and faculty members who might use language “that is considered racist, sexist, [or] homophobic.”
- They even want punishment for those whose language is “otherwise offensive.”
The breakdown of the students interviewed was: 42 percent Democrat, 26 percent Republican and 29 percent independent — or 44 percent liberal, 32 percent moderate and 20 percent conservative.
I have written in the past about the alarming number of people who have become way too comfortable with the idea of surrendering their constitutional rights, so it’s no mystery to me that they remain under assault. But with attitudes like the ones we are witnessing in this survey, we won’t have to worry about losing them.
After all, you can’t lose something you’ve already voluntarily given away.
David Leach is owner and publisher of The Strident Conservative where he is proudly politically-incorrect and always “right,” and he is also a frequent contributor at RedState.com.
His political commentaries can be heard daily on KLZ560 AM at 3pm MST and on other Crawford Broadcasting stations throughout the day.