GROUPTHINK Installed – College Kids Don’t Really Dig Free Speech


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Several of America’s Founding Fathers have got to be rolling in their graves.  The William F. Buckley Program at Yale University commissioned a study not too long ago from McLaughlin and Associates.  The question?  How is free speech considered on various campuses and what are the attitudes toward it.  New Criterion has the results in their yet to be published November issue, but does give access to a preview.

Out of 800 students surveyed:

  • 51%  “favor their school’s having speech codes to regulate speech for students and faculty”
  • 63% ” favor requiring professors to employ “trigger warnings” to alert students to material that might be discomfiting”
  • 33% do not have understanding that free speech is part of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
  • 35% say that the First Amendment does not protect “hate speech”
  • 30% of “liberal” students say the First Amendment is outdated.

How’s that for the education system (and American parents) failing to make good citizens out of their charges?  Over half the students surveyed think speech on campus should be regulated and a significant percentage think the “First Amendment is outdated.”  As if universal truths and natural law ever die or go out of fashion.  (Remember, this is the future leadership of our country if a college degree is so desirable to run for higher office.)

Determination of what is more disturbing – the idea that freedom is outdated, or that students want a warning before hearing something that might hurt their delicate sensibilities  – has yet to be determined.  But, REALLY?

New Criterion, The Wall Street Journal (in a subscription only piece) and Hot Air all bring up the number of speakers invited to various college campuses and then uninvited once the student body protested their presence.  This is GROUPTHINK installed.  The concept that the university is to be a place where a diversity of ideas is presented challenging the status quo and universal truths in order to better understand them and force young minds to exercise critical thinking is gone.  College, anymore, is the box.  An indoctrination center that is the finishing of the “hostility” toward free speech.  The kids are taught to go along to get along.  That does no good in a democratically elected system of government and society.

So, parents, send your kids to school and college if you must, but be sure they have a library card and access to alternative points of view.  Since the schools have been co-opted for seeding the idea that free speech is outdated and not needed, it’s your job to counter that.

About the Author

Cultural Limits
A resident of Flyover Country, Cultural Limits is a rare creature in American Conservatism - committed to not just small government, Christianity and traditional social roles, but non-profits and high arts and culture. Watching politics, observing human behavior and writing are all long-time interests. In her other life, CL writes romance novels under her nom de plume, Patricia Holden (@PatriciaHoldenAuthor on Facebook), and crochets like a mad woman (designs can be found on Facebook @BohemianFlairCrochet and on Pinterest on the Bohemian Flair Crochet board). In religion, CL is Catholic; in work, the jill of all trades when it comes to fundraising software manipulation and event planning; in play, a classically trained soprano and proud citizen of Cardinal Nation, although, during hockey season, Bleeds Blue. She lives in the Mid-Mississippi River Valley with family and two cute and charming tyrants...make that toy dogs.