Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Cornell After Coulter: The Value of Free Speech

By Gabriel Levin

Last month, Republican pundit Ann Coulter came to Cornell for a sold-out talk at the invitation of campus conservatives. Twenty minutes into her hour-long event, she left frustrated. The continued outcry of protesters in the auditorium drowned out her voice. As long as she was onstage, she could hardly get a word in. The interrupters appeared to operate according to a systematic plan to silence her. Once one had disrupted the proceeding and was escorted out, another began heckling, then another, and still more until she was finally taunted offstage. Although I deeply oppose just about everything Coulter stands for, my support for her right to freely express herself overshadows our stark political differences. I condemn those hecklers.

For democracy to succeed, America must be a marketplace of ideas where no viewpoint, even one fueled by hatred, can be suppressed simply because others object to it. We should resolve our political differences through rigorous, civic-minded debate, sometimes with those whom we deeply disagree with. Screaming contests aimed to silence are never justified.

“If you want to really discredit somebody in an academic community, you challenge them intellectually,” Prof. Richard Bensel, government, told me. “Anger doesn’t do that.” Had those hecklers wanted to change the opinions of conservatives at Cornell, they would have disciplined their outrage into a well-reasoned argument. Instead of jeering her offstage, they would have challenged Coulter’s hateful rhetoric during the Q&A segment. Now, Coulter is raking in undeserved publicity from the spectacle. All the interrupters did was harden the opinions of conservative students, many who are not racists and might have been jarred out of their complacency by a frank discussion of Coulter’s bigotry.



My other blogs. Main ones below:

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com/ (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

https://immigwatch.blogspot.com/ (IMMIGRATION WATCH)

https://awesternheart.blogspot.com/ (THE PSYCHOLOGIST)

http://jonjayray.com/blogall.html More blogs


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