College students are becoming hostile toward free speech.
Does the First Amendment protect hate speech?
That’s what U.S. college students were asked last month in a nationwide study to gauge their understanding of the First Amendment. The results were not encouraging.
44 percent of college students said “No” --- that hate speech is not protected under the First Amendment. 16 percent said they didn’t know.
In case any of those students are listening, the correct answer is yes, the First Amendment does protect hate speech. You might find the speech totally disgusting, but hate speech is indeed protected by our Constitution. And if you don’t understand why this protection is absolutely vital, then we need a ton of remedial education.
If there is a speaker on campus that students consider offensive, 51 percent said it’s okay for a student group to shout over the speaker so the audience can’t hear.
Even worse --- 19 percent of college students said it’s okay to use violence to keep a controversial speaker from speaking on campus. Antifa recruiters must be salivating.
Students, here’s another Constitutional right you may not know about --- you have the right to not listen to speakers that offend you.
This advice will be especially handy for Berkeley students next week during their “Free Speech Week.” Stay home. Read a book. Hang out with friends. Go to a concert. Study at the library. Whatever. Just don’t cave in to the lie that you must physically restrain anyone who offends you.
These study results are evidence of out-of-control progressivism. It’s easy to mock, we can blame and point fingers. But what do we do about it? How do we fix such ignorance?
We have to make sure our own house is in order. Parents --- we can’t assume our children are learning the Constitution at school. If we don’t pass that torch in our own homes, you can be sure most schools and universities are not going to get the job done.
How do you tell the good guys from the bad guys?
Look at the Middle East right now in the war on ISIS. ISIS is the obvious easy answer --- definitely bad guys --- but after that, it gets harder and harder to decide who our friends are.
Turkey claims to be our ally, but they’ve been letting terrorists slip into Syria since this entire thing started. And defeating ISIS isn’t even their main objective. Killing Kurds is.
Iran’s another easy one. We don’t consider them allies, but we’ve been flying air support for their proxy forces since this war began. The very same forces that were attacking our soldiers and Marines just a few years ago.
How about Iraq? Most of ISIS’ commanders came from Saddam’s army. When ISIS came back, the Iraqi Army basically just handed them Mosul and half their country, along with all their weapons.
In the entire region, only the Iraqi Kurds held their ground and fought. You might remember the Kurds from the primary debates during the election. “Supporting the Kurds” almost became a unanimous catch-phrase. Out of all the countries I’ve just mentioned, these are the good guys.
It couldn’t be any more obvious, but --- for some reason --- the State Department is having a hard time with this. They announced yesterday that they’re opposing the Iraqi Kurd independence referendum which is happening on Monday. That puts us in alignment with the three countries that I just mentioned: Turkey, Iran and Iraq. Three countries that clearly don’t share our values.
It comes as no surprise to me, but one of the only countries to step forward and support Kurdish independence is Israel. They know what it’s like to be a minority in this area, and have the entire region want to see you fail. Why is it so hard for us to recognize and support those that actually deserve it?
This is the reason our foreign policy is so hard to figure out. It’s time to stop helping those that don’t share our values and stand up for those that do. Only then will we start to win back some of the respect we used to have in this world.
Who supports single-payer healthcare?
A new poll shows that nearly half of Americans support a single-payer healthcare system.
That’s 49 percent of Americans to be exact --- only 35 percent said they opposed such a plan.
In this polling we find two things:
1. A warning
2. A lesson for the way forward
Let’s start with the warning --- the fact that at first glance nearly half of Americans say they would support a single-payer system means we haven’t done our job.
We haven’t done the hard work of educating people about the pitfalls of a one-size-fits-all healthcare system.
But deeper in the polling we find a lesson for the way forward.
There was actually a poll from earlier this summer that found a clear majority --- 55 percent to be exact --- supported single-payer.
That poll also found that once people were educated about the reality of single-payer (i.e. higher taxes and giving up their employer-sponsored plans for government-run plans), opposition to single-payer jumped to 61 percent.
61 percent opposed single-payer once they were educated about what it actually meant.
And that is our lesson.
Education. Education. Education.
The truth is Americans don’t know what single-payer means --- and once they do they’re not fans.
It is our job to make sure that remains true.