“Ann Coulter is definitely not the hill to die on.”
—-Patrick Boldea, 19, one of five Berkeley Republicans interviewed for the New York Times story, “Life and Combat for Republicans at Berkeley.”
Boldea was talking about the recent controversy over Berkeley’s de facto blocking of conservative troll Ann Coulter’s scheduled speaking date at his college because of “safety concerns,” which only means that she was in effect censored because of threats from left-wing student and faculty totalitarians, which comprise most of the student body there.
“She has an image that’s been tainted by a lot of horrific statements,” he explained.
Yes, and that’s exactly why Ann Coulter is the perfect “hill to die on,” just as the Nazi marchers in Skokie was the best possible hill for the ACLU to die on…except the ACLU didn’t die in that episode. To the contrary, it established its integrity as a champion of the First Amendment.
Boldea doesn’t understand the principle of free speech, which is unnerving. If young conservatives and Republicans don’t understand freedom of speech sufficiently to fight for it, what hope is there for core American values and personal liberty? Young liberals and Democrats—and a frightening number of older ones—clearly neither understand nor support free expression, unless it is attacks of the President, conservatives and Republicans.
Jack Foley, another perverse Republican student interviewed for the article, notes,
“There’s this idea that speech is violent, that simply by espousing a view that you don’t like I am attacking you, I am oppressing you, I am assaulting you. That view is fundamentally incompatible with a Western, liberal democratic society.”
Bingo. Yet that anti-democratic concept is being drilled into the brains of young college students across the country. Unlike Boldea, Foley understands why Coulter, as revolting as she is, properly challenges the leftist assault on opinions they find “offensive.” Foley adds,
“[B]y inviting controversial folks like Ann Coulter, Milo Yiannopoulos, David Horowitz, whoever, it’s a way to test the right to free speech that they should be entitled to for right or wrong.”
Bingo. I wonder where he learned that? Certainly not at Berkeley. Maybe he did some reading on his own, like, say, the Bill of Rights, or the Supreme Court opinions on freedom of speech. The First Amendment isn’t needed to protect responsible, popular, moderate speech. It is specifically designed to protect unpopular speech that the majority and those in power regard as inflammatory, insulting, infuriating, misleading, and wrong.
Ann Coulter, provocateur, master of political incorrectness, uncivil performance artist, conservative jerk extraordinaire, is exactly what the First Amendment exists to protect, and that makes her the Bunker Hill of campus speakers.
Anyone who doesn’t see that immediately takes free speech in this country too much for granted, something that is as perilous now as at any time in our history.