Why Don’t College Students Believe In Free Speech? Because They Are Taught By Totalitarianism Advocates Like Duke Professors Bill Adair and Philip Napoli. That’s Why.

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In an advocacy piece in The Hill this week, the professors, who teach public policy instructors insist that the breaching of the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters shows that the government must decide what statements and opinions are legally permissible. They wrote in part,

“Last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol was based on lies…The mob that stormed the building was acting on a tidal wave of misinformation about the election that was spread by the president, his fellow Republicans and their supporters using a web of partisan media outlets, social media and the dark corners of the internet.The lies flourished despite an extraordinary amount of debunking by fact-checkers and Washington journalists. But that fact-checking didn’t persuade the mob that stormed the Capitol — nor did it dissuade millions of other supporters of the president. Fed a steady diet of repetitive falsehoods by elected officials and partisan outlets, they believed the lies so much that they were driven to violence.”

“In his first week in office, President-elect Biden should announce a bipartisan commission to investigate the problem of misinformation and make recommendations about how to address it.The commission should take a broad approach and consider all possible solutions: incentives, voluntary industry reforms, education, regulations and new laws.”

Observations:

1. Why are professors who don’t believe in the First Amendment teaching public policy at a major college? The real problem is that these guys aren’t exceptions: a radical professor here and there is fine to stimulate discussion, but faculties have been crawling with Marxists, anti-equality and anti-free speech radicals for decades. Opposition to basic American values is the norm. Free speech and diversity of views on campus is actively discouraged across the country. Naturally, these campus creatures want to transplant a culture of indoctrination (“education”), enforced political conformity (“incentives”) and orders with the threat of punishment (“regulations and laws”) to U.S. society generally—for the greater good, of course.

2. It will come as no surprise to you that Prof. Adair is one of the founders of PolitiFact, the notoriously left-wing biased factchecking operation that is actually a partisan combat organ. (Check the tag.) There is an airtight case on Ethics Alarms that what the professor considers “fact” is largely determined by his ideological tilt. Let’s see: here was the most recent PolitiFact abuse of its claimed mission:

The lesson: Any organization using PolitiFact as a fact-checker has no interest in objectivity, bias, or facts. Ridiculously, conservative commentator Candace Owens had her Facebook post rated “false” when she noted the undeniable fact that Joe Biden was not yet the “president-elect.” The culprit was the infamously partisan, biased and incompetent factchecking organization Politifact, which has made Ethics Alarms news numerous times with its phony factchecking. Owens sued, and Politifact, caught red-handed, had to retract its lie.

This gives context to Floyd and Napoli’s claims of “extraordinary amount of debunking by fact-checkers,” as well as what they would consider a trustworthy “commission.”

3. There was and is plenty of reasons not to trust the 2020 election results, and determining which “lies’ led to a protest and eventually the riot is a completely subjective process, which is why what the professors ask for is guaranteed to be biased and oppressive.

4. As one would expect, the professors are not troubled (at least enough to mention them) at the many actual lies regarding various police-involved deaths of African Americans last year, and those lies also caused riots and deaths. These lies, it is fair to assume, would be regarded as true enough by the lights of the “commission.”

5. Apparently, the professors are unaware that a government program or entity restricting speech on the basis of content would be an unequivocal First Amendment violation. Thus the article is inexcusably ignorant, or sinister, as part of a larger effort to undermine individual liberties with the assumption that the oncoming Democrat-dominated government would be amenable to such desecration of the Bill of Rights.

6. And based on what we have observed and heard, they may be right,

20 thoughts on “Why Don’t College Students Believe In Free Speech? Because They Are Taught By Totalitarianism Advocates Like Duke Professors Bill Adair and Philip Napoli. That’s Why.

  1. I will paraphrase a quote from the film Joker.

    How about another joke? What do you get when you cross a disaffected, alienated, disillusioned people with a BIG TECH ESTABLISHMENT THAT SILENCES THEM AND TREATS THEM LIKE TRASH? I’ll tell you what you get. YOU GET WHAT YOU FUCKING DESERVE!

  2. Robert Reich (just typing his name makes my blood boil) has a new video out, calling for prosecution of Trump supporters for infecting Congressmen. ‘They should be charged with involuntarily manslaughter if any of the Congressmen they infected dies! Two more tested positive as I taped this’

    Greeeeeat idea! Prosecuting people because you think they might have given you a disease. The liberals on my Facebook page are lapping it up, “ I agree they should be prosecuted!”. So much for having any standard of proof. If they can prove unequivocally that any of the congressmen and women who get corona now and have tested positive this week didn’t have Christmas parties didn’t have New Year’s parties never left their homes didn’t have big gatherings, didn’t travel, then I might think it possible they were infected by the people who stormed into the capital. Otherwise, seriously!?

  3. You say : “but faculties have been crawling with Marxists, anti-equality and anti-free speech radicals for decades.”

    “Free speech” of course includes the freedom to hold and promote “Marxist, anti-equality and anti-free speech” views. It can’t be just the freedom to agree with you.

    If you are serious about the very relevant question in your heading, you surely have an obligation to wonder why this ‘mental corruption’ (as you see it) has flourished; and why the ideas you hold to be right have (in your view) withered in the high seats of learning.

    • Agreed. Hence the term “crawling.” In education, a few radicals, extremists,wild thinkers and whack jobs is healthy. Controversy is a healthy ground for critical thought. But education is also critical, as Adam Smith among others emphasized, for reinforcing the values of a culture and passing them down to the next generation. A culture that allows its educational institutions to do the opposite, to undermine traditional values and remove the intellectual foundation of that culture, is committing slow motion suicide. This is why conservatives insisting on intellectual and ideological diversity in colleges and universities are correct; unfortunately, by the time they started insisting, they had already allowed the situation to get out of control.

      It’s a big ethics question, or many: how does an educational institution support free expression while maintaining some crucial standards? (Should there be courses in racist ideology because some professor believes one race is inferior or superior? Should such a professor be hired? Are there such things as toxic ideas? There are, but who gets to designate them? Should the market decide what the balance should be? What are the responsible limits of academic freedom? Is freedom of expression for students have the same standards of freedom of expression for instructors?

      It’s an excellent point and issue, Andrew, thanks. It should have been alluded to in the post: my fault.

      • “How does an educational institution support free expression while maintaining some crucial standards?”

        The problem is that you can’t. You cannot have a civilized society if you allow uncivilized people in, let them be uncivilized, and give them equal rights. You cannot have a free society if you let elitists in, let them be elitist, and give them equal rights. In a survey on faculty hiring, it was found that 35% of Republican faculty would not vote to hire the most qualified candidate if they were a Democrat. That may sound bad, but about 75% of Democratic faculty said they would not hire the best candidate if they were a Republican.

        Let’s start with 100 Republican faculty and 10 hires/year. Because the country is ~50% each party, 5 Democrat and 5 Republican candidates are the best candidate each year. Since the committee is all Republican to start, 5 Democrats are hired.

        After 10 years, 50% of the faculty are now Democrats. At this point, some of the hiring committees randomly have 3 or 4 Democrats (on a committee of 5) and they begin to block Republicans from being hired. The percentage of Democrats goes up. Republicans can never block a good Democrat because of their values. Once the faculty reaches ~65% Democrat, it almost becomes mathematically impossible for another Republican to be hired. The situation won’t change.

        This situation happens in all cases when market forces can’t destroy the entity. We can see what happens to Google and Twitter. If Parler were allowed to continue, it would mean the end of Twitter rapidly due to their derangement. You can see the quality decline in Apple and Google as ideology takes over.
        Apple Computers
        1978: Soft sectored floppy disks, expansion ports
        Late 1980’s: Mass-market GUI and laserprinter combo = desktop publishing
        1990’s – RISC processors, desktop video editing
        2000’s: UNIX to the desktop, online services, online music, iPods, iPhones
        2010’s: More expensive iPhones, more censorship

        Only if they can maintain monopolies or become government entities can they stave off the ultimate collapse caused by leftism. Look at how bad our schools are? What percentage of our public schools would survive if the government allowed you send your kids anywhere you wanted and sent the tax support to the school of your choice?

  4. I cannot describe the steady stream of electoral claims from Trump, Lin Wood, Sidney Powell et al. as anything other than lies. But I can’t help but wonder, if the fact-checkers and journalists been trustworthy and impartial, would they have succeeded in persuading the Capitol mob? This was a choice they made: to sell their credibility in order to advance their own political agenda. Now that they have no credibility left to trade on, they don’t get to blame it on the First Amendment.

  5. Jack wrote:

    Why are professors who don’t believe in the First Amendment teaching public policy at a major college?

    There is the easy answer and the more nuanced one. Let’s start with the easy answer: The school administration hires mostly leftist authoritarians to teach its classes.

    The more nuanced answer is that there many more teachers that lean to the Karl Marx side of ideology than the alternative. As a result, at the high levels of any discipline, there are so many more good “Marxist” candidates available that it’s hard to blame schools for placing them in their institutions. You have to fill the slots with somebody. People who think like Marx see the First Amendment as an impediment to their preferred government, hence, they are always looking for ways to abridge or eliminate as much of it as possible.

    Also, lets be honest with ourselves — there is a significant demand among the elite for an education from the perspective of a leftist ideology, and those are the people who send their offspring to schools like Duke. Many parents want their kids to be taught how to be good Marxists, because that’s what they believe. All this goes back to the takeover of school administration by the Left beginning back in the 1930’s by John Dewey and his colleagues, and what we are seeing is exactly what we should expect — parents wanting their kids to think like them.

    The current situation has been nearly 100 years in the making. It’s hard to imagine anything short of a government-mandated curriculum overcoming it without a similar decades-long effort to reverse it.

    2. The Left learned long ago that the best way to suppress speech is to a) describe certain categories as “falsehoods” by providing a counter-argument declared as “truth,” even if it could only rationally be viewed as an opinion at best; b) appealing to authority and the wisdom of the crowd; and c) using arguments and anecdotal evidence of how such speech puts people in “danger.” Dangerous speech, they reason, can be lawfully removed from the protection of the First Amendment under the same rubric as shouting “fire in a crowded theater.”

    In days past, Americans would’ve laughed off such silliness. But the law-and-order right made zero tolerance a socially-acceptable thing. The left is using that same appeal to safety to attempt to criminalize speech, which just goes to show you that the road to Hell is still paved with good intentions.

    3. Jack said: There was and is plenty of reasons not to trust the 2020 election results, and determining which “lies’ led to a protest and eventually the riot is a completely subjective process, which is why what the professors ask for is guaranteed to be biased and oppressive.

    While this is true, it’s easy to couch objections to any election as seditious, especially so given the absence of hard evidence of substantial irregularity. The Right has raised the same sort of arguments in past elections when the Democrats objected. It was wrong then and it’s wrong now, but sauce for the goose…

    4. Right and Left both ignore inconvenient facts. Thankfully, around here, we don’t.

    5. Jack said: Apparently, the professors are unaware that a government program or entity restricting speech on the basis of content would be an unequivocal First Amendment violation.

    See 2) above. They are trying to build a case to remove “dangerous” speech from FA protection. The big question is, will the courts go along? As we have seen, some will, but the appeals courts so far have held the line. So far.

    Anytime you want to transition a government to a new system, a good first step is to de-legitimize the existing system as threatening innocent (and especially, “of color”) lives and touting the new one as offering a “safe space.” These terms have become de rigueur at the overwhelming majority of colleges in this country. What is now in the schools will soon be sitting in our government halls. As “safetyism” gains more currency with the public, calls to suppress “dangerous” speech will get louder and louder.

    How long the courts can hold out is anyone’s guess. Probably not much longer than it takes to install a permanent Leftist government…

  6. I am a big time theoretical conspiracy theorist. Regarding the pending Trump impeachment and the theory that he can still be impeached after he leaves office and is no longer removable, does that mean that in two years, if and when the Republicans take back control of the House and Senate, that they can then go back and impeach Biden from the office of vice-president for his actions in interfering in the Ukraine Barisma investigations? And if he were convicted and declared no longer eligible to hold public office, would that force his removal as President, thereby making Harris the President? And if so, suppose the current Congress figures that out and votes to impeach in an effort to make Harris President and all the Republicans wind up voting in Biden’s favor. back in the Clinton impeachment, I theorized that Clinton would resign, and let Gore become President if and only if Gore would name Hillary as vice-president. Gore would then be taken out on the campaign fund-raising scandal, and Hillary would be President. Political conjecturing is always fun.

  7. They want the government to regulate speech, to prevent the president from lying.

    They also seem to not comprehend that the president is the head of government, and would thus get to decide what is true.

    Idiots.

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