The Boy Who Cried “Left-Wing Mob”: How Campus Free-Speech Rhetoric Must Change | OPINION

Shane Patrick
The Princeton Tory

Excerpt: “Beware of the left-wing mob.” It’s an oft-repeated slogan among proponents of free speech on college campuses around the country and certainly at Princeton. The Princeton Open Campus Coalition (POCC), the organization dedicated to the promotion of free speech on this campus, made it the focus of its signature event this year, “Mob Rule: The Illiberal Left’s Threat to Campus Discourse.” POCC brought in some high-profile speakers for an interesting panel discussion, but unfortunately the event’s headline performer—the so-called left-wing mob—failed to show.

I think that the event and the absence of the “mob” bring to light a key flaw in campus free-speech rhetoric: its dependence on enemies to legitimize itself.