Commentary: What We Can Learn from the Campus Free-Speech War

Isaac Willour
National Review

Excerpt: In July, free-speech advocates at the University of Connecticut took on a student body hellbent on destroying free speech on campus. One of UConn’s First Amendment advocates was harassed with racial slurs and even received a video of an ISIS beheading. Free-speech debacles such as UConn’s illustrate valuable lessons that advocates of conservatism would do well to bear in mind.

In my discussions with UConn students, both conservatives and those on the Left, I heard one description of the current political climate that piqued my interest. “Liberals give in to radicals too easily, and conservatives have some racism problems.” Innumerable members of the political Right cheer on the former characterization — the latter is met with defensiveness, skepticism, and a hearty chorus of “but look at the Left.” This is why conservatives lose on the culture side. We know that the stereotype isn’t true. But the culture doesn’t, and we won’t fix it by yelling.