The End Of The First Amendment
Last week, I visited the University of California, Berkeley.
The preparations for the visit were patently insane. First, the school charged the sponsor group, Young America’s Foundation, a $15,000 security fee. Then, the school blocked off the upper level of the auditorium, fearful that radicals from the violent far-left-leaning group Antifa would infiltrate the speech and begin hurling objects from the balcony onto the crowd below. Finally, the school ended up spending some $600,000 on additional policing, including the creation of cement barriers and hiring of hundreds of armed police officers for a prospective riot.
All this so that I could deliver a speech about personal responsibility and individualism.
Good for Berkeley for doing its job. Bad for the students and outside agitators who made it necessary. Unfortunately, the bad actors are becoming more prominent and more popular. At The University of Utah, we’re already hearing rumors of unrest. And, according to an astonishing new survey from Brookings Institution, such idiocy is set to multiply: A full 44 percent of students said that the First Amendment does not protect “hate speech”; a majority of students, 51 percent, said that they would be in favor of students shouting down a speaker “known for making offensive and hurtful statements”; 19 percent of students said the use of violence against controversial speakers would be acceptable.