Regarding the April 27 news article “Legislators enter fray over free speech”: The First Amendment applies on campuses as elsewhere, but, as in a crowded theater, there are limits.
Speech or other activity inhibiting a university’s function can be limited. Rabble-rousing has served Republicans well, so they may want to see it on college campuses, but to what purpose?
In the unconstrained capitalist dog-eat-dog competitive game that conservative commentator Ann Coulter touts, there’s nothing to stop big dogs from destroying the game board. Coulter touts free speech, too, and capitalism as applied to propaganda. But consider competition between someone who will say or do anything for personal gain and someone who serves both self-interest and social welfare.
In such a contest – between two-fisted self-interest with no pulled punches and someone who ties one hand behind his back – fighting to maintain civility, honesty and realism so as not to destroy the game board of civil discourse, unfettered self-interest wins.
Sensationalist populism already is in our government. The duty of universities is to preserve the liberal game board from which new information flows, before any professional rabble-rouser’s “free speech.”