Well-known journalist John Leo has a must-read piece in January’s City Journal that does a great job of summing up the threat to liberty on America’s college and university campuses and how it threatens freedom for all Americans. Drawing parallels between the environment for speech on our nation’s campuses and then increasing hostility towards free speech abroad, Leo’s piece finds a disturbing trend towards conditioning “freedom” of speech on the unpredictable reaction of others. FIRE is also mentioned prominently in the article as “the most relentless” of the organizations that have taken up the battle for free speech on campus in the past decade or so.
Leo’s article is a needed reminder that freedom of speech—along with the other foundational freedoms of our nation—is not something that should be taken for granted. America has long been conspicuous in the amount of freedom that it affords its citizens compared to other nations. Unfortunately, many on the university campus seem to be determined to set an example for the rest of the country that consists of repression and censorship in the name of sparing the feelings of others. Those who care about preserving liberty will find fodder for both concern and hope in Leo’s article.