President Trump Should Speak at Berkeley
He must demand that our Constitution’s free speech protections, U.S. citizenship laws, and the whole rule of law applies in all 50 states.
If you are not chilled to the bone by the riots that college administrators and campus police allowed to erupt at the University of California at Berkeley on February 1, in response to the campus appearance of a single, mildly provocative conservative speaker, Milo Yiannopoulos, it is your civic duty to watch the videos below.
The power-addicted left has reacted to losing a single presidential election like a big, angry junkie thrashing and clawing for a fix. This national tantrum points up for all Americans just what a cyanide-soaked, exploding plutonium-anthrax bullet we dodged in Hillary Clinton. (NOTE: Raw footage and rough language.)
Progressive elites had soaked in the high-handed, lawless arrogance of Barack Obama, who swept in like a messiah and ruled like an absolute monarch — flouting Congress, falsifying the plain meaning of laws, and abusing executive authority with Nixonian abandon. The same elites had assumed that they would get to finish stuffing the U.S. Supreme Court with leftist judicial activists, and crown it once and for all as a permanent, sitting Constitutional convention. No conservative or Christian voters anywhere in America would really have any voice left after that.
The Left Has Abandoned Persuasion
And that’s the whole point: We’re not supposed to. Our views are illegitimate and evil, and don’t deserve the protection of law from violence and intimidation. It is up to the conscience of any given leftist to decide whether or not the views of a fellow citizen deserve to be tolerated. If they deem you too “offensive,” it’s fine to use force in shutting them down:
- Government force, like California trying to yank routine federal funding to close or de-Christianize schools that followed the Bible on sexual ethics;
- Corporate force, like Marquette University and Providence College acting to remove or harass conservative professors for expressing their views, or DePaul University banning conservative speakers;
- Mob violence, which the “Antifa” thugs used at Berkeley to silence Milo;
- Individual assault, like a punch in the face or a spray of pepper gas aimed at someone whose views are simply “offensive.”
That’s the left’s mode of operating these days: Not just defeating opponents, but stigmatizing, silencing and finally destroying its “enemies.” From Christian bakers and florists to highly accomplished executives like Brendan Eich of Mozilla and TV hosts like the Gaines family; from the Little Sisters of the Poor to wealthy philanthropist Betsy DeVos; no one is too small to escape being targeted, too innocent or eminent to avoid getting battered and smeared.
I’ll Defend to the Death Your Right to Say It
Now some of the views to which leftists object really might be offensive or wrong. We have no sympathy with a white separatist like Richard Spencer — except insofar as he is an American citizen speaking lawfully and civilly about political issues as our Constitution absolutely guarantees him the right to do — without getting sucker-punched by some passing coward.
If leftists decide that his views, or Milo’s campy provocations, or Christina Hoff Sommers’ thoughtful criticisms of feminism, are so dangerous and contemptible that they may use violence to silence them … let’s pause to ask: On that principle, what should pro-lifers do to abortionists?
We know that these people are directly killing Americans by the millions. To avoid civil war, we agree to proceed against these mass murderers within the law. Would the Left like us to abandon that policy? Have they forgotten which side in America’s culture wars joins the army, staffs the police, and treasures its right to keep and bear arms?
The fact that we have to even raise such an appalling prospect points up how hazardous the Left’s lawless use of force has become. Drunk on the self-righteousness of political views that they have never heard challenged — thanks to the tyrants or cowards who run their universities — young leftists are speaking and acting like Spanish anarchists in the early 1930s, whose mob violence and rejection of a democratic election sparked the Spanish Civil War. They might pause to reflect how that war turned out. (There’s a bumper sticker in that: “Act like a Spanish anarchist — expect an American Franco.”)
Time to Reinforce Fort Sumter
We cannot let things in America keep spiraling downward in that direction. We must insist on the perfect legitimacy of the outcome of our elections, and the absolute enforcement of Constitutional rights. Thugs cannot be allowed to shout down speakers at universities, or burn the streets of our cities. School administrators may not enable violent mobs that silence civic speech. State governors and city mayors may not rebel against federal immigration law and collude in flouting it.
Each of these actions is a direct attack on the sovereignty of our government, and hence on every voter and citizen — just as surely as the “massive resistance” employed by Southern segregationists was in the 50s and 60s. It took the force of the federal government to defend the Constitutional rights of black Americans then. Those same rights demand a similar use of force today.
Whatever use of legitimate force it takes to repress mob violence at Berkeley during that speech, the mob cannot prevail.
President Trump is right to threaten the cutoff of federal funds to universities that let hecklers veto or mobs attack American citizens lawfully practicing free speech. But he should go further. He should announce a presidential address, as soon as possible, at the University of California-Berkeley. He should inform the governor of California that the National Guard must cooperate with the Secret Service in guaranteeing order, and the right of the President to speak and citizens to listen.
Whatever use of legitimate force it takes to repress mob violence at Berkeley during that speech, the mob cannot prevail. President Trump should make it clear that anywhere in America where free speech is violently attacked as it was in Berkeley, he will make it his business to visit and insist that our Constitution is still in force.
He must act quickly and firmly, as Ronald Reagan did against campus terrorists back in the 1960s. Expect Americans of good will to unify behind him — and the enemies of freedom to learn their limits. It is the job of the president at times like these to say, as President Lincoln once had to say to a previous generation of thuggish Democrats afraid of losing power: “Thus far, and no further.”