College campuses have always been the training grounds for our future leaders and thinkers, and it is on these campuses that civilization is shaped and built. From company CEOs to Presidents of the United States, almost every one of our leaders began their journey in higher education. Traditionally, colleges have always been places of liberal thought and exploration, where students are free to develop new ideas that challenge society’s norms and preconceptions, without fear of persecution by the conservative and traditionalist masses. Academics and free thinkers have advanced our society’s norms and given birth to many of the ideas we now cherish in the west – tolerance, freedom for women, freedom for minorities, abortion rights, and the concept of an equal society. Today however, this culture of liberal thought is under threat, as old and discredited beliefs begin to infiltrate campuses in an ever evolving set of disguises, in an attempt to take hold in the minds of young people and undo decades of social progress.
There was a time when right-wing extremism was generally accepted in society, and freely reared its ugly head without fear of reprisal. However as society progressed, such views were increasingly shunned, and right-wing extremists were forced to mask their hateful views in order to fit into society. Now that such hateful views are no longer acceptable in society, right-wingers have had to find other ways to make their views more palatable to modern Americans. Ideologies like libertarianism have quietly invaded the minds of young people, carrying with them the very same hateful views once thought to have been exterminated from liberal college campuses.
Presidential candidates like Ron Paul and Donald Trump have made matters far worse. Not only have these candidates reintroduced extremism into the public eye and undone decades of progress in America and all of the world; they have also emboldened America’s closet fascists who now openly admit their hateful views without fear of criticism from their fellow Americans, the media, or the international community. Libertarians and Trump supporters masquerade as free thinkers who believe in equal rights for all, but delve a little deeper into what they actually believe, and you’ll soon discover the same detestable conservative dogma that progressives have been fighting for decades.
I’m a liberal, and I believe in Free Speech. But just as with all principles, there are exceptions, and hateful right-wing views simply aren’t acceptable in a forward-thinking liberal democracy. We desperately need to silence those who seek to destroy the only bastions of liberal exploratory thought and expression that have allowed us to shape the world for the better. We simply have no choice but to restrict bigoted conservative views on college campuses, whether by legally prohibiting these perspectives, or by vetting potential students for such views before accepting them. I wish we lived in a tolerant society where free speech could be upheld without exception, but unfortunately the consequence of doing so in today’s society would be a regression to the bigoted ways of the past. I firmly believe that it is only through preservation of open and tolerant college campuses, that our nation and the world can continue to progress.