Concerned for their physical and mental well-being, conservative Trump supporters on university campuses have requested “safe zones,” seemingly a reversal of position on the legitimacy of the concept and its implications on free expression.
In an editorial for the UNCG Carolinian, Mark Parent wrote:
“Whenever we take sensible and thoughtful positions on abortion, LGBT rights, illegal immigration, political correctness, the minimum wage or the role of government, we are almost instantly targeted by harsh rhetoric and condemnation….It simply hurts our feelings, and it’s offensive.”
“Even though our guy won, our views are not respected,” another student observed. “It didn’t make any sense to me when whiny snowflake liberals were screeching about their feeeeeelings getting hurt — and in fact, it still doesn’t. But now it’s not just words or threats. People are getting attacked! We demand respect, and we need protection.”
For years, thoughtful conservatives have strenuously condemned not only the liberal dogma espoused on college campuses by students, faculty, and administrators alike, but the explicit suppression of contrary politically views. They warned against elevating a non-existent Politically Correct (PC) right not be offended above the First Amendment’s protection of free expression.
In an interview with the Washington Examiner back in February, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai opined, “I think that poses a special danger to a country that cherishes First Amendment speech, freedom of expression, even freedom of association. I think it’s dangerous, frankly, that we don’t see more often people espousing the First Amendment view that we should have a robust marketplace of ideas where everybody should be willing and able to participate.”
But post-election, many conservatives are rethinking this principle, noting that the election’s clear mandate signals the need for change on campus as well. “We won, so we make the rules; that’s how it works,” stated UNCG’s Dean Susan Totherfoot in an exclusive interview by telephone with Bratbreit. “Elections have consequences. Liberals had the run of the field for a long time, but now it’s our turn. To put it bluntly, they need to shut up and listen, and if it takes rules and regulations to make that happen, let’s start writing ’em.”