A little clarification

Here’s a little clarification on the Tech suit, and my thoughts: While I definitely think that the school’s speech codes themselves were a poor use of administrative power, I agree that their selective enforcement was an even worse problem. While conservative students could be disciplined for opposing any PC guideline, any assault on what we would consider “traditional values” by campus Leftists would go absolutely unpunished.

Here’s my problem with the action — actually, with the plaintiffs: one of the lessons arising from this is and should be the practicality of the old adage “There’s No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.” If you want to engage in in-your-face political activism, you can’t expect the “state nanny” to extract you from your difficulties — you must be prepared to take abuse and blowback from all sides.

Likewise, “if you can’t take the heat..,” as they say — in this case, in the form of name-calling, verbal abuse, and protests — then maybe you should pick up a different avocation, and leave activism to others.

The plaintiff with whom I’ve had the most contact — and with whom I conversed in depth when writing my article about the suit itself, which ran on Townhall.com — definitely fell into the latter camp. She was amazed that she was taking abuse, and had severe trouble dealing with it, in my opinion. While this is absolutely normal, she did at the time have the fallback reassurance that all of the heat she was taking was in the name of showing just how selective the enforcement of these rules were; even though her position was bad, her point was getting across louder and clearer than ever.

Now that is gone. The playing field is level, and anything the other side wants to say is completely legal. Some may say that this is a good thing regardless; I don’t disagree. I do think, though, that, for those who have been involved in this with the belief that a victorious outcome would lead to greener pastures and a more tolerant — and tolerated — existence for campus conservatives, a Pandora’s Box of now legal abuse and protest may well have now been opened.

The problem isn’t the action. The problem isn’t the loosening of one-sided rstrictions on free speech. The problem is that now the gloves are effectively off on both sides; no longer can the conservative activists point to discrimination on the part of the administration as the reason for their troubles.

I agree with free speech and a level playing field; however, I just hope that these young, idealistic college students know what it is they’ve set themselves up for — and that they want what it is they’re going to get. As the saying goes, “be careful what you ask for…”


  1. Jeff Emanuel says:

    In the above link, ADF attorney David French brought up some questions which I believe were answered, at least mostly, by this post.

    One other question which he asked was this: “How have Ruth and Orit (the plaintiffs in this case) adopted the tactics of the “radical campus leftists of a generation ago

  2. warrenbanks says:

    Your argument really didn’t answer the questions posed. What rule was ever purposly broken? The rules are specificaly ambiguous. Further, you are not making a clear argument. You seem to come down on both sides of this issue. You really support free speech zones that are in some back room of campus? There are no clear rules as to what is allowed in the speech limited zones. College campuses should be encouraging free speech on a variety of topics. What evidence do you have that the students purposly broke the rules to gain attention? I beleive that challenging unconstitutional laws is a valid tool. Speech codes and Free Speech Zones are all ideas that should be challenged and hurt the educational experience. The Constitution applies everywhere.

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