Princeton University building

The “hallowed halls of academia.” None more so than those of the Ivy League.

Protests against conservatives invited to speak on campuses across the U.S. have been widely reported — most recently, famed Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz's threat to sue the University of California, Berkeley, if the school refuses to alter its campus speakers policy.

Now, a Princeton University student has come right out and admitted it: Conservatives don't have the same First Amendment rights to free speech as do liberals.

Writing in an op-ed for The Daily Princetonian headlined “Speech is free,” student Ryan Born argued, in part:

It seems that, nowadays, cries for free speech' ring from campus to campus. The term has become quite famous and quite popular. Perhaps it owes its popularity to how vague it is.

It generally comes from conservatives in response to some sort of censoring of ideas.

In its own way, “free speech'” has become conservatives' rhetorical weapon of choice, defended by right-leaning groups and thinkers both on and off campus.

Mr. Born, who is too young to remember, and much too “progressive” to care, is obviously, and ironically, unaware of the 1965 UC Berkeley “Free Speech Movement.”

Moreover, being the cynic most “progressives” are — cynical against anything and everything that contradicts their narrative, that is — Born argues conservatives' “insistence on free speech” is nothing more than a “calculated political move”:

Conservatives would have you believe that their insistence on free speech is related to a desire for intellectual diversity and openness of discussion.

When conservatives appeal to free speech, it is actually a calculated political move, designed to open up avenues of political discourse while shaming others from moving in active political opposition.

Not to nitpick, but a liberal accusing conservatives of “shaming others” is laugh-out-loud, yeah, laughable.

Anyway, so what does the “enlightened” Mr. Born suggest?

I argue that when conservatives resort to this move, they can be safely ignored, as they are appealing to a right that does not exist. In my belief, when conservative ideas are opposed, there is no right that is being infringed.

There you have it. Conservative speech in 2017 America is not subject to the same First Amendment protection as is liberal speech.

Just for grins, let's do a bit of analysis on this comment from Born:

[Free speech] has never been a right in private, nor at a university. If one presents an idea, one must be prepared to receive some type of response.

Hmm. You 'spose Born applies the same “logic” to National Football League players who continue to protest the national anthem — to the detriment of team owners (including those who continue to allow the protests), the league's popularity, and mounting revenue losses?

Of course not. Then again, if so, he wouldn't be a “progressive,” would he?

Incidentally, to be fair, 15 Ivy League professors penned an open letter to incoming freshmen in September, admonishing them to “think for yourself.”

Clearly, Ryan Born would add: “Just don't say it out loud.”

Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.

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