Silencing Conservatives on Campus

March 28, 2016

by Gary L. Bauer


Photo credit: Jennifer Moo via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Photo credit: Jennifer Moo via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Last week, students at Emory University found messages written in chalk at various places on the campus. Some students were traumatized and complained to the administration that they were afraid and “in pain.”

What did they see? Swastikas? Was “KKK” scrawled in large letters on the side of a dorm? Did they see the Arabic writing from the ISIS flag? No. What was so incredibly offensive to these students was, “Trump 2016!”

I thought universities were supposed to be places where the free exchange of ideas was welcomed, where diverse opinions were celebrated. Yet these students are having nervous breakdowns over chalkings of the name of the Republican presidential front-runner. Seriously. Offended students were offered “emergency counseling” by the student government association.

If they need counseling, they may have to get in line behind Emory’s president, Jim Wagner, who has joined in the collective breakdown. In an email to the Emory community, President Wagner stated that his administration was taking steps such as:

Immediate refinements to certain policy and procedural deficiencies (for example, our bias incident reporting and response process); Regular and structured opportunities for difficult dialogues (like the Transforming Community Project of several years ago); A formal process to institutionalize identification, review, and addressing of social justice opportunities and issues.

If I were paying tuition to Emory University, I’d be furious at how my money was being wasted.

Sadly, I suspect if someone had written “Cruz 2016!” the reaction would have been the same. The left is trying to make universities “no-go zones” for conservative thought and opinion.

It started with eliminating conservative speakers. They are going after students who defend traditional values and the state of Israel. There have been physical violence and bomb threats.

I have had to have extra security when speaking on college campuses. Now they are even trying to ban the names of political figures.

The assault on conservative speech at Emory University is worthy of a speech by the speaker of the House. Last week, Paul Ryan condemned harsh rhetoric in our political dialogue. How about a speech condemning the left’s attempt to squelch dialogue on our university campuses?

Gary L. Bauer served in President Ronald Reagan’s administration for eight years, as Under Secretary of Education and as President Reagan’s Chief Domestic Policy Advisor.


Gary L. Bauer served in President Ronald Reagan's administration for eight years, as Under Secretary of Education and as President Reagan's Chief Domestic Policy Advisor.

Archive: Gary L. Bauer