Ted Cruz: Leftists used to 'defend' free speech. Today they 'silence' it.
- Sen. Ted Cruz says that colleges have been "taken over" by far-left "60s radicals."
- The senator told Campus Reform that while the left used to defend free speech, it now silences free speech.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), in an exclusive interview with Campus Reform, lambasted college administrations and faculties that have been "taken over" by far Left "radicals" and that now silence any views they disagree with.
Cruz, in a recent sit-down with Campus Reform Editor-in-Chief Lawrence Jones, explained the broader effect this has on a college education.
Stating that it is "60s radicals who have taken over the administrations and faculty of universities," Cruz said that the Left is in a "different place" today than it was in past decades." Indeed, the Free Speech Movement began in the 1960s on the campus of the University of California-Berkeley, where protesters have disrupted conservative speakers in recent years and where a conservative activist was punched in the face.
"It used to be the Left defended free speech," Cruz explained. "Now the Left, unfortunately, is afraid of debating on the merits, of a whole host of issues and so they've shifted instead to the view that any views they disagree with need to be silenced, that they need to be muzzled, that they label unacceptable views that are contrary to the orthodox views on the far Left."
More than 50 years after the Free Speech Movement began at Berkeley, a report found that 41 percent of college students nationwide now say that "hate speech" should not be protected under the First Amendment. However, the First Amendment makes no exception for "hate speech." Additionally, students at a Virginia college told Campus Reform's Cabot Phillips back in March that speech they find "offensive" should not be considered free speech, even though the First Amendment also makes no exception for "offensive speech."
Cruz said this type of attitude toward language with which one disagrees could be detrimental to the value of a college education.
"I think that really destroys the whole purpose of a university education, which is to learn, to learn how to think, to learn how to debate, to learn how to reason," Cruz said.
The Texas senator told Campus Reform in the same interview that he supports defunding colleges that do not protect free speech.