A dangerous and continuing assault on free speech is growing on our campuses and across our society. It is a threatening wave of illiberalism. Tocqueville long ago warned that a tyranny of the majority was the principle danger inherent in any democracy. Majority despotism could overwhelm public discourse, ultimately leading to the danger of a restructured and intolerant government. This despotism, he observed, is rooted within the majority’s values and mores, and pose the greatest threat to liberty.
Tocqueville’s concerns are in full display today at Middlebury College, Berkeley, Auburn and other universities. Protesters at each institution suppressed the expression of political views seen as opposed to their own. These protesters claim their actions are justified because these views offended their sense of social and personal acceptability. And further, they completely silenced these voices before words were ever uttered, deploying uncivilized tactics. In turn, each of these institutions were willing accomplices to the speech suppression. Each was unwilling to create and protect an environment of full and free political speech, a base necessity for any institution of higher learning in the United States. Continue reading “Tyranny of the Majority on Campus – An Assault on Free Speech”