William and Mary’s student newspaper on academic freedom, with a major blast against conservative attempts to silence dissenting faculty:
At the latest Conservative Political Action Conference, Ann Coulter proposed her own strategy to take back the universities by holding professors accountable with what she termed a “new McCarthyism.” It received an enthusiastic reaction among the mostly student crowd. Ignoring the term she used (mostly to bait any undercover progressives who noticed), essentially her argument is to make “treason as unutterable on college campuses as racism.” Presumably, Americans will become “a protected group.”
The problem with this strategy is it simply expands the boundaries of political correctness and doesn’t directly confront the philosophy of multiculturalism that pervades campus Leftism. The emotional satisfaction of getting a few commie scalps does not justify ceding the Left the moral high ground of free speech or academic freedom. Conservatives should focus on de-politicizing universities as much as possible, not emulate liberals and terrify professors. Right wingers must end the symbiotic relationship between activists of Left and Right. We cannot play on the progressives’ terms and engage in a battle we can not win.
Let professors teach, be they Reds or Republicans. Let protestors protest, and let multiculturalists actually believe the crap they spew. Conservatives should identify themselves as the party of free speech on campus. We should combat serious ideas with serious ideas and treat speech codes or attempted guilt trips with contempt and defiance. We should never sacrifice someone like Professor Hoppe to silence someone like Professor Churchill. If we can’t beat some ethnic studies punk in the realm of ideas and have to resort to censorship, then we don’t deserve to win.