Free-speech posturing by a president who hates free speech

There’s a frequent misunderstanding that the leaders of the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley in 1964 had been totally left-wing radicals.

Being Berkeley, the administration was merely largely left-wing radicals. Leavening the dough was a healthful sprinkling of unusual conservatives and libertarian activists.

Libertarianism has always had a small, company base throughout the Berkeley scene. The one place in town the place people of all political stripes, from Trotskyites to Berkeley College Republicans, cross paths is Top Dog, the great sausage stand based mostly throughout the speedy aftermath of the FSM. Sarcastic motto, which has been on the wall — along with innumerable Ludwig von Mises tracts — since I was a scholar there 40 years previously: “Believe what you’re told; there’d be chaos if everyone thought for themselves.”

Because the mini-riots in Sproul Plaza led by Mario Savio weren’t about one sort of politics. They had been regarding the University of California’s outright ban on campus political actions. That included organising a card desk in Sproul and soliciting donations for, say, CORE marchers throughout the civil rights movement throughout the South. One former grad scholar was doing merely that when campus police requested for his ID, which he declined to produce, they arrested him. After many tons of additional arrests, primarily shutting down the school, the administration gave in. You would possibly organize a desk in Sproul, and hand out your rattling screeds.

Half a century later, Berkeley faculty college students have turned it into a verb, and a gerund: tabling.

That is solely what activist Hayden Williams was doing last month — tabling in Sproul for the right-wing Turning Point USA — when he was punched by left-wing activist Zachary Greenberg, an incident caught on video. Neither is a scholar. Makes no distinction. Anyone can desk, due to the FSM. Cops had been known as. Though Greenberg had left the scene, he was lastly tracked down, and faces two felony assault bills.

Campus cops and the administration witness comparable circumstances ceaselessly. In these again-heated political events, they spend massive sums defending the free-speech rights of those with minority views on campus, which these days happen to be conservatives.

But as a results of our current president is ignorant, he likes to fake that Berkeley hasn’t realized its free-speech lesson. He launched Hayden Williams up on stage with him last Saturday on the Conservative Political Action Conference and said Williams must sue the campus and the state of California for by some means violating his free-speech rights.

“He took a hard punch in the face for all of us,” Trump said on the conference. He added that when Williams sues UC Berkeley, “he’s going to be a very wealthy man.” He adopted with: “I will be signing an executive order requiring colleges and universities to support free speech if they want federal research dollars.”

When Williams sues Berkeley for what? For allowing him, with no campus affiliation, to desk? For arresting the wacko who punched him for tabling?

Trump has in spite of everything signed no such govt order. As abnormal, he has no idea what he’s talking about, no notion of what kind of varieties may very well be set as a lot as police campus attitudes in direction of free speech. Sucker punching is already in direction of the laws.

Trump, that least libertarian of presidents, was merely using the fracas. The man who wishes to muzzle the press and ratchet up libel authorized tips pretending to be for free speech is a joke.

That most unscientific of presidents is conscious of not from campus evaluation. He is conscious of solely about making an attempt to make political hay for himself.

Larry Wilson is on the Southern California News Group editorial board.

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