Kim Strassel @ UNCP

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Kim Strassel was on the UNCP campus yesterday (https://youtu.be/OA5eOZse05Y) addressing threats to individual, corporate, and political speech. Strassel recently penned—and I just finished reading—The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech. It’s a great book that chronicles efforts to silence corporations, nonprofits, executives, board members, professors, and anyone else whose point of view challenges the left wing orthodoxy.

After the presentation, several students expressed surprise that the lives of individual Americans and their families can be destroyed by government bureaucrats and political activists simply because they dare to express the wrong point of view or choose to contribute financially to the wrong organization or candidate. This just shouldn’t happen here, but it does.

It’s difficult to hear Strassel speak or read her book without getting angry. I’m appalled at the IRS-nonprofit scandal, Brendan Eich’s demise at Mozilla, and Obama’s grilling of Frank VanderSloot. Rather than debate ideas on their merits, the abusers in these cases bullied, manipulated, and intimidated. This isn’t how America is supposed to work.

The implications of the intimidation game are legion, from politics to business to academe. As a university professor, I understand and cherish the importance of free expression without the threat of reprisal. While respect and a sense of humor go along way when discussing contentious topics, none of us have a right not to be offended. The college experience should teach us how to respond to different views directly. “Safe zones” may be well intended, but they shield students from intellectual development.

The past eight years have been filled with Obama and Democrat abuses, I’m sure there are some Republicans in Washington who would love to get even. Strassel’s book is a wakeup call for anyone who thinks our first amendment rights are eternally secure. Let down your guard at your own risk.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Tim H4  •  Feb 9, 2017 @6:48 PM

    This makes me angry. We need to get past Obama’s tyranny but is there any hope that we can? I want Trump to fight tough but no abuse of power. So far the Democrats just want to set him up for impeachment. Will this ever end?

  2. PLK  •  Feb 10, 2017 @5:34 PM

    One thing I’ll say for Trump-he’s not intimidated. He’s breaking down the PC culture on the left. The government intrusion into private citizens has to stop. We can make it happen by standing up. Kim Strassel is awesome!

  3. Craig  •  Feb 13, 2017 @1:24 PM

    What guarantee do we have the Trump won’t do the same thing?

  4. rich  •  Feb 13, 2017 @1:43 PM

    none

  5. D  •  Feb 13, 2017 @9:42 PM

    No guarantee, but republicans aren’t control freaks. I didn’t know who Frank Vandersloot was until 10 minutes ago. How could this happen in America?