“it is actually a calculated political move”
Ryan Born, the student who wrote this op-ed for The Princetonian, doesn’t even seem to believe that free speech applies to conservatives.
Speech is free
It seems that, nowadays, cries for “free speech” ring from campus to campus. The term has become quite famous and quite popular. Perhaps it owes its popularity to how vague it is. It generally comes from conservatives in response to some sort of censoring of ideas. In its own way, “free speech” has become conservatives’ rhetorical weapon of choice, defended by right-leaning groups and thinkers both on and off campus. Recently, Professor John Londregan and some of his fellows wrote a letter calling for an end to the “shared and pervasive reality of growing hostility to free expression on college campuses across the country and around the world.” But what exactly is free expression, or “free speech?”
Conservatives would have you believe that their insistence on free speech is related to a desire for intellectual diversity and openness of discussion. When conservatives appeal to “free speech,” it is actually a calculated political move, designed to open up avenues of political discourse while shaming others from moving in active political opposition. I argue that when conservatives resort to this move, they can be safely ignored, as they are appealing to a right that does not exist. In my belief, when conservative ideas are opposed, there is no right that is being infringed.
We must begin with a fact: speech is intensely political. Speech is biased, opinionated. Anything we say, anything we don’t say, has political content and weighs on the scale of politics. Be aware then, that a call for “free speech” is as political as all speech is, because it reflects an opinion of what speech ought to be.
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