topSkip to main content

Menu, Secondary

Menu Trigger


Free Speech's Worst Enemies Aren't Who You'd Expect

Mitch Daniels, president of Purdue University, commends two "liberal lions" who "find themselves often aligned with more-conservative camps" on the issue of free speech on college campuses in this commentary published by The Washington Post.

Daniels wrote that Nadine Strossen, former longtime president of the American Civil Liberties Union, and Geoffrey R. Stone, a renowned constitutional scholar at the University of Chicago, often are "arguing with, and occasionally being maligned by, those who fancy themselves today’s leading leftists."

Both Strossen and Stone oppose government censorship of hate speech, Daniels writes.

"It’s hard to name anyone more credible to make the case for free speech than these two, with their unimpeachably liberal records," Daniels said. "The same assertions made by people of a different philosophical profile, or by those on the receiving end of today’s repression, are easily dismissed or ignored by the perpetrators and, too often, by the news media.

"It’s even harder to think of a more courageous stance on free speech than Strossen and Stone’s," he continued. "Taking on the dogma of one’s political brethren is tremendously harder than chiming in against traditional adversaries.”

Daniels concludes that "The gross excesses of today’s would-be authoritarians, on campus and elsewhere, have started generating an encouraging back pressure from the only kind of voices that are likely to prevail against them. Here and there, academics terrorized in their own classrooms and journalists attacked for unwelcome coverage have begun to speak up."

Read the full article