On Dusty’s Desk: Republicans and free speech


Dusty Hartl, Opinions Editor

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution grants the freedom of expression, assembly, and religion to any United States citizen. There are more details that this amendment holds, such as freedom of speech and press, but recently it seems all have been under attack by the
Republican Party.

In the full disclosure of my argument, I must say that I am a registered Republican and a self-described conservative. As a member of the denounced “media,” I would like to say that not all Republicans believe in the idea of limiting free speech on college campuses.

Recently, a Republican member of Arizona’s state legislature proposed banning certain types of free speech on college campuses, this is HB 2120. This bill, proposed by Reps. Bob Thorpe (R-6 District) and Mark Finchem (R- 11 District), would ban college courses that “promote division, resentment, or social justice toward a race, gender, religion, political affiliation, social class or other class of people” or “the overthrow of the United States government,” that “are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group,” that “advocate solidarity or isolation based on ethnicity, race, religion, gender or social class instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals,” “violate state or federal civil rights laws” or “negatively target specific nationalities or countries.”

The Republican party is one that prides itself on the ability to promote and defend the right of free speech to all American citizens. We see conservative followers such as Tomi Lahren, Milo Yiannopoulos and Ben Shapiro travel the country promoting the idea of free speech and using this granted power to promote their ideas.

Regardless of what their reasoning, this bill is inappropriate and a step in the wrong direction to fixing many of the problems we have today. The idea that a class or organization should be limited so severely in how it promotes its objectives is sickening and wrong.

Many of the conservatives I have spoken to on this issue agree that this bill should be rejected immediately and we should be pushing for a more open dialogue among college students. This move is what many would have expected from the Democratic party, not us.

When we limit the freedom of someone’s speech we not only affect that person, but those around them who would have listened to that individual. It is as if we are being strangled by more rules and regulation that are
simply unnecessary.

If someone wishes to discuss the racial discrimination that they have felt, seen, or heard then they should be allowed to. If someone wishes to take a racial diversity class, more power to them.

The simple solution to this problem is incredibly obvious and one that these false Republicans couldn’t care to hear. If you do not agree or wish to not hear it, don’t listen. It is that easy to ensure that you are not limiting anyone’s free speech and that you can remain completely independent of what those people are saying.

We are the GOP, Grand Old Party, for crying out loud. We can withstand the negative connotations of those who disagree with us without trying becoming the thing we consistently battle. Freedom of speech is a right granted to everyone, not just those who agree with you.

Reps. Thorpe and Finchem, please grow up.