Bernie Sanders may be a socialist, but give him his due – the man understands the important of free speech, even and especially speech he disagrees with.
And sadly, that’s more than you can say for today’s average antifa, black-mask-wearing snowflake, who would rather toss a rock from afar than engage discourse with discourse.
Speaking to The Huffington Post after a Thursday night rally for Omaha mayoral candidate Health Mello, the Vermont senator had strong words about the ongoing attempts to deny conservative commentator Ann Coulter a venue to speak at the University of California, Berkeley.
“I don’t like this. I don’t like it,” Sanders said. “Obviously Ann Coulter’s outrageous ― to my mind, off the wall. But you know, people have a right to give their two-cents-worth, give a speech, without fear of violence and intimidation.”
Sanders called attempts to silence those on the right a “sign of intellectual weakness.”
“If you can’t ask Ann Coulter in a polite way questions which expose the weakness of her arguments, if all you can do is boo, or shut her down, or prevent her from coming, what does that tell the world? What are you afraid of ― her ideas? Ask her the hard questions,” Sanders concluded. “Confront her intellectually. Booing people down, or intimidating people, or shutting down events, I don’t think that that works in any way.”
Although university officials have suggested an alternate date of May 2 for her to speak, Coulter and College Republicans are still planning on keeping the original April 27 date, and aim to introduce litigation if necessary.
Interestingly, Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison was also at the Omaha rally and spoke to The Huffington Post about the situation, expressing similar sentiments while acknowledging UC Berkeley’s security concerns.
“Absolutely protest these people you don’t like, absolutely write against them, denounce them,” Ellison said. “But the solution to bad speech is good speech, the solution to bad speech is more speech. Once you start saying, ‘You can’t talk,’ then whoever’s in power gets to impose that on whoever’s not in power and that’s not good. At the end of the day, is there some venue where Ann Coulter gets to speak on that campus? I think there’s gotta be. But you know, I think the university president saying, ‘This is going to cost us a lot of money and we need more space and couldn’t it be at another venue that’s bigger, that’s easier to defend’ ― I think those are all factors that need to be part of the conversation as well.”
When the common view among uber-leftists and college millennial snowflakes seems be that alternative ideas need to be shut down via intimidation, it’s easy for reasonable people to conclude that their ideas must be so vapid and shallow that they cannot possibly defend them with reasonable discourse.
To their credit, Sanders and Ellison seem to understand the need to actually earn confidence via well-reasoned arguments. Their ideas may be wrong, but at least they hold them with sincerity and the willingness to debate.
Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.
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