Goldwater Bill Helps To Protect Free Speech On College Campuses: We are funding institutions with taxpayer dollars to equip young people in standing up against the First Amendment”¦Yep, you read that right. It”s gone so far that kids are now getting arrested for handing out the Constitution. Tune in now as Dr. Stanley Kurtz talks about the Goldwater Bill and how it will help turn this system around.
Air Date:Â 02/07/2018
Guest: Dr.Â Stanley Kurtz
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Faith And The Culture
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. Â This is WallBuilders Live! Where we talk about the day”s hottest topics on policy, faith, and other areas of the culture. But we”re always looking at it from that Biblical, historical, and Constitutional perspective.
We’re here with David Barton today, he’s America’s premier historian. Tim Barton, national speaker and pastor and the president of WallBuilders. My name is Rick Green, I”m a former Texas legislator.
Find out more at WallBuildersLive.com. You can get past programs, they”re available right there on the website. You can also get a list of our stations around the country.
And then at WallBuilders.com, we’ve got a lot of great tools to equip you and your family, it’ll inspire you, equip you. I promise you it will make you want to be a better citizen and do your duty. It’ll also teach you how to raise patriots in your family as well. So check out that wealth of materials there at WallBuilders.com.
Later in the program, Stanley Kurtz will be with us. We’re talking about free speech today on college campuses.
Rick, free speech on college campuses, we say that as though it’s a problem today, and it is. But think about this – we are funding institutions with taxpayer dollars to equip young people to be good citizens. And the issue we’re having to deal with is the First Amendment on campuses. The campuses will not recognize, will not reserve, and will not follow the First Amendment Constitutional guarantees. And we’re talking, generally, state institutions here.
What an Oxymoronic Position
What an oxymoronic position to be in, that we’re using taxpayer dollars to fund policies that are hostile to the Constitution that we swear to uphold. And that’s actually training the next generation to be hostile to those principles. It’s crazy that we have to now pass legislation to protect the Constitution from the attack of colleges themselves.
Your point- to me, is that it is a problem, but it’s a solvable problem. I don’t know if “solvable” is a word, but this is a problem we can solve because these institutions are funded by taxpayer dollars. So, let’s get the legislators to fix this problem.
Well, it is a solvable problem by legislative stuff for sure because we can simply defund what violates the Constitution. There’s no reason to not do that. And suddenly all these universities will still want to be funded, so they’ll suddenly decide that they need to comply with the Constitution. But in the meantime, we have all of these groups like Fire, and Alliance Defending Freedom, and Pacific Justice Institute, that are taking these schools to court. I do not know of a single case in which they have lost not – a single one.
Now as I recall, 10-12 years ago, I think it was 80 or 85% of these campuses had some type of speech code that violated the First Amendment. And so, so many of them have been struck down, now that last year, only 40% of campuses still had a speech code that violated the First Amendment. So, in the last decade or so, we’ve cut it in half, but even after scores of lawsuits, and scores of settlements, and cases, you still have 40% of schools saying, “No, we’re going to maintain a speech code that violates the First Amendment.”
Spending Taxpayer Dollars to Destroy the Next Generation
One of the things we show legislators– a few weeks back we went through, over four days, a presentation that I gave the legislators. Laying out where we are on college campuses with things like free speech as well as other issues. And how we’re spending taxpayer dollars to destroy the next generation and make sure that they don’t get involved in upholding the Constitution. We see now on campuses that 53% of young people believe that there should be restrictions on free speech. And 19% of young people on campuses right now believe that violence is an appropriate response to free speech.
Let me point out, part of what the college students believe should be restrictions are things that are considered offensive, are things that are considered micro aggressions, or things that are considered targeting. So, it’s not even in the scenario where, “Hey, do you think it’s wrong if someone gets up on campus and starts cursing people out and starts yelling.” Well, no, no, no, it’s not something that should be markedly acknowledged as offensive. It’s something that, well, even if it’s a pro-life message and we’re saying, “Hey, we shouldn’t murder little babies.” – that’s a microaggression, that’s offensive.
The way we are defining what is offensive language now is boggling. Because I can imagine there would have been times when even under a free speech code saying, “Hey, no, no, you have the freedom of speech. There’s still a level of accountability and responsibility for the language that you speak, for the way you speak, for the way you engage in conversation. But we’ve taken it so far now that you can be profane in your language, you could be graphic, pornographic in your communication, and that is not considered as offensive as sometimes taking these conservative positions or challenging the status quo of these universities.
What we’re saying is that, well the kids that are saying, “Well, there should be some free speech restrictions.” It’s not in these extreme scenarios of what is vulgar or profane. Oftentimes it’s in these microcosms of this microaggression, right, this really small thing. But now it’s viewed as offensive, so if it’s deemed as offensive language, you can’t have that conversation anymore, you can’t be pro-life, you can’t be pro whatever it is, if it challenges the position of the students and universities.
Designated Free Speech Zones
Part of the universities too, the way they do this, say, “Oh yeah, we support free speech. If you’re standing in a five foot square painted area on the sidewalk that we call our “designated free speech zone”. And we have that on the back side of the biology building right by– back by the trash dumpster on the back side of campus. And if you have something you want to say, you’re welcome to go stand.” And literally, if you are not inside that box when you deliver your free speech message, they will ticket you or they will use some kind of sanction against you.
I remember one place, they had an oak tree and you could stand under the oak tree about 14 parking lots back on the back side of campus if you wanted to exercise free speech.
That might be a slight exaggeration to how far back it is, but it’s not an exaggeration that they say you have to stay inside of that box, inside that square, inside the designated area. And if you get outside of that designated area, so whether it’s in a quad, or whether it’s in front of the cafeteria, wherever they designate, that is the only place, in some instances, where students could hand out the Constitution. Now–
Yeah, we had three kids arrested, I believe it was in Michigan, arrested in Michigan for handing out the Constitution outside the designated free speech area.
Which seems unbelievably, unconstitutional, and ironic all at the same time.
All at the same time, right.
We’re not only paying for that university to teach that stupid attitude. The university got sued by the students, went to court, lost, as they should have lost in court, and paid an additional 55,000 dollar in attorney’s fees to the kids. So, not only are we funding the university to do stupid stuff, to teach stupid stuff, to enforce stupid stuff. We’re also funding the stupid payments that they have to give the attorneys on the other– this is crazy. And our legislators need to stop this and say, “You know what, if you”ve got a speech code, you get no more money until you get Constitutionally authorized under the First Amendment.
Why it”s So Important We as the Citizenry be Educated
And this is why it’s so important that we as the citizenry be educated and be engaged. Because the legislators are never going to do something the people don’t want them to do because it’s just the nature of politics. And so if we are not contacting, if we’re not putting pressure, if we’re not doing something to stand up and say, “Hey, we’re not going to let this, this is ridiculous.” We have to be engaged to know information, but then to hold accountability for these institutions that are getting our money.
This is why it’s so important for us as citizens to be involved. Because we can never get things going back the right direction, right, we can never turn the ship to sailing on the right course again, without enough involvement from the citizenry. This is why we have to get involved, but we have to be educated first so we can get involved.
And one of the people who really stays up with this is a guy named Stanley Kurtz, Dr. Stanley Kurtz, brilliant guy. He writes on this nationally, but he really stays abreast of what happens with free speech on campuses. He’s worked with some think tanks and policy groups to create some legislation that addresses so much of what goes on on the First Amendment issues on campuses. And really the hostility that exists toward the Constitutional First Amendment.
Actually has a piece of legislation that”s already passed in some states, it”s being introduced in a number of other states this year. And this is something we can take action on to help with. But Stanley Kurtz, great writer, he’s a national columnist, you can find him all over the web. Great guy, Stanley Kurtz.
Yeah, legislators will respond to these things. So thankfully Stanley and others, the Goldwater Institute and others, have helped put together some model legislation. And legislators are now moving it through their legislative sessions. It has passed and in some states and Stanley is going to update us on it. So, stay with us we’ll be right back on WallBuilders Live.
Moment From American History
This is Tim Barton with another moment from American history. The Second Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees to every individual the right to keep and bear arms, has been targeted for years now by those who are determined to dismantle the individual right to self protection.
Opponents argue that, “Only the militia, the military, and law enforcement are to have and use firearms.” But those who wrote the Second Amendment strenuously disagreed, including Founding Father Richard Henry Lee, a signer of the declaration, a president of the Continental Congress, and one of those who actually framed the Second Amendment.
He declared, “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.”
For more information about Richard Henry Lee and the history of the Second Amendment go to WallBuilders.com.
Welcome back. Thanks for staying with us here all WallBuilders Live. Stanley Kurtz is with us from the Hudson Institute. You’ve probably read some of his articles, and if not, we’re going to have a link to one today on the new Georgia bill that’s been filed following the Goldwater Proposal he was a part of putting together dealing free speech. Stanley, good to have you on, sir. Thank you for coming on.
Dr. Stanley Kurtz:
Rick, so good of you to have me.
The Goldwater Model
Hey, tell us about– we know, we’ve talked a little bit on our program about just the onslaught on campuses of limiting free speech, the free speech codes, the limited areas where you can go to, all those sorts of things. What does this legislation do to help free that up on our campuses?
Dr. Stanley Kurtz:
Well, the Goldwater model is really the most comprehensive of all the model bills. Most of the models out there say that we shouldn’t have these restrictive speech codes, we shouldn’t have free speech zones, so-called free speech zones, and the Goldwater Bill includes those provisions. It also includes a provision that makes it much harder for administrators to disinvite speakers that students or faculty want to hear from.
But the really distinctive thing about the Goldwater model that you won’t find in any of the other bills really are three different provisions. First, a series of provisions, really, about discipline for students who suppress the speech of others. And we know that one of the worst problems, probably the worst problem, in the current campus free speech crisis are these shout downs of the visiting speakers who come in–
Dr. Stanley Kurtz:
–and they really can’t be heard. So, what you’re doing is, not only are you silencing and suppressing the rights of that speaker, you’re suppressing the rights of all the other people there who have come to listen to that speaker.
Dr. Stanley Kurtz:
So, the Goldwater model, unlike the others, insists that discipline policies be developed for students who suppress the rights of others. Either by shouting down, or say, by ripping a poster down from a bulletin board if it’s advertising a talk that you don’t like. Or maybe stealing a run of newspapers, student newspapers, that have an op ed that you don’t like. And these things, sorry to say, happen all the time on college campuses.
Dr. Stanley Kurtz:
So, we have a discipline policy and the most interesting aspect of that policy is that we have a requirement that if you twice find a student responsible for suppressing someone else’s speech, you at least have to give them a suspension. And the reason for that is partly because a second offense, of course, is much more serious than a first offense. But also because we find that administrators almost never want to punish the students who participate in these shout downs. They keep giving them meaningless slaps on the wrist. At one school they put a negative note in their file which was pretty mild, but they even said that, “At the end of the semester, we”ll remove the note.”
Dr. Stanley Kurtz:
So, in effect, they did nothing.
Yeah, yeah. This is the part of the free speech battle on campuses that hasn’t been addressed much. So, I’m glad to see it in the legislation. Tell me if– you’ve studied all of this, tell me if I’m wrong, but it seems like– wasn’t that kind of the, whether it was the Nazis, or the fascist, any of those extremes, that was part of what they did. They shouted down the opposition.
They”d go to these meetings and rallies and just literally shout down anybody that disagreed with them. And that seems like what we’re seeing on the campuses. They seem to be modeling the fascist and the Nazis.
Dr. Stanley Kurtz:
You’re absolutely right, Rick. And I would say, in general, and this used to be widely appreciated, but I think we’ve forgotten it lately. In general, liberty, the American tradition of liberty, is deeply connected to the fact that for the most part, in comparison to Europe, America has experienced domestic peace. When you give other people their freedom to say what they want to say, even if you don’t agree with what they’re saying, then that creates a kind of civil peace.
What Has Separated Us from Europe
Dr. Stanley Kurtz:
In Europe, when they try to suppress the other side, that’s what starts the civil conflict happening. And so if we lose this tradition of liberty, which is really not simply a matter of license, but frankly a matter of self control. You have to have self control to let someone else speak and say things that you don’t like without going at them with everything you have. So, because we have a tradition of liberty based in the virtue of the people, we have had civil peace. And that’s what separated us from Europe.
That is such a good point and that really is the, I guess, the responsibility that comes with the rights. We often like to talk about our rights, but that responsibility with every single right, in this case with free speech, you’ve got the right to speak, but you certainly have the responsibility to respect the other person’s right to speech. And just to have that civil discourse, isn’t that one of the great things, when we think through history Â Â even on something as you know would raise as much emotion as the issue of slavery. You had the Lincoln Douglas debates where two men could reason, and discuss, and point out the flaws in the other person’s argument, or whatever it might be. We seem to be missing that in all of our discourse in the political world right now.
And certainly that’s reflected on the campuses.
Dr. Stanley Kurtz:
That’s absolutely right, Rick. You see these students who don’t believe in free speech saying, “We don’t want free speech. We want civility.” What they don’t understand is that free speech leads to civility.
Precisely because you have to have respect for the others, at least at a minimum level, and some kind of level of self-control. It’s really a training in civility to give other people their freedom.
Getting it Filed in Other States as Well
So good, so good. Well, we’re excited about the legislation. I guess right now, so it’s on the Senate side in Georgia. Do you see– Goldwater Institute does fantastic work on things like this. I assume the push will be to get this filed in other states as well as Georgia?
Yes, we actually, we expect more bills to be filed in 2018. But we actually had, in the last session, bills have already been filed in a number of states. For example, a Goldwater based bill has already passed and become law in North Carolina. I worked closely with Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest there–
Dr. Stanley Kurtz:
–who I believe has been on WallBuilders radio before. So, that was very much a Goldwater product. Wisconsin, the bill has cleared the Lower House in Wisconsin and even before the Senate has taken it up, the Regents of the University of Wisconsin have adopted our discipline policy.
And by the way, one of the other things that distinguishes the Goldwater Bill is that we have our oversight system based in the university regents. We don’t want these administrators reporting on themselves because they’ll just pat themselves on the back. Some of the other models have the administrators giving an annual report on their own, they self report essentially. Whereas, if you put the oversight in the hands of the trustees, then the administrators have to think twice before they roll over in front of these anti free speech demonstrators.
That”s good. Alright, we’re going to have links today to the legislation, the specific model legislation. Also, Stanley, going to do a link to this particular article – this one”s in the National Review. Folks, you can read Stanley in National Review, Weekly Standard, Wall Street Journal. We”ll have a link today specifically to this one in National Review.
Appreciate you coming on, sir. Look forward to having you back again. Great talking, Rick. Thanks for having me.
Stay with us folks. We’ll we’re back with David and Tim Barton.
Hi, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders and I want to encourage all the pastors out there with a unique opportunity that we’re presenting it WallBuilders. We’re doing a special tour just for pastors that you can come and learn more about the spiritual heritage of our nation. Not just seeing the sights but understanding the significance of what they are and what they represent.
We get to go to the Capitol at night. Â And we get to see the spiritual heritage of our Founding Fathers, of who we are as a nation, where we came from. We bring in congressman that will tell you about current legislation, about our religious liberties Â and freedom, and what’s going on in Washington, D.C.
If you’re a pastor or if you want to recommend your pastor for this trip, you can go to our website at www.WallBuilders.com. And there’s a link that’s for scheduling. Â If you click on that link there’s a section for pastor”s briefing. There’s more information about the dates, when it’s going, and how it’s going to happen. If you want to know more about our nation, our religious liberties, our freedom, our spiritual heritage, this is a trip you want to be a part of.
Welcome back. Thanks for staying with us on WallBuilders Live. Thanks to Stanley Kurtz for joining us today on the program. We’re back with David and Tim. And, guys, it looks like the legislation is catching on.
The Legislation is Catching On
The legislation is catching on, Rick. No question about that. In fact, a number of the legislators who were at the WallBuilders legislators conference who heard the presentation we did about what’s going to campuses, they have partnered with Stanley in picking up the legislation and moving it through in their states. There is no reason to be using taxpayer funding to fund stuff that is absolutely unconstitutional. Even in liberal courts, they agree it’s unconstitutional and it’s costing the state extra money to do that.
That’s training the next generation to think wrong about the Constitution. No reason to fund that.
And the people don’t want it funded either, right? We know our taxpayer money is being spent to undermine American values. The polling data is showing that people are tired of the universities doing this. The attitude towards university education has really gone negative. And these are the main reasons.
Yeah, there is a big downturn in whether Americans think that universities are being a positive or negative influence on America. And right now, the universities are sinking their own ship at a very rapid rate. What they’re turning out, the product they’re turning out, the academic– I would say quality, but I have to say lack of quality. We have studies showing that seniors going out of college actually know less than when they came in as freshmen in areas of economics, and history, and government, and other things.
They call negative learning. You’re actually losing knowledge at college and you’re coming out with a college debt of 37,000 dollars you’re going to pay off for the next several years and you lost knowledge’s doing that. You came out with a ton of indoctrination, you think the First Amendment needs to be done away with. That’s not what parents are wanting to see.
And that’s actually, frankly, not what employers are wanting to see, and that’s not what they’re hiring. That’s why only 27.3 percent of graduating seniors are able to get a job in their degree field right now. The free market is just not buying what colleges are producing.
Hey, guys, we”re going to do a short segment here. We’ll be right back, folks, with more information, so stay with us. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
Hi friends! This is Tim Barton of WallBuilders.This is a time when most Americans don’t know much about American history or even heroes of the faith. I know, oftentimes as parents, we”re trying to find good content for our kids to read.
If you remember back in the Bible, the Book of Hebrews it has the Faith Hall of Fame, where they outlined the leaders of faith that had gone before them. Well, this is something that as Americans we really want to go back and outline some of these heroes not just of American history, but heroes of Christianity and our faith as well.
I wanted to let you know about some biographical sketches we have available on our website. One is called, “The Courageous Leaders Collection“ and this collection includes people like Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Francis Scott Key, George Washington Carver, Susanna Wesley, even the Wright brothers.
There’s a second collection called, “Heroes of History“ in this collection you read about people like Benjamin Franklin, Christopher Columbus, Daniel Boone, George Washington, Harriet Tubman, the list goes on and on.
This is a great collection for your young person to have and read. And it’s a providential view of American and Christian history. This is available at WallBuilders.com.
Welcome back. Thanks for staying with us on WallBuilders Live. We had Stanley Kurtz on a little earlier in the program. If you missed that, be sure and visit WallBuildersLive.com and you can now get the entire program for today. Guys, we’re still talking about free speech and campuses. And we talked about how the public opinion, David, you pointed out employers, everybody agrees on this except probably the university administrators.
University administrators don’t, but that’s the benefits the Goldwater Bill. Once you get it past that legislature, you have to enforce some discipline on what goes with shout downs, for example. Stanley gave the example of the one university that put a negative note in the student file. I’ve got a question for you, who is able to see the student file? Nobody but the student or those to whom the student releases it.
So, even if you put a negative note in the student file, parents will never know about that because they don’t have the right to see the file, nor do employers, nor does anybody– it”s a private file that only the student has access to. And you’re telling me you put a negative note in there and you”ll remove that at the end of the semester. That’s what you considered discipline? There’s nothing there.
So, the benefits the Goldwater Bill are it does give you some discipline after the second offense. You get suspended, and past that, you get expelled. So, that is some teeth and as he pointed out, they’re now seeing these shoutdowns go away on those universities. I love the point he made that when you have free speech and liberty, it creates domestic peace and civil peace. It”s when you try to stifle free speech that you see the other side get violent.
And I thought that was a terrific point that in Europe where they’re trying to stifle free speech is where you see the civil unrest. But because we allow both sides to have their say, you don’t get into one side feeling like it has to do something violent because they weren’t allowed a chance to have their say.
Well, that is interesting as he pointed out, it requires self-control to have freedom of speech. That is really interesting because it”s–when we respond emotionally, and we want to have these shoutdowns, and we want to have these protests, you’re not exhibiting any self-control.
Lincoln Douglas Debates
If you go back to, as he mentioned, even like these Lincoln Douglas debates, right, where you have these ethical related debates of what is right and what’s wrong. You can even do those in a civil manner if you exhibit self-control and understand what free speech is about. But on college campuses, at this point, you can’t even have a Lincoln Douglas debate. When you have people like Ben Shapiro that are getting shouted down because, “How dare you come in.” And you’ll see these videos–
“We haven’t heard your opinion yet, but we’ve been told what it is.”
Right. You”ll see these videos–
These kids are getting interviewed and so, well, what has Ben Shapiro said that’s so offensive? “He’s just so racist.” What”s he said that’s racist? “Well, it’s just everything he says.” He says– everything he says is racist? “Well, not everything.”
But they don’t even know what he said. They”ve been told by a professor.
They”re promoting an ideology that they can’t defend, they can’t back up, they have no proof for. But this is what, again, they’ve been told by a professor. And so professors are encouraging a lack of self-control, a lack of self-discipline, the limitations of free speech, to shout down these wrong speeches.
Not Only Preserving Free Speech, But Getting Proper Punishment as Well
So, I love what Stanley is talking about with this Goldwater idea of making sure that not only we”re preserving free speech, but then there’s violations in place beyond just writing something on somebody’s file that”s removed at the end of the year. But no, there’s some actual teeth to this that if you’re doing something unconstitutional, you should be penalized for it. So, it’s really a step in the right direction.
This is something that all citizens can have a voice in fixing. There are a number of states this year that are introducing this bill. You need to contact your state legislator and say, “Introduce a campus free speech Bill, introduced the Goldwater bill.” And if you need a copy of that bill to give to your legislators, we have the profamily legislators network and we provide this to legislators. You can contact AdriÃ at ProFamily.com and she can help you get the information to get to your legislator.
Goldwater Bill Helps To Protect Free Speech On College Campuses
But every state needs to introduce this and if you’ll talk your legislator, you can get this done and we can have a new generation coming up that is much more knowledgeable about what the Constitution actually says.
Thanks for listening today, folks. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.
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