The legions of young fans who supported former Texas representative Ron Paul’s quest for the White House in 2012 have reorganized into a 257,000-member activist group called Young Americans for Liberty. They are still ready to rumble, this time to push back against political correctness on the nation’s campuses. The organization launches the Fight for Free Speech campaign on Wednesday to end “unconstitutional speech codes” that have prompted discord between students for months, staging 340 events in all 50 states, including sneak peek showings of “Can We Take a Joke?,” an upcoming film featuring such comedians as Gilbert Gottfried and Penn Jillette that faults the nation’s “addiction to outrage” and its effect on the creative world.
“College campuses are under threat from authoritarian voices that only look to stomp out ideas and viewpoints,” says spokesman C.J. Sailor, who adds that the organization’s aim is the restoration of “the healthy, free flow of ideas.”
The group may face hostility when they arrive on campuses, which include Clemson University, University of California at Berkeley and American University, among many.
Hypersensitive students have their own ideas. A recent Gallup poll found that 69 percent of U.S. college students say campuses should be able to restrict language offensive to “certain groups.” Another 63 percent say campuses should be able to ban the wearing of costumes that stereotype racial or ethnic groups. An earlier Pew Research Center poll also revealed that 40 percent of the age group say “speech offensive to minorities” should be censored by the federal government.
New from Encounter Books: “The Closing of the Liberal Mind: How Groupthink and Intolerance Define the Left” by historian and former Assistant Secretary of State Kim R. Holmes. Liberals, the author points out, were once open-minded. That zeal appears to have evaporated with the rise of “the New Left in the 1960s,” Mr. Holmes writes. The postmodern Left followed, and with it, “a cornucopia of identity theories promising perfect diversity,” and later “the political activism of the universities, including shaming rituals,” Mr. Holmes noted in the book, published Tuesday.
“There is in our culture today a general eagerness to demonize political opponents, but what makes it particularly dangerous is that so much intolerance is practiced by liberals who otherwise claim to be fair and open-minded. This liberal version of intolerance, which I call illiberal liberalism, occupies the commanding heights of American culture and its institutions — the media, our schools and colleges, the entertainment industry, the leadership of American corporations, the establishment political class and even many mainstream churches — threatening the foundations of American governance,” says Mr. Holmes.
“Good night, and good luck.”
— Final message from Al Jazeera America, the Qatar-owned news network which went dark Tuesday after broadcasting for three years.
The grass grows greener
The ancient hippies of yore would be speechless over new statistics from New Frontier, an analytics authority that tracks and produces “cannabis market research.” Headquartered in the nation’s capital, the organization deems legal marijuana “one of the fastest growing industries in America with a compound annual growth rate of 31 percent.” Sales are projected to reach $7.1 billion this year.
“By 2020, legal market sales are expected to surpass $22 billion,” says Giadha DeCarcer, CEO of the organization.
The optimism of Ted Cruz
Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz has surveyed the campaign of rival Donald Trump, weighed the equities of a contested GOP convention in July and established his takeaway message.
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