One reason to be concerned about the future of America is the reduced commitment of its young people to freedom, starting with free speech.
A recent survey from the Brookings Institution indicates that 44 percent of millennials do not believe hate speech is protected by the Constitution. Moreover, 51 percent believe it is appropriate to shout down a controversial speaker, with 19 percent saying it is ok to use violence for that purpose. Mistakenly, 62 percent say the First Amendment requires one controversial speaker to be balanced by another speaker.
Today’s college students are coddled by helicopter parents and seek safe spaces on campus, not freedom. And, with little or no civic education, students do not understand the First Amendment.
Founder Benjamin Franklin said that “whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freedom of speech.” Wake up, America, the message from our campuses is that free speech is on the decline and, ultimately, so is freedom itself.