President Trump Has Paved The Way For A Free Speech Comeback

President Trump Has Paved The Way For A Free Speech Comeback

Resistance to growing attacks on free speech and expression is evidence of how truly transformative President Trump has been.
Newt Gingrich
By

As another school year closes, I remember the stories I’ve read throughout the year, many via The Transom, about free speech zones, safe spaces, and people being asked to leave businesses or classrooms because they were wearing shirts or hats that showed support for President Trump.

Of course, Left-leaning political correctness culture has been growing for decades, especially in academia. For years, anyone who supported the right to life, championed religious freedom, or expressed other ideas contrary to the liberal elite worldview was publicly shamed and summarily dismissed. More than any other venue, college campuses have embraced this culture that stifles free thinking.

However, ousting students from class or campus because of their political beliefs has been a new low for the Left, and the increasing pushback against these moments of intolerance is encouraging. In fact, the resistance to these attacks on free speech and expression is evidence of how truly transformative President Trump has been, particularly on free speech. While free speech may be under attack more than ever before, Americans are now, once again, emboldened to exercise their rights.

As I write in my new book, “Trump’s America: The Truth About Our Nation’s Great Comeback”: “Even as a candidate, President Trump recognized that, in addition to reshaping our nation’s unifying principles and limiting our religious liberties, the left-wing members of the anti-Trump coalition have been chipping away at our fundamental right to speak our minds and express ourselves freely. They do this while waving a banner of inclusion and diversity, but their ultimate goal is a profound, unhealthy change to America’s fabric.”

The election of President Trump showed that Americans were willing to dig in their heels on issues like free speech, free expression, and freedom of religion. President Trump has been a true leader for Americans who reject political correctness and say what they believe, regardless of whether it offends the elite worldview.

Of course, for this, the elite media attacks the president at every chance. A recent example is the clear attempt to twist President Trump’s words when he called MS-13 gang members “animals.” The media and their Democratic allies erroneously claimed Trump was referring to all immigrants.

Meanwhile, most Americans heard what the president said and knew exactly what he meant. They knew he was referring to violent gang members, not every person who crosses the border, legally or otherwise. After a few days of scrutiny, even members of the elite media realized they had crossed a line—told too big a lie—and many outlets took down tweets or corrected their stories.

When asked if he would still use the word “animals,” President Trump said, “We have laws that are laughed at on immigration. So, when the MS-13 comes in, when the other gang members come into our country, I refer to them as animals. And guess what — I always will.”

Time and time again, the members of the Left overplay their hands or outright lie because they blindly hate the president. And time and time again, this disconnect between the Left’s values and the issues Americans care about drives the two further apart.

Of course, President Trump’s role in the comeback of free speech is only half the story. The other half is the efforts of Americans across the country who are living in Trump’s America. These are the members of journalist Salena Zito’s “Great Revolt,” who, she writes, “were hiding in plain sight – ignored by both parties, the media, and the political experts all at once, ready to unite into the movement that spawned the greatest upset in recent electoral history.”

Freethinkers across the political spectrum, such as Dilbert creator Scott Adams, clinical psychologist Jordan B. Peterson, entertainer Kanye West, liberal professor Bret Weinstein, and most recently Elon Musk, have experienced the wrath of the radical Left. These people may not all be Republicans, but they have become steadfast supporters of free speech—in large part because of the Left’s tyranny.

Free speech is our most cherished and effective tool for expanding and protecting our liberty. For decades, we have allowed the Left to slowly undermine it. We must fight and reverse this effort if we are going to make America great again. This is a core belief of Trump’s America—and a central pillar of the great comeback.

Newt Gingrich was the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. He is chairman of the Gingrich Group, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

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