Appearing on Fox News with Tucker Carlson, actor Richard Dreyfuss, who definitely dislikes President Trump, offered a surprising defense of free speech on campus, ripping colleges that make it difficult for speakers from both political directions to speak.
I want to mention one thing … You were talking about the speakers on university campuses. And I am totally, incontrovertibly on your side about this. I think that any intrusion into freedom of speech is an intrusion into freedom of speech. And when one of the presidents of one of the colleges said, “This is a school, not a battlefield,” I said, no, it a battlefield of ideas and we must have dissident, dissenting opinions on campuses and I think it's political correctness taken to a nightmarish point of view.
Asked about President Trump’s threat to withdraw funds from sanctuary cities, which was challenged by a judge, and why no judge challenged the Obama Administration’s threat to withhold funds from North Carolina over its transgender bathroom bill, Dreyfuss decided to eschew answering the question and launch into a discussion of civics, in which he sounded more conservative than would have been supposed, prompting Carlson to respond, “I agree with every single word of that.”
I have withdrawn from partisan politics. I am a constitutionalist who believes that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights must be central and the parties must be peripheral. What's most important for me is what you just mentioned haphazardly, we are over 30. Civics has not been taught in the American public school system since 1970. And that means everyone in Congress never studied the constitution and the bill of rights as you and I might have.
And that is a critical flaw because it's why we were admired and respected for so long, it gives us our national identity, it tells the world who we are and why we are who we are, and without a frame that gives us values that stand behind the bill of rights, we're just floating in the air and our sectors of society are not connected.
What's really important is that the assumptions of the left and the right are all skewed wrong. We have to find areas of agreement and areas that we share. And we do share the notion that education accomplishes certain things. One, it turns students into citizens. And, two, it teaches students how to run the country before it's their turn to run the country. And, three, it teaches the values of this nation.
People come from all over the world or are born into this nation without the values that we have here. That's why they came here, to get them. And what are they? You can put them in opportunity, rise by merit, mobility, and freedom. That's what we sell. And if you don't want that, you've chosen the wrong place. And you don't get a pass by being born here, you have to learn it. Even the Ten Commandments are not known at birth. You must learn them. And we must learn our values and if we don't, we are fatally, fatally wounding ourselves. We will not have any way to really combat the ideas behind ISIS because we won't know our own. And we have to.