Last Tuesday, the editorial staff of the Daily Californian, the student newspaper for the University of California, Berkeley, authored and published an editorial entitled in response to Ann Coulter’s impending November 20th speech on campus. The argument laid out by the editorial board only serves to confirm conservatives’ suspicions about the state of present-day American institutions of higher education — suspicions that UC-Berkeley and the Daily Californian have attempted to rebuff since the school became the forefront of the campus culture war in the wake of the 2016 election.
I won’t attempt to hide my bias like the Daily Californian. As the former president of the organization bringing Coulter to campus, the Berkeley College Republicans, I have an interest in seeing this event succeed. But that doesn’t invalidate my critique of the editorial board’s logic.
At the beginning of the piece, the editorial board claims that “there are many more qualified authorities on immigration beyond Coulter,” despite the fact that Coulter is considered one of the most prominent influences on Donald Trump’s immigration policy in 2016.
Of course, they dare not give alternate suggestions as to who we might bring instead — but those speakers, conservative speakers, they swear, are out there.
What if the Berkeley College Republicans brought Stephen Miller to Berkeley’s campus? Undoubtedly, his current role as a senior policy advisor to President Trump — on matters of immigration, specifically — would classify him as a “more qualified authority on immigration” than Coulter. But would a visitation from Miller elicit a different response? Probably not. Would a visit from a conservative who is more pro-legal immigration than Coulter be received more cordially? No. I can say this with certainty because this is the same talking point the campus Left has trotted out every time a prominent conservative comes to speak on campus. The campus Left’s rejection of these speakers has nothing to do with the speakers’ previous work experience and everything to do with the fact that they are bringing right-wing viewpoints to campus.
The editorial goes on to say: “In theory, interacting with speakers who have differing views is a healthy way to encourage useful political discourse. But the fact of the matter is, Ann Coulter is absolutely not the person to bring in for productive dialogue, and the event’s current structure does not give space for audience members to engage with Coulter. The event’s public webpage doesn’t list any time for a Q&A, nor is the event itself a panel; so how is this event supposed to be facilitating dialogue without the act of opening space for, well, dialogue?” Again, we see the liberal establishment on campus falling back to creating constantly shifting, malleable, and inconsistent standards.
The assertion that it is impossible to have productive dialogue when both sides of the political spectrum are not equitably represented in a forum provided by an overtly partisan campus institution seeking to provide a counter-narrative to the predominant campus narrative is ridiculous. By their own logic, every forum created to have dialogue, not only at UC-Berkeley but also throughout the entire UC system, is now invalidated given the overtly partisan actions taken by thefor rescinding DACA. Furthermore, these standard are ones that the Left is completely uninterested in upholding in the classroom itself, where the presentation of information is anything but equitable.
If these truth-seeking journalists actually did their job and researched the major campus events the Berkeley College Republicans have hosted, they’d know that we host events in both panel and lecture formats, and that every event comes with a substantial amount of time allotted for Q&A from the audience.
But what else should we expect from the next generation of our journalistic firefighters?
The editorial board attempts to shift the blame for campus disruptions that have cost the UC-Berkeley campus hundreds of thousands of dollars in security and damages from those protestors trying to create a heckler’s veto to the Republican students who unapologetically seek a voice on Berkeley’s hyper-liberal campus.
This type of response to the Right’s representation on campus is the direct result of the Left’s domination of academia that has protected and justified leftist students’ conflation of argumentation with literal assault for decades. The result: Students with a weak command of history and wavering principles they can’t defend, making them incredibly susceptible to being whipped up into these childish frenzies every time a conservative or Republican comes to campus.
If you’re interested in attending Coulter’s speech at UC-Berkeley, purchase tickets .