News and Commentary

WATCH Ted Cruz Give A Passionate Defense Of The First Amendment

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) gave a passionate defense of the First Amendment at a Tuesday hearing focus on free speech on college campuses.

Cruz began by stating that diversity of thought is necessary on college campuses in order for to create an atmosphere for college students to experience differing points of view and have their beliefs challenged.

“If universities become homogenizing institutions that are focused on inculcating and indoctrinating rather than challenging, we will lose what makes universities great,” Cruz said.

Cruz continued by stating that the beauty of the First Amendment is that it protects “the rights of others to express” differing opinions, which makes it all the more sad that administrators and faculty members at universities are “complicit in functioning essentially as speech police” as riots on college campuses to stop members of the Right from speaking are on the rise.

“Far too many colleges and universities quietly roll over and say …we will effectively reward the violent criminals and muzzle the First Amendment,” Cruz said.

The conservative stalwart then pointed to a Knight Foundation study that found that most students feel that speech is being suppressed due to “the climate on campus,” which Cruz called “an indictment of our university system.” He proceeded to drop the hammer on those opposing free speech.

“If ideas are strong, if ideas are right, you don’t need to muzzle the opposition,” said Cruz. “You should welcome the opposition.”

Cruz added that university administrators and faculty members who allow or advocate for the suppression of speech to happen “are afraid that their ideas cannot stand the dialectic, cannot stand opposition, cannot stand facts or reasoning, or anything on the other side.”

“It is only through force and power that their ideas can be accepted,” said Cruz.

Cruz cited the utilitarian philosopher John Stuart Mill as saying that “more speech and better ideas” are the best way to fight against ugly speech and terrible ideas, pointing out that the abhorrent views perpetuated by the Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan are protected under the First Amendment and the best way to counter them is speech explaining how immoral and repugnant their views are.

“We don’t need to use brute force to silence them because is truth is far more powerful than force,” Cruz concluded.

The full video of Cruz’s statement can be seen below:

H/T: Conservative Review

Follow Aaron Bandler on Twitter.