Thursday, March 16, 2023


We must defund campus liberals. When I was a college student, there was a clear liberal bias, but you could still engage in thoughtful debate. In the 1990s, something changed. We started to see political correctness spread across higher education.

By the time my sons Matt and Alex began college, the move toward radical indoctrination of students was well underway. Thankfully, they got involved with college Republican groups and brought in speakers through Young America’s Foundation, or YAF. By surrounding themselves with positive friends and classmates, they remained strong in their conservative values.

Sadly, in the few years since my sons graduated from college, institutions of higher learning have embraced cancel culture. Conservative students, organizations and speakers are told that their ideas are threatening the safety of other students and faculty on campus.

Time and time again, conservatives are either denied access to speak out on campus, or the barriers put in place are nearly insurmountable. Our message to these young people is clear: If you are under attack, YAF has your back.

Unfortunately, there are plenty of examples of why students need our help.

A week ago, the Erie County District Attorney’s Office in upstate New York announced, less than 24 hours before Michael Knowles was scheduled to speak at the University of Buffalo, that it will not pursue charges against students and outside agitators who chased YAF student leaders around campus, attacked them and forced retired Lt. Col. Allen West to be escorted out by police for his own safety.

Imagine if the tables were turned and leftists were disrupted and attacked by conservative activists. University and local government officials would have cracked down, and the national media would still be talking about the crisis in confidence on campus. Instead, they are affirmed for standing up for their beliefs.

Let me be clear: People have a right to protest in a free society. I know that; I’ve had to face liberal protesters for decades. What they don’t have a right to do is shut down free and open dialogue — particularly in a room that was reserved by students through a YAF-sponsored lecture series.

In addition, no one deserves to be chased all over campus and threatened. For all the talk about tolerance on the left, they don’t seem very willing to show it to anyone who disagrees with them.

The recent hecklers’ veto at Stanford Law School is a prime example of this glaring double standard. The law school’s dean for diversity, equity and inclusion, Tirien Steinbach, failed to invoke the school’s freedom of speech policy and actually joined the protest against Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan, who is a member of the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

Then, after the president of the university and the dean of the law school apologized to the federal judge for the disruption, law students protested the dean.

The disruption was a clear violation of university policy, and the DEI dean failed to enforce it. Each of the law school students involved in the mob action should be expelled, and the DEI dean should be fired. Those seeking to practice law should be held to a higher standard for following clearly stated policies.

I will not hold my breath.

The offending dean should have her title changed to “dean of exclusion.” Radicals really don’t want diversity and inclusion. They want militants who totally agree with them. If they don’t get what they want, they riot. This cannot continue if we want a free and just society.  

So, what can be done? First, stop giving money to your alma mater. Unless it has an enforceable free speech policy and engages in intellectual diversity, your college is just a liberal indoctrination machine. Giving money to these institutions is an existential threat to the American way of life. 

Next, appeal to your governor and state lawmakers to withhold funding for institutions that do not have an enforceable free speech policy and intellectual diversity. Most schools have few, if any, tenured professionals who are even slightly right of center. Report after report documents the partisan and ideological bias on most campuses in America.

Academic freedom will be the knee-jerk reaction to the calls for defunding the liberals on campus. The phrase academic freedom is a joke, however, if there is little or no diversity of thought on most campuses.

Liberals are at war with the things that made America great. We must wake up and fight back.

• Scott Walker is president of Young America’s Foundation and served as the 45th governor of Wisconsin from 2011 to 2019.

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