Trump Stands Up for College Students’ Free Speech with Executive Order


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Trump is doing more to protect the right to freedom of speech than any “liberal” out there.

On Thursday, the president signed an executive order that threatened to cut colleges’ federal funding if they fail to protect students’ freedom of speech rights.

Conservative viewpoints have been consistently censored by left-leaning universities, and Trump is right in taking action to change this.

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Fox News reported the story:

President Trump on Thursday signed an executive order to promote free speech on college campuses by threatening colleges with the loss of federal research funding if they do not protect those rights.

"We’re here to take historic action to defend American students and American values," Trump said, surrounded by conservative student activists at the signing ceremony. "They’ve been under siege."

"Under the guise of speech codes, safe spaces and trigger warnings, these universities have tried to restrict free thought, impose total conformity and shut down the voices of great young Americans like those here today," he said.

A senior administration official said the order directs 12 grant-making agencies to use their authority in coordination with the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to ensure institutions that receive federal research or education grants promote free speech and free inquiry. White House officials have said it will apply to more than $35 billion in grants.

Public universities seeking funding would have to certify they comply with the First Amendment, which already applies to them. Private universities, which have more flexibility in limiting speech, would need to commit to their own institutional rules.

"Even as universities have received billions and billions of dollars from taxpayers, many have become increasingly hostile to free speech and the First Amendment," Trump said.

Trump had announced that such an order was forthcoming at the Conservative Political Action Conference last month, where he said the directive would require colleges and universities to support free speech in exchange for federal research dollars.

Reuters had the following to say:

Trump, who regularly decries the media as “fake news” and calls defamation laws “a sham,” has threatened retaliatory action related to free speech issues where he says the rights of conservatives are under attack.

In signing the order at the White House on Thursday, Trump took the fight to campuses, which receive billions of dollars a year from the federal government, including more than $30 billion for research.

“Universities that want tax dollars should protect free speech, not silence free speech,” Trump said.

But the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) said in a statement that public schools are already committed to free expression and the executive order “does not — and cannot — add to or subtract from our pre-existing obligations under the Constitution.”

A senior U.S. administration official said schools, not the government, would attest to their compliance with the executive order.

Private schools will follow their own policies, and the executive order will not impact student tuition aid programs, the official said.

“The goal of the order is to promote free speech more broadly across college campuses,” the official told reporters.

Trump had announced his planned order earlier this month at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington. The event featured activist Hayden Williams, who was punched at the University of California, Berkeley, in February while recruiting students for a conservative group.


Real Clear Politics gave more details on the unfair treatment conservatives on college campuses have faced and rightly commented:

Universities across America take in tens of billions of federal dollars in research funding every year. The president’s executive order is an important step toward enforcing what these universities should have been doing all along: promoting free speech and encouraging diversity of thought as they conduct their research.

Professors seem to have little concern for students who may disagree with their views. They rail against President Trump, Republicans and the conservative movement as they teach, sending a clear message that other political views are not welcome in their classroom. They espouse “safe spaces” but create a hostile environment for conservative students.

This toxic culture comes at a cost. It stifles free expression and critical thinking. It encourages students to tailor their work to the views of their instructors. It eliminates the debates and discourse that have always been a critical part of the college experience.

Students go to college to broaden their perspectives and deepen their knowledge of the world. Instead, they face an environment in which they are expected to fall in line with the liberal narrative – or else. Look at the violent mobs that continue to drive away conservative speakers to prevent diversity of thought from infiltrating their bubble. In 2017, hundreds of people protestedconservative commentator Ben Shapiro’s appearance at UC Berkeley, and several were arrested as the crowd turned violent.

Prominent conservatives continue to be protested, barred or disinvited from speaking on campus – even Republican members of Congress. And when the mobs fail to derail the events, protesters try to de-platform them instead. Speakers have been forced to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for security, all because they dare to publicly express ideas that differ from those of some students, professors and school administrators.

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Watch Trump sign the order here:


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