As always, the Onion has captured the intricacies of the freedom of speech debate with the following headline “Berkeley Campus On Lockdown After Loose Pages From ‘Wall Street Journal’ Found On Park Bench.” Most recently, Ann Coulter, a conservative writer and social commenter, decided to pull her speaking engagement from Berkley. Many conservative commentators are asking for the school’s administrations to stand up to the “bullies” on the left, some seeking some even more draconian outlooks, calling on their right to bear arms, if the government is un-able to protect the first amendment. (national review)
What is most harmful in this heated debate is the conflation of conservative ideologies with more far-right fringe ideologies. Ben Shapiro and Richard Spenser have faced similar backlash at their respective speaking engagements, but to lump the two together is intellectually dishonest. The type of fire-branded conservatism that has allowed figures like Coulter and Milo Yianopoulos to rise and build such a strong following is the result of the conservative movement finding themselves in unfamiliar territory. Are conservatives the new punk?