Sometimes you couldn’t tell the difference between free speech and stuff you’d better say if you knew what was good for you.
In 1967 I entered Rutgers University’s freshman orientation, the theme of which–till you had it coming out your nose–was “dissent.” You had to plow through a long and turgid reading list, every page of which celebrated “dissent.”
It was the supreme civic virtue, the acme of morality. It was an end in itself, something sought after, prized, and exalted.
What a load of crap.
Most of us never realized that by “dissent” they meant line by line, word by word, precept upon precept agreement with left-wing professors. The big issue, of course, was the Vietnam War. Democrats started it and then expanded it; but once they had a Republican in the White House, the Democrats wanted the war to be lost. So they did everything they could to raise up an anti-war movement for what used to be their war but was now Richard Nixon’s–and therefor had to be lost.
And they offered us a lot of extra goodies–sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. And told us what a great and good and wise generation we were. All that dissent! They shook their heads in awe of us. They were only faking, but a lot of us never caught on.
If anyone ever tried to “dissent” from the anti-war good-time-hippie left–whoa, back off! I knew campus leftids who would’ve shot you for dissenting from them in any way. How dare you! I saw them come down on people. It was nasty.
And now, forty-some years later, we’re back to all that. Their goal back then was to get the Democrat Party back into power. Now their goal is Power Forever, no matter what it costs. If they have to foment a race war and burn the country down in order to get it, fine–they’ve got no problem with that.
And now, as then, the heart of darkness is the colleges; and now the grade and high schools, too. They lust for power, and don’t bother to ask them, “Power to do what?”
You don’t really want to know.