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by
Bryan Preston

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May 29, 2014 - 3:29 pm

Big Gulp banning Mayor Mike Bloomberg delivered an extraordinary speech at Harvard University. With conservative speakers getting banned and/or uninvited from university commencement ceremonies, Bloomberg took the opportunity at Harvard to, basically, tell the banners and uninviters to knock it off. He likened them to McCarthyism, which is unfair as McCarthy was actually fighting a totalitarian idea that was being pushed into the US by a hostile foreign power for the express purpose of weakening us and overthrowing capitalism. But that bit of moral confusion aside, and his support for the Ground Zero mosque aside along with it, Bloomberg delivers a strong defense of free speech. Stirring, even.

I’m as stunned to write that as you surely are reading it.

The important part starts after the six minute mark.

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Bloomberg’s defenses of freedom of thought and speech are not a mere sidebar in the speech. They are the speech. Bloomberg strongly defends all dissent from the current leftist orthodoxy, even on gay marriage, and calls out universities for going so far left that they have become the very forces of intolerance they claim to oppose. And earns applause. No one even threw a pie at him.

Via Allahpundit, a few quotes.

“It is just a modern form of McCarthyism,” Bloomberg said of university “censorship” of conservatives. “Think about the irony: In the 1950s, the right wing was attempting to repress left wing ideas. Today, on many college campuses, it is liberals trying to repress conservative ideas even as conservative faculty members are at risk of becoming an endangered species.”

“And that is probably nowhere more true than it is here in the Ivy League,” declared Bloomberg…

“In the 2012 presidential race, according to Federal Election Commission data, 96% of all campaign contributions from Ivy League faculty and employees went to Barack Obama,” he said. “There was more disagreement among the old Soviet politburo than there is among Ivy League donors.”

“Neither party has a monopoly of truth or God on its side. When 96% of Ivy League donors prefer one candidate to another, you really have to wonder whether students are being exposed to the diversity of views that a great university should offer,” Bloomberg continued, occasionally being interrupted by moderate applause.

That comment about the Politburo surely went over most of the students’ heads, but it found its mark among the faculty. Well done.

I am aware that Bloomberg remains a hypocrite on guns who believes that his use of wealth to push his policy preferences whether people want them or not will buy his way into heaven, even though he doesn’t really believe in God. He’s a small man with a gargantuan ego. But when he’s right, he’s right, and in this speech, he’s right. His commencement address is an important one.

Contra Allah, that doesn’t make Bloomberg presidential material. President of Harvard, maybe.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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All Comments   (9)
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It's nice that he's at least addressing the current problem at academia regarding leftists having a monopoly over education and pushing lies to the students. Unfortunately, this sort of thing has been going on since at least the 18th Century, back when Voltaire and his Philosophe allies (I'd say "friends", but at least one, Rousseau, was not an actual friend) basically took over the joint and pushed anti-Christian propaganda. And Voltaire is, if not the inventor of free speech, he certainly was the face of it with his "I don't agree with what you say, but I'll die to defend your right to say it." And guess what, when he and his pals took control of academia and wrote the Encyclopaedie, they made sure to suppress Christian thought once they had the reins of influence they needed, which even acted as one of the reasons behind the French Revolution. Read Timothy Dwight's speech of "The Duties of Americans at the Present Crisis" if you don't believe me.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, somebody had to say it. I'm astonished that it was he, but hey, good for him that he said it.

Now comes the real question: was anyone listening?
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, we've always known that Bloomberg isn't a complete fool (or tool).
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, I gotta commend him for saying this (at Haaavard of all places) because free speech is about as well-liked these days as a turd sitting on the dinner table.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Big whoop. A stopped clock is right twice a day. Bloomberg is kinda right once in his life. Plus, the stopped clock doesn't dream of exercising totalitarian control over every aspect of my life. For my own good, of course.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Did he say 86 gun deaths a day? That would be 3 times reality. Sad how rare the word "principle" has become. Since the PC this guy is talking about is almost entirely centered around race and gender, that is the moral ethos that must be destroyed. Hate is not politics, and it is not a political point of view. Innuendo and things like "privilege" are not facts, but witchhunts. I don't mind if someone points to Jim Crow. That was real. I mind when someone points to me and says "Jim Crow."
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Whattaya know. Didn't see that coming.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Stunning.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
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