From the initial “vanishing” stakes to the “revised” posters (and subsequent “poster wars”), it seems as though the left is doing everything in its power to stunt the success of Ann Coulter’s speaking engagement on Feb. 28. Meanwhile, alumni have whined, and professors have moaned in anticipation.
Liberals are the first to ridicule Coulter’s bold statements and outspoken ways, but deep inside, they are petrified that her strong views will somehow influence their peers. Why else would they waste so much money and paper on (illegally posted) color flyers of Coulter juxtaposed with a phallic mascot, or make an effort to destroy the Cal Poly College Republicans’ flyers?
The university is meant to be an open forum for free speech. This point is clearly addressed in our Mission Statement: “Cal Poly values free inquiry, cultural and intellectual diversity.” Diversity of thought should have as much value on campus as other types of diversity. At least, this is what the administration tells us.
In fact, Cal Poly recently adopted the Association of American Colleges and Universities “Making Excellence Inclusive” initiative, “designed to help colleges and universities fully integrate their diversity and educational quality efforts and embed them into the core of academic mission and institutional functioning.”
If the Inclusive Excellence movement is any more than an masked version of affirmative action, our campus should strive to support events such as these. I, for one, was pleased by Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong’s mention of all types of diversity at the Inclusive Excellence Colloquium a couple weeks ago.
At a campus where conservative speakers rarely find their way to commencement ceremonies, Coulter’s appearance means a great deal. Coulter is likely the most renowned conservative speaker to visit the campus since then-Governor Ronald Reagan stirred it up in the ’70s.
And contrary to liberal bashing, Coulter is an intellectual in her own right.
Coulter graduated cum laude from Cornell University School of Arts and Sciences, where she helped found the Cornell Review. She received her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, and was an editor of the Michigan Law Review. She later served as a litigator for the Center for Individual Rights.
Coulter has authored seven New York Times bestsellers, and while liberals will babble on about her “outrageous statements,” the truth is that she backs up every claim with at least a dozen footnotes.
Then again, the left would actually have to read her books to realize this concept.
Her newest book, “Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America” traces the mob mentality of the left throughout the course of history. While supported by extensive research, it’s unlikely that it will ever find its way onto your textbook lists simply because most professors wish to ignore these aspects of past and recent history.
Hmm, I wonder why?
In addition, Coulter is an empowering figure for women.
She has become successful by virtue of her intellect and has emerged as a strong voice for the right. She attacks corruption where she sees it and has something provocative to say about any and every issue. Whether you completely agree with her or not is irrelevant; she is guaranteed to spark discussion among faculty and students, thus reaffirming Cal Poly’s commitment to liberal (open-minded) education.
Finally, liberals denounce the event as a waste of school funds. In fact, the event was largely fundraised by the Cal Poly College Republicans, who generously decided to make the event free and open to the public. Where is the problem in this? Shouldn’t every club on campus have the equal opportunity to fundraise for dynamic speakers? Isn’t that one of the reasons to form a club in the first place?
Coulter’s visit marks a step in the right direction for Cal Poly. Our university cannot continue to ignore the conservative side of issues without contradicting its core mission.