December 1, 2016

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Santorum Deserved Respect, Not Insults

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Re: “Santorum Calls Protests Disrupting Lecture Sign of ‘Liberal Intolerance’ at Cornell,” News, Nov. 23

To the Editor:

I hope Cornell can become an institution where different points of view are celebrated, not silenced. Any university, particularly an Ivy League school, should encourage respectful debate with opposing viewpoints. Unfortunately at Wednesday’s Rick Santorum event a small, but vocal group of students inappropriately interrupted his speech claiming that his views are “offensive” to some.

The Cornell Republicans did not invite Senator Santorum to campus because we expected a majority of the student body to agree with him; rather we hoped that his perspectives would be educational to students at a university which typically only provides one point of view. When Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) spoke at Liberty University last year, students treated him with the utmost respect even though Senator Sanders holds views which are incredibly offensive to many Liberty students. I hoped that Cornell students would offer Senator Santorum the same respect extended to Senator Sanders at Liberty. Sadly, many did not.

Although the jeering was completely inappropriate inside Statler Auditorium, I commend the protesters who demonstrated outside of the venue. While I particularly disagree with “Rick Santorum go away,” I nonetheless admire their dedication to exercising the American right to peacefully protest. Going forward, I hope speakers of all political persuasions will be greeted with respect and civil discourse.

David Navadeh ’19, second vice chairman of the Cornell Republicans

16 thoughts on “LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Santorum Deserved Respect, Not Insults

  1. I hope Cornell can become an institution where different points of view are celebrated,

    t as much as i despise republicans its no secret your unis filled with a bunch of book BBQer that need a safe space from offense.

  2. Sorry but “Senator Sanders holds views which are incredibly offensive to many Liberty students” ? What views are these?

    It just seems like there is a huge difference between Santorum’s discriminatory views, and Sanders’ economic-populist ones.

    In general, I find it silly to argue that one should have tolerance for intolerance. And it’s pretty clear to me what intolerance means. I wish the Cornell Republicans would try to find some more moderate speakers to show the campus that they are serious about the values of tolerance and respect they are claiming to uphold.

    • Socialism is one of the worse evils invented by mankind. Sanders self identifies as a socialist. As much as I gag whenever he speaks, his right to speak needs to be upheld.

      • Sanders identifies as a democratic socialist, which is a model of political and economic governance that produces the happiest and healthiest quality of life outcomes on the world. If you were to gag in any of the countries where such policies are in effect, you would probably receive excellent and free care regardless of your class. Further, you would be more likely to survive your unfortunate gagging than you would in the United States, where despite its vast wealth has some of the worst health outcomes in the developed world.

        Cheers

        • Yeah like Cuba, Venezuela and Stalinist Russia.

          Liberals think Sweden is an example of socialism but Sweden is as white bread as it gets (until the liberals changed all that). Up until 15 years ago Sweden was all white Christian and everyone knew someone who knew someone. It was like a big family so, some degree of socialism did work. That is until the socialists and liberals changed all that.

          What they did was open wide their doors to Muslim immigration and now that all white and Christian nation is not so warm and fuzzy anymore. Now there are no-go zones. Now the incidence of rape is up 1,400%. Now crime is spiraling out of control. Now the welfare system is breaking down as Muslims abuse it. Now one cannot buy Mace it sells out so quickly and gun sales are off the charts.

          But leave it up to liberals to ignore all this and pretend Sweden is a little socialist ideal.

    • When has any liberal group shown sensitivity towards those that do not share their perspective? For example, many people are very offended by BLM. Would you advocate that BLM not be permitted to speak at Cornell?

  3. It appears that Cornell embraces diversity of race, gender, religion, etc. but not diversity of opinion. Liberal political opinion is not the only game in town. Just look at the results from last month.

  4. I’m not offended when a politician tells me i can’t have contraception or should face discrimination because I live wth a sane-sex partner: it’s not a matter of emotion but a matter of human rights: my rights are being taken away, my religious freedom (to not be Christian, to not have to live under Christian family values) is being taken away. Santorum doesn’t offend me, Santorum came to my school to tell me he is gonna take away my first amendment right to freedom of religion (im atheist) by making me live the way some group of Christians live. That’s why I stood for an hour outside and shouted at him to “go away”. Because I’ll listen to him talk about taxes and how much funding we should allocate to public infrastructure, but his blatant attack on my freedom of religion and my human rights isn’t civil to begin with. Someone in power came to town to tell me they are going to take away my religious freedom and my right to live freely. That’s why I shouted “go away”. All the op-eds and democratic politicians and activists couldn’t convince him to defend my religious freedom even when he doesn’t like my non-religion, so it’s not like listening and understanding his extremism is gonna prevent my freedoms from being taken away. I want him to go away so the question of whether I should have constitutionally protected human rights is not a debatable thing (as he obviously thinks it is), so we can debate about taxes, small government, and infrastructure, and foreign affairs. So yes, I will defend his right to free speech but he has to defend my right to freedom of (and from) religion. The first amendment includes both.

    • You don’t solve these problems by pretending your emotions matter. You solve it by articulating rational reasons why you’re right and Santorum is wrong. That should be extremely easy, we’re talking about Rick Santorum here. If you’re unwilling or incapable of that kind of discourse there’s no point in wasting your time at college.

      You act like we’ve been giving good reasons but that hasn’t been working. This is exactly how we got into this problem in the first place! So many of us are so off the deep end in our little echo chamber that we think ad hominem attacks, straw men, personal antecedents, and simply declaring that we’re right and we always hold the moral high ground constitute valid arguments. I get my news primarily from many moderate to very liberal sources and have never seen proper justification ever given for the views of the left nor have I found in online conversations. We need to stop doubling down on complaining and start acting like adults again.

  5. At a highly ranked university in 1974, David Duke spoke. There was a large and mostly quiet protest outside the hall. Inside the hall, there was much tension, but there were no outbursts of emotion. African-American and Jewish students were there in large numbers. I was one of the latter. Duke took written questions after his talk. Nearly every question clearly indicated the questioner’s disagreement with and disdain for Duke’s ideas, but he answered them civilly. He received no applause after the speech, just cold silence.

  6. Liberals are amazing. They are delusional. They actually believe they are proponents of free speech.

    One of the highlights of this interminable campaign was when BLM forced Bernie from the podium. I thought that was hilarious and so typical of liberals!

    Scratch a liberal hard enough and you will find a totalitarian.

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