Jeb Bush: Horowitz a "Fighter for Freedom" · 06 April 2005

Filed under: Florida, Press Coverage


Free speech advocate David Horowitz urged Florida legislators Tuesday to pass a bill that would restore freedom of speech on college campuses long dominated by liberal faculties.

"It is not the place of teachers to force conclusions on controversial matters," Horowitz told the House Education Council, according to the Palm Beach Post. "This is not a controversial bill. It has been made controversial by people who have a vested interest in keeping universities as their political platforms."

Crafted by Horowitz and introduced in the Legislature by Rep. Dennis Baxley, the bill seeks to rectify the suppression of conservative thought on Florida's college campuses.

Florida Governor Jeb Bush has expressed support for the bill, calling Horowitz a "fighter for freedom."

"The idea that speech rights are given comfortably to one side but not the other is wrong," Bush told the Post. "Universities need to be sensitive to the fact that some people feel their rights are restricted and they feel isolated."

The bill provides that students should not "be infringed upon by instructors who persistently introduce controversial matter into the classroom that has no relation to the subject of study and serves no [teaching] purpose."

Baxley insists it will protect the rights of conservative Florida college students, some of whom testified Tuesday about prejudices they say they fell victim to at the hands of liberal professors, according to the Post.

"I find it humorous that we are pretending our universities are not bastions of liberal thought," said Baxley, who is the chairman of the House Education committee. "Conservative students have to go underground or face retribution."

Horowitz has been conducting a nationwide campaign to win the right of free speech for students. The Baxley bill is modeled after legislation promoted by his Students for Academic Freedom.

Despite protests by liberals that the nation's colleges and universities are not locked in a stranglehold by far-left faculties, a recent study demonstrated the extent of their domination of most institutions of higher learning.

As reported by NewsMax in the March 29 piece Study Confirms College Profs Are Left-Wing, the study, funded by the Randolph Foundation and appearing in the March issue of the Forum, an online political science journal, found that:

Seventy-two percent of those teaching at American universities and colleges are liberal and just 15 percent are conservative - by their own description.

Fifty percent of the faculty members surveyed identify themselves as Democrats and 11 percent as Republicans.

It's even worse at the nation's most elite schools, where, according to the study, 87 percent of faculty are liberal and 13 percent are conservative.