Former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker told the audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Florida on Feb. 26 that college campuses are filled with a “new generation of snowflakes” determined to cancel conservative students’ free speech rights.
Walker is the new president of the Young Americas Foundation, which is a conservative outreach organization that works to ensure “that increasing numbers of young Americans understand and are inspired by the ideas of individual freedom, a strong national defense, free enterprise, and traditional values.”
New Generation of Snowflakes
His speech at CPAC 2021 focused on freedom of speech rights, and he vowed to fight hard for conservative ideas on the nation’s college campuses. Walker didn’t bring up President Donald Trump in his speech, but his topic was narrowly focused on freedom of speech as part of a series of talks focusing on the Bill of Rights.
Walker said universities need to “apply rules universally to all students.” The Young Americas Foundation has filed successful lawsuits to stand up for conservative students, he said.
He said too many liberal students say it’s “okay to infringe on the free speech rights of other students…young people did not learn this on their own. Years of left-wing professors and increasingly large numbers of radical activists on campus shaped a new generation of snowflakes.”
Walker also slammed big tech.
“America is under siege,” he told the audience on day 1 of CPAC in Orlando, Florida. “We see it on our campuses; we see it in our culture and increasingly in our communications with censorship by big tech.”
Walker also referenced “left-wing professors” and others, including the media, who he believes are “attempting to cancel conservative thought.”
“They just want to cancel us; they don’t want to compete with us in the battle of ideas because they would lose,” he said.
He referenced his battles as governor with the left in Wisconsin when his collective bargaining reforms sparked a failed recall attempt.
Walker described seeing a car “driving around the People’s Republic of Madison at the time.” It had two bumper stickers; one said, “co-exist,” and the sticker next to it said, “Recall Scott Walker.”
“The big government special interests wanted to intimidate us but they didn’t” succeed, said the former governor.
He derided the “current calls from liberals for unity; they only mean it if you agree with them. If not, they want to intimidate or recall you or cancel you.”
He said conservatives “have to fight back in defense of free speech.”
However, “despite this constitutional guarantee,” freedom of speech “is most at risk on our college campuses; the very place where it should be most revered is where it’s most at risk.”
He said that conservative students’ free speech rights are being infringed, citing examples at California universities where conservative speakers faced large security fees.
Walker said America is a “shining city on the hill” that attracts people from all over the world because of our freedom and opportunities available to every citizen. Free people must be able to speak out and challenge ideas. Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. Are you ready to defend freedom?”
After Walker’s speech, former New York Times reporter and author Alex Berenson spoke about freedom of the press. “Reporters spend significant periods of time looking for public figures who said words they consider bad or ideas they consider bad,” he said. “I don’t know when that became journalism.” Then, they “try to flog” those people.
He said that journalists are “frustrated because they can’t control the debate as completely as they’d like. They are frustrated that 75 million people voted for Trump.”
Berenson slammed big tech, saying that “it is amazing to me to see journalists asking technology companies for help in censorship, but that’s happening.”
Facebook “will dump groups it doesn’t like” and YouTube prevents videos offering countering viewpoints to “whatever today’s official version is” on COVID-19 even though “in reality that advice has changed over and over again.” Amazon won’t sell some conservative books.
“It’s happening together. It is by design,” he said. “It is squeezing the flow of information, and it’s extraordinarily dangerous.”
He said that big tech profits from lockdowns, from “keeping you in your house… when ideology and profit are running the same way, it’s almost impossible to get people to reconsider their actions or the consequences of their actions.”
According to Berenson, “self-employed journalists are starting to fight” back.