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If Mike McInally, in a recent editorial, can ascribe a partisan motive to Donald Trump’s enacting an executive order defending free speech on campus, as merely being a nod to his conservative base, I guess I’m free to ascribe Mike’s criticism of such an order as an attempt to mollify the Gazette-Times’ largely left-leaning, university-employed audience while somewhat meekly having to agree with Trump.

Incredible as claiming, without example, that Trump “is the most congenitally anti-free-speech administration in American history” (that’s what you get for quoting The New York Times), is the equally puzzling claim that an executive order asserting your First Amendment right doesn’t end on campus grounds, is in some way “chilling.” Chilling in what way? I would have thought that suggesting a newspaper editor be imprisoned for printing a letter somebody else doesn’t like to be “chilling,” not telling little Stalinist tyrants they’re not free to declare often public institutions (or editorial pages) their own private enclaves.

This shouldn’t be a partisan issue at all: Everyone should agree that we should all have the equal opportunity to express our ideas; sadly the administrators and/or academicians of many schools are either too weak-willed, or themselves far too left-wing sectarian to stand up for this particular idea of fairness. Something should have been done decades ago to halt this. I’m not sure an executive order is what it’s going to take to make sure people’s right to express themselves is taken seriously on campus, but I think it’s a step in the right direction.

Harry Mallory

Corvallis (March 5)

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