JEFFERSON’S VISION IS WORTH FIGHTING FOR
The University of Virginia was founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson as a means to “advance human knowledge, educate leaders and cultivate an informed citizenry.” However, in recent days the radical Left at Mr. Jefferson’s University has worked tirelessly to dismantle the principles of democracy that Jefferson fought so hard for––attempting to cancel a visit from Vice President Mike Pence to the university.
Just recently, the Editorial Board of The Cavalier Daily had stated that “Speech that threatens the lives of those on Grounds is unjustifiable” as a response to Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) at the University of Virginia hosting the former Vice President on April 12th. in their editorial entitled “Dangerous Rhetoric is Not Entitled to a Platform,” The Cavalier Daily– under the leadership of the daughter of a Virginia state senator–goes on to say that “Pence’s presence on Grounds signifies a tolerance of rhetoric that has already harmed our community.”
Is Pence’s speech this harmful? Will Pence’s speech incite criminal activity? Of course not, but it should not surprise us that some at UVA think so. One first-year student went so far as to say that his presence could cause suicide in her opinion editorial entitled “Rescind Mike Pence’s speaking offer.”
Anti-Constitutional rhetoric displayed by The Cavalier Daily is not new to us. In the Fall of 2021, the YAF at UVA hosted Texas Congressman Chip Roy and Editor of National Review Rich Lowry for In Defense of Jefferson. In response to the In Defense of Jefferson guest lecture, The Cavalier Daily even went so far as to say that YAF at UVA “upholds the legacies of white supremacists”. Banners were stripped and marked with “Racists Defending Rapists.” A letter-writing campaign was also established in effort to cancel the event.
Despite YAF’s attempts to promote the principles of individual freedom, free enterprise, a strong national defense, and traditional values, we were further persecuted by the radical Left.
It is no surprise that the Left works to cancel our constitutionally protected events. Self-proclaimed social justice advocates have a history of disobeying the United States Constitution on public platforms, especially at the University of Virginia. A student senator who calls herself the “the princess of Charlottesville”, is anything but such. Her progressive tactics undermined the Constitution when she spoke in favor of creating a “strike system” for professors, going as far to say that hate speech is not protected under the Constitution.
As chairman of the Young Americans for Freedom at the University of Virginia, I pride myself on fighting for the principles of freedom alongside all within the organization despite “woke” Leftist tactics.
We as conservatives are being canceled for discussing our beliefs in the classroom, yet liberals are praised for their progressive tactics under the guise of “diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
If The Cavalier Daily’s Editorial Board comments tell us anything of substance at all, it is that they, more than anyone, need to come and hear Mike Pence speak. Being afraid of hearing perspectives other than your own sets a dangerous precedent in increasing the political divide that already exists. We must learn to come together, hear from perspectives different than our own, and discuss them.
We’re hosting Vice President Pence in order to bring about a renewed sense of intellectual diversity on our Grounds and to give the student body an opportunity to hear from a prominent conservative voice––something desperately needed at UVA.
Nick Cabrera is the president of the Young Americans for Freedom at UVA chapter.