Former President Barack Obama was perhaps the worst president of all time.
No amount of mental gymnastics will change that.
And the last person you’d ever expect just proved that after ripping Obama a new one.
One of the issues that liberals claim to support is free speech. And in all fairness, many of the most effective crusaders for free speech have been liberals.
But in the modern era, it is generally those on the left routinely attacking free speech. Whether it be shutting down conservative speakers on college campuses, or, in the case of former President Barack Obama, silencing government whistleblowers.
A former American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) president recently went after the former President for his record on free speech, calling it “terrible.”
Nadine Strossen served as president of the ACLU from 1991 to 2008 and has fought heavily in support of free speech rights. In a recent interview with the Daily Caller, she didn’t hold back when it came to Obama’s record on free speech issues.
“I still think a lot of liberals aren’t aware [of] what a terrible president [Obama] was,” Strossen stated, alluding to the fact that Obama used the Espionage Act to go after whistleblowers more than all previous president’s combined.
The most prominent case of Obama pursuing whistleblowers was Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee who exposed the National Security Agency’s (NSA) PRISM program that conducted mass surveillance on millions of American citizens.
Since leaking that information, which put a major spotlight on government surveillance, Snowden has been fiercely pursued by the government, being forced into hiding. Many free speech advocates felt as though his targeting created a chilling effect for potential future whistleblowers attempting to expose illegal activities conducted by government agencies.
Along with attacking former President Obama, the former ACLU president went after modern-day liberals who oppose free speech in the Trump-era.
“There has been so much push-back by liberals against free speech,” Strossen stated. She felt that the main reason for the push-back is that the “high-profile beneficiaries [of free speech] are conservatives.”
Proof of this can be seen in college campuses all across America. Conservative speakers at liberal universities are routinely denied the same rights to free speech as a liberal speaker would.
This first came into the spotlight during the early days of President Donald Trump’s speaker when controversial, then Breitbart Editor, Milo Yiannopoulos was violently shutout of a speaking engagement at the University of California, Berkeley.
Scenes of burning trash cans and mobs of masked anarchists attacking peaceful attendees and police officers were broadcast nationwide. This sparked an intense debate around controversial speech on college campuses.
Strossen felt that these threats of violence against right-leaning speakers make real debate on college campuses difficult, and oftentimes impossible.
“I see a lot of students who are really hungering for frank and candid debate and discussion on the sensitive issues that have led to charges of racism and therefore shutdown,” Strossen told the Daily Caller. “They say they’re walking on eggshells — faculty members feel the same way.”
Strossen also stressed the fact that the ACLU is continuing to fight to protect free speech rights on college campuses. While the ACLU generally leans towards the left, they have consistently stood up for the right to free speech for all.