Yascha Mounk in Persuasion:
Yascha Mounk: You’ve been writing and talking a lot about free speech and the threats to it on campus, but also in American public life more broadly. How would you describe the current situation and why should we care about it?
Robert P. George: The current situation is one in which people in general—including people on college campuses, not only students, but faculty, not only untenured (and therefore, in a certain sense, insecure) faculty, but tenured faculty who are secure—are censoring themselves. All the studies that have been done on this subject reveal that people are not saying what they truly believe, or not raising certain questions they’d like to ask, because they fear the social or professional consequences of “saying the wrong thing,” or saying the right thing in “the wrong” way. Well, this, in my opinion, is terrible for institutions of higher learning, colleges and universities. It makes it impossible for us to prosecute our fundamental mission, the mission of pursuing knowledge of truth, but it’s also terrible for a democratic republic.