President Donald J. Trump slammed the cancel culture of the left Saturday night, urging young conservatives to stand up for their right to free speech.
“There is no such thing as a democracy that does not have free speech,” Trump told attendees of Turning Point USA’s Student Action Summit in Tampa, Florida.
“If debate can be silenced, if dissent can be suppressed, if conservative ideas can be systematically shut down then, very simply, we do not have a free country anymore,” he added.
The president’s remarks come amid a time of increasing censorship of conservative speech and ideas.
Citing recent incidents where female athletes have been afraid to speak out about missed opportunities due to biological males competing in female competitions, Trump said elected officials need to combat the persecution head-on.
“The next Congress and the next president have a civic duty to be ruthless in going after this new censorship regime—we have to,” he said. “Because if we do not destroy censorship, censorship will destroy America. Our country will rot from the corruption, confusion, and distrust…just the same as if we were a third-world nation.”
Looking ahead, beyond the midterm elections in November, Trump said a Republican-controlled Congress should seek to expose those behind the censorship by launching an investigation into the “anti-American” practice.
“We have to look at who they’re silencing and who is funding it, and who is doing this—who is coordinating all of this horrible stuff going on,” he noted, adding, “And we should use every power at our disposal to stop the war on free speech.”