Varney: Ellen DeGeneres is a great example of the social media mob being faced down

It is now almost impossible to debate policy in a public forum. Forget free and open debate. In the places where free speech is most vital, free speech is dead.

Case in point: The prestigious law school at Georgetown University. Not quite so prestigious now. Kevin McAleenan had been invited to speak about immigration. He runs the Homeland Security department.

As soon as he stood up to speak, he was shouted down by an organized group of protesters. They were chanting "when immigrants are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back." Over and over again. Three times McAleenan tried to speak. They wouldn't let him. He walked off the stage. The packed house of immigration attorneys, lawyers and law students were denied an exchange of views. There's no free speech for the Trump team.

There's nothing new here. There's a long list of administration officials who have been run out of restaurants, accosted in the street and denied access to any public forum. The left has been denying free speech to their opponents for a long time. It’s gotten a lot worse. They can say what they like. No insult, directed at Mr. Trump, is considered out of bounds. No support for Mr. Trump is allowed. At all. The left is free to shout down and disrupt. But they don't have the intellect or maturity to debate.


Let me close with a great example of the social media mob being faced down. Here's a case of free speech, and free association, being supported.

Ellen DeGeneres sat next to George W. Bush at a football game. A photograph of the two together provoked very harsh criticism on Twitter. She responded perfectly: "Just because I don't agree with someone on everything, doesn't mean that I’m not going to be friends with them."

We could use a lot more of that.

And we need college administrators to take action to ensure free speech on campuses: that’s where free speech is most challenged, and that’s where free speech is most in need of support.