In a recent interview with Campus Reform, Sen. Cruz said that during his higher education career he took courses with Marxist teachers, and while he staunchly disagreed with those teachers, he was “perfectly happy” to take the classes because he wanted to understand the Marxist teachers’ viewpoint.
“Now listen, my family comes from Cuba, my family was imprisoned, was tortured,” Cruz explained, noting that his aunt “was tortured by Fidel Castro’s goons.”
“But you know what, I was perfectly happy to take classes from Marxists—not because they convinced me to become a Marxist—but because I wanted to understand how they thought, I wanted to understand what they believed, I wanted to engage in the intellectual dialectic, that’s what a good education is about,” Cruz said.
Cruz said that “not everything has to be life or death. Not everything has to be, ‘If you disagree with me you’re evil and must be destroyed.’” He recalled his relationship with one of his ideological opponents during his college debate days, noting that following debates they would go out for beers together: “He’d call me a fascist, I’d call him a communist and we’d order another beer,” Cruz said, adding that “part of learning, is learning how to discuss and disagree with people who may have different views, and to understand them.”
Cruz noted, “Universities are undermining their core missions when they seek to censor and blacklist speech they disagree with.”