To paraphrase Inigo Montoya, with the word in question being “Liberal” instead of “Inconceivable!” (you have to read “Inconceivable!” in Wallace Shawn’s voice, of course): “You [conservatives] keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
The premise of the following three Christian Post articles is a discussion of recent books about the various authors’ [mistaken] ideas regarding liberals. I started out trying to keep this somewhat brief, but in the interests of keeping the salient points in context, it took on a life of its own. I’ll just share a excerpt of each.
In the earliest of the three articles, “Is Free Speech Just for Liberals?” CP guest contributor Susan Stamper Brown sez:
In the biography, “Churchill: A Life,” author Martin Gilbert writes how Winston Churchill loudly voiced his grave concerns about the apathy shared by those seemingly impervious to the malevolent National Socialist Movement’s intention to steam through Europe like volcanic lava, destroying everything in its way, including free speech.
In direct response, Hitler began warning Germans about the “dangers of free speech” and said, “If Mr. Churchill had less to do with traitors … he would see how mad his talk is …”
History revealed whose talk was really mad.
Truth is, Churchill’s words touched a nerve the annoying way truth always does. Hitler was incapable of engaging in intelligent debate, so he changed the subject, lied, and attacked Churchill’s character. Hitler knew his movement couldn’t stand on its own for what it really was, so the only alternative was to silence opposing views.
Throughout Germany books were banned and ceremoniously cast into blazing bonfires intended to squash divergence of thought and stifle man’s God-instilled unquenchable thirst for truth.
Historical accountings provide a glimpse into the warped psyche of those behind a movement that wrongheadedly believed they could build something worthwhile by shutting down debate, then dividing a nation by race and ethnicity.
They coldly chose their target, the Jewish race, and purged some of the greatest minds in history from all levels of teaching. Schools and universities suffered.
Before the movement decided to burn bodies as well as books, Historyplace.com cites that “Jewish instructors and anyone deemed politically suspect regardless of their proven teaching abilities or achievements including 20 past (and future) Nobel Prize winners” were removed from their professions, among them Albert Einstein.
I would’ve been one of those “purged professionals,” based on what I’ve heard lately from some disgruntled left-leaning readers. Because of my personal opinion about the president, one reader called me “a racist,” a “religious bigot,” and “a political terrorist.” While calling me a “political terrorist” is noteworthy at least, most telling is this poor man’s statement that my column, as offensive as it was to him, “was permitted” in his newspaper.
Apparently, free speech is just for leftists.
After that, the author continued to talk more about herself, so I tuned her out. I probably should have done so when she first mentioned Hitler, but her description of Hitler’s reaction, which I highlighted above, sounded so much like Trump that I had to share it with you.
In the next article, “If Intolerant Liberals Succeed, ‘Conservatives Should Be Very Afraid,’ Expert Says”, by CP’s Napp Nazworth, the breaking point came after this bullshit:
Conservatives would have much to fear if intolerant liberals succeed in their goal of transforming America, says Kim R. Holmes, author of “The Closing of the Liberal Mind: How Groupthink and Intolerance Define the Left.”
The illiberal, or intolerant, Left has come to define liberalism in the United States today, Holmes told The Christian Post, and if these liberals gain control of the Supreme Court and other levers of government, conservatives will be punished for their views.
Then these portions of the interview with the author:
CP: Why did you want to write this book?
Holmes: Like a lot of people I saw how closed-minded and intolerant progressivism had become. Whether it was speech codes or “safe spaces” on campuses, or attorneys general issuing subpoenas against so-called climate change “deniers,” abuses in the name of progressivism were getting worse.
I wanted to understand why. I wanted to tell the story of how a liberalism that had once accepted freedom of speech and dissent had become its opposite — a close-minded ideology intent on denying people their freedoms and their constitutionally protected rights.
CP: Liberalism was once defined by tolerance and open-mindedness, but liberals have become increasingly intolerant and closed-minded. We are beginning to see this phrase “illiberal liberal” more often, which gets confusing. How are we to make sense of what liberal means today?
Holmes: A classic liberal is someone who believes in open inquiry, freedom of expression and a competition of ideas. Its founders were people like John Locke, Thomas Jefferson and Alexis de Tocqueville. Among its most important ideas are freedom of conscience and speech; individual (as opposed to group) rights; and checks and balances in government.
Although progressives are sometimes referred to as “liberals,” they are not classic liberals in this sense. They are philosophically more akin to socialists or social democrats. Classic liberalism as defined here is actually closer to the views of American conservatives and libertarians than to progressives and leftists.
The term “illiberalism” is the opposite of this classic style of liberalism; it represents a political mindset that is closed-minded, intolerant and authoritarian. Although illiberalism can be historically found on the right (fascism) and the left (communism), it is today not commonly associated with American progressives. Nevertheless, it should be.
Progressives are becoming increasingly illiberal not only in their mindset but in the authoritarian methods they use to impose their views on others.
~~ and ~~
CP: Last week, President Barack Obama sent a letter to all public schools threatening to withhold federal funds if they don’t change their bathroom and locker room policies to allow use based upon gender identity rather than biological sex. Does the Left’s new intolerance help us understand Obama’s actions?
Holmes: Yes. Obama comes out of this illiberal strain of the left.
Last, this misleadingly-named piece of utter drivel written by CP’s Brandon Showalter, “Liberals Use Gov’t Power, Intimidation, to Silence Christians, Author Says.” It doesn’t take long to realize that by “Christians”, both the author of the article and the author of the book actually mean “conservatives”, and the complaint is about the fight against “Citizens United”:
WASHINGTON – Conservatives and Christians are being intimidated by the Left and an increasingly abusive government, says Kimberly Strassel, author of The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Waging War of Free Speech.
In a Thursday presentation at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., Strassel told The Christian Post that overt hostility and harassment of people of faith “is clearly a big issue.”
In light of the 2013 IRS scandal where it was discovered that conservative and Christian groups were unfairly targeted, CP asked Strassel how many people she interviewed had experienced an overt assault on their faith.
While “the people that I talked to generally felt as though all their views were under attack,” Strassel said, “they certainly felt as though one aspect of them, was in fact their faith.”
“We are seeing this a lot, obviously, in the war on faith out there that we have had with the battles over Obamacare and contraception,” she added.
In her book Strassel examines the Left’s penchant, particularly in the Obama years, for bullying their opponents and their use of government agencies to silence citizens from participating in the political process.
Although she touched on several facets of the Left’s intimidation game in her presentation, the core issue she covered was the right of Americans to form associations and participate in representative government. This the Left cannot abide when conservatives do it successfully, she argued.
“The reality is that money is a proxy for speech,” Strassel contended, and Americans have always formed groups to get their message out. To the incredulity of the Left, she argued we we need more money, not less, in politics. More money means more speech. More free speech yields a more vigorous debate and a healthier democracy.
Let me repeat those last two lines: “More money means more speech. More free speech yields a more vigorous debate and a healthier democracy.” What happened to the “FREE” part of “FREE SPEECH”?
Money CANNOT equal speech – the poorest man can still speak and vote – well, vote ONCE; on the other hand, the richest man can buy as many votes as he wants. The whole argument of Citizens United was and is specious, and the Supremes fucked us over real good when they decided on that piece of shit.
This is our daily Open Thread – have at it!