A few weeks ago a New York Times liberal, progressive columnist (Nicholas Kristof) published a most extraordinary article entitled The Liberal Blind Spot in which he took his liberal, left, progressive soul mates to task for being so illiberal toward persons who were not liberals.
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Kristof criticized his liberal colleagues for not extending their strong advocacy of inclusiveness and diversity to those whose political ideology wasn’t similar to theirs. Equally, he contended that they discriminate against Evangelical Christians, although they don’t discriminate against adherents to other religions.
Increasingly I have found illiberal liberals difficult to understand. In my earlier years when I was an active liberal, a social democrat or a democratic socialist, tolerance of those who held views other than our liberal ideology was strongly encouraged. We took pride in our liberal inclusiveness.
However, something changed and continues to change in political discourse. Liberals have become anything but liberal. In fact the harshness of political correctness is designed to totally dismiss anyone holding views counter to the liberal perspective of fellow liberals. The method frequently used is to severely insult and hound the conservative miscreant as being mentally defective.
There is virtually no constructive discourse allowed. Insults and unsupported opinion takes the place of serious discussion designed to explore the substance of their different approaches to public policy issues. As for Evangelical Christians, their beliefs are not only dismissed, but the individuals are remorselessly insulted.
I think this is one reason why I have evolved into the libertarian camp. A libertarian not only tolerates differences, s/he encourages and respects the holder of them. The only limit is when people interfere and impose their perspectives on others. We all should be free in a democratic society to hold and express our varying perspectives about living and governing without fear of insult and an attitude of total divisiveness.
Kristof has to be thanked for his recent mission. His liberal associates are anything but liberal in how they have reacted to the publication of his comments. Unfortunately they universally condemn him.