Years ago, I mocked a libertarian by the name of Jeffrey Tucker for his desire to “take back” the word “liberal” from the Left. The case he made was not entirely meritless, since “liberal” once meant something very similar to the common modern understanding of the word “libertarian”. I found his effort worthy of mockery, mostly because he had embraced numerous personality traits commonly associated with the Left, and his desire to embrace “liberalism” without shedding his libertarian credentials, seemed to be in keeping with a Leftward drift of the libertarian movement.
Mocking Jeffrey Tucker had become something of a hobby for me back then, ever since he launched his “brutalists vs. humanitarians” attack in the prior year. He had arguably been one of the more noteworthy people to embrace the aforementioned Leftward drift of the movement, and I saw this as destructive well before I would have considered myself Right wing. Contemptible though that may have been, it would seem as though liberalism has been thoroughly abandoned by the Left in recent years, and the word is now Jeff’s for the taking.
Recently I have been even more annoyed by certain conservatives referring to the decidedly illiberal leanings of the modern Left as “liberal”.
In a column published at TownHall.com, Derek Hunter laments about “The New Liberal Dictionary“. In this, he notes a trend which is by no means new, of Leftists altering the definition of language to suit their purposes. American, for example, has been completely disconnected from citizenship and its benefits and obligations. Today’s Left views “anyone with a foot on the land and a desire to stay” as an “American”. Science, once favored by liberals as they mocked the religious, is held in the contempt of the modern Left, to whatever extent it interferes with their superstitions surrounding things like gender, and climate. In that vein, “gender” has become more of an expansive black hole of nonsense than anything describing the human condition. “Racist/Sexist/Homophobic/etc” is similarly nebulous, and pertains more to a pressure tactic than any description of a person’s views. “Liberty” says Hunter, now means State provision of valuable resources and services.
At InfoWars, for another example, Adan Salazar laments the “liberal” New York Times, trying to get Owen Shroyer banned from Twitter. Shroyer live-streamed himself disrupting House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment proceedings Monday morning, and though quite tame by the standard Left wing demonstrators set at the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, the Times suddenly seemed to find congressional proceedings somehow sacrosanct.
Just a few years ago, even liberals who contemplated bans on so-called “hate speech” at least struggled with the implications of the State restricting the expression of its citizens. The “liberals” of that, now seemingly ancient, time, certainly would not have trusted giant multinational corporations to decide who could and could not participate in our political discourse.
Liberals, whatever their countless flaws, at least accepted the outcomes of elections. They generally rejected the sort of wanton political violence, wholeheartedly embraced by the Left today. If you called them socialists, they would scoff at the accusation. They would take offense at being called communists.
In stark contrast, the Left today embraces socialism in public, and all but admits that this itself is a thin cover for their fondness of communism. Elections, laws, and courts, have only so much legitimacy as they find convenient. They exude a sort of cherry picked anarchism, embracing the most draconian of State policies when it suits them, and rejecting the most routine of government activities as relics of “White Supremacy”.
The now forgotten apparent civility of liberals may have been little more than a thin veneer to cover their inner Leftist totalitarian, but that veil served some important purposes beyond swindling the public. It caused them to moderate their behavior and language in a way that reduced the destruction wrought by their wielding of power.
The mask is now off, and only time will tell if that turns out to be a positive thing.
On the upside, we may hope that this revelation causes the populace to reject their catastrophic influence on society.
On the downside, without that rejection, we can expect them to fulfill more promises than Trump, should they regain control over the levers of government.
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