Of course the ultimate example of the left’s intolerance for anyone who isn’t blindly leftist came from comments to an earlier article. I’m not sure where the comments are, so I’ll paraphrase. The commenter wanted readers of the Gang of Four blog to complain to the Denver Post about my participation with the aim of trying to get the Post to remove me from the blog.
While the Denver Post’s editorial positions and mine are generally different, and while I have openly criticized some of their reporting in the past, I nevertheless believe they do have a level of journalistic integrity that would cause them to particularly value the non-liberal voices within their predominantly liberal institution. I don’t consider myself an important part of the Denver Post organization, and I am not an employee or even a contractor, simply a volunteer participant representing only myself. But adding opinions like mine (and more importantly the views of excellent and insightful writers like David Harsanyi) makes the Denver Post brand more interesting and more valuable, not less.
So although I didn’t have a moment’s worry that the commenter’s wishes would be realized, his intention was an important reminder of the way the left works, namely by doing everything possible to remove non-liberal voices from the media rather than by debating ideas. (In case I haven’t made it clear, it’s because they basically don’t have any…and certainly not any based on an even rudimentary understanding of economics or history.) If the Taliban had a debating team, that would be their strategy too.
Again, this is fairly consistent with the history of liberals believing they are smarter than everyone else. Going all the way back to Dewey and the founding of the Progressive movement, liberals have believed that everything would be OK if only the right people were in charge of planning everything for everyone. And it follows logically that people who are clearly not smart enough to be involved in such planning (people like me, for example, who believe that central planning can’t possibly work) should also not be heard from in the public square.
These commenters (like the person who said she wanted to “get rid of” people like me) don’t realize, however, that we live in a nation of people who mostly believe in the precepts of the Declaration of Independence, namely that all men are created equal and that we all have an equal right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The urban elite liberals who throw these rhetorical bombs at me (and which I’m content to fend off) remind me very much of the famous quote (probably incorrectly) attributed to Pauline Kael: “How could Nixon have won? Nobody I know voted for him.”
Nobody these people know believes in a Republic created in the vision of Madison and Jefferson. Nobody these people know understands taking up arms to defend a nation and its fundamental principles. (I am not talking about Iraq, so please don’t send comments suggesting I am.) Nobody these people know believes in the pride and dignity that comes from hard work and self-sufficiency; instead they believe that “it takes a village”, that we’re post-national “global citizens”, and that nearly everything in domestic and international politics can be accomplished by just having a nice chat. In other words, the urban liberal elite live in a bubble much like the common description of Boulder: 20 square miles surrounded by reality.
The people who claim to care most about tolerance and diversity are the least tolerant people we have about differences in political opinion. To them, anyone who disagrees is an enemy and an idiot. They don’t know anyone who views it any other way, and if they did, they’d want to deal with that person the way the police in Iran deal with someone whose haircut seems too western.
And while the Republicans certainly deserve a severe electoral beating, when it happens it won’t mean that the country embraces the views of the Democrats. But that is certainly the lesson that the Democrats, and especially the cult-like followers of Progressivism such as the commenters I’ve described here, will learn. (This is not a character flaw just of Democrats. The GOP clearly learned similarly wrong lessons in the early part of this decade, believing that Bush’s re-election meant the public was OK with their wasteful spending and corruption.)
Still, in the marketplace of ideas, liberals don’t win. Old-line liberal newspapers are struggling mightily, as are the left-leaning news broadcasts of ABC, NBC, and CBS, while Fox News consistently leads all cable ratings. Liberals consistently fail massively in talk radio. That’s why they support the ironically-named “fairness doctrine” whose goal is to force radio stations to give free time to liberals even though the vast majority of demand by listeners is for conservatives. The political left in America is not about wining the war of ideas in an intellectual free market, it’s about controlling who can speak. It’s exceptionally dangerous, or it would be if the American public were as stupid as the liberal elite believes.
So, for those of you who have read this far in this overly long note, I thank you…even my liberal opponents. I would suggest and request of the silent majority of rational readers of political writing on the web that when reading blog postings or comments which are attempting to attack non-liberal writings, you consider closely whether the attack is really debating an issue or is simply a diversion, a personal attack, or an attempt to muzzle anyone who disagrees with them, their candidates, or their views. And when you find such retorts, I urge you to ask those liberal commenters to do better. (Of course, I’d ask the same scrutiny of conservative and libertarian writings. I just believe you’ll have a hard time finding the same intellectual terrorist tactics there.)
Now, SB, BM, Rye, JE, and other liberal friends and intellectual terrorists, fire away…