Cancel Culture

The Reaction to the Harper's Letter on Cancel Culture Proves Why It Was Necessary

I was one of the 153 signers and am a veteran of the Twitter wars. But even I was taken aback by the swift, virulent response.

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I'm not usually a fan of the saying "a hit dog will holler," which basically boils down to "if someone responds angrily to an accusation, they are probably guilty." Sometimes, when someone is unfairly attacked or wrongly accused, they respond to it with vitriol or other intense emotion—it's only natural. 

That said, sometimes the expression is useful. If you accuse someone of having an anger-management problem and they fly into a terrifying rage, well: A hit dog will holler.

I kept thinking about this expression as I watched a sizable subset of the online progressive intelligentsia respond with intense fury, disbelief, and indignation to an open letter published online yesterday by Harper's magazine. The letter, which will also appear in the magazine's October issue, was simply a stout defense of liberal values from people primarily on the left at a time it feels like these values are under threat. It made no bones of the fact that President Donald Trump and right-wing authoritarianism in Europe are both major threats to liberal society. It simply said that in addition to these threats, it's probably time to get our own house in order. "The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted," the letter reads, in part. "While we have come to expect this on the radical right, censoriousness is also spreading more widely in our culture: an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty. We uphold the value of robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters. But it is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought."

The letter was crafted with sufficient care that it attracted a large number of signatories who one might not usually associate with concerns about "cancel culture" and the like—and it also bridged certain ideological lines. Both J.K. Rowling and New York Times writer and English professor Jennifer Boylan (who is transgender and recently wrote a column critical of Rowling's views on trans issues), for example, added their names to the list, as did famous figures like Noam Chomsky, Margaret Atwood, Steven Pinker, Salman Rushdie, and Garry Kasparov, and some less famous ones—like me.

Because the American left is basically a war zone at the moment—or online it is, at least—what happened next shouldn't surprise anyone: A group of us posted the letter and celebrated it, while another much angrier group denounced it and held it up as proof of…well, whatever it is they hate about us and want to get us fired over (this crowd likes calling the manager). Now, it shouldn't have surprised me—I have been through multiple rounds of this stuff—but I have to admit it did.

One such reaction came from Parker Molloy, a staffer at the left-leaning Media Matters, who insisted, of a letter that includes Rushdie and Kasparov, "not a single one of them have been censored anytime in recent history." In the subsequent tweetstorm, she said of the signatories:

"They want you to sit down.
They want you to shut up.
They want you to do as you're told.
By them. Specifically."

"They are totalitarians in the waiting," she wrote. "They are bad people." (Disclosure: Molloy disagrees with some of my work on gender dysphoria, particularly these two stories, and publicly called for me to be fired from my then-job at New York magazine in 2017. After I asked her to take the tweet down, because losing one's job is serious business, she agreed.)

All this in response to a letter saying people shouldn't be punished too harshly over disagreement or missteps! There's just no sane connection between the text of the letter and such a reaction. The leftist writer Freddie de Boer's take nicely clarifies the obvious: The people furious at this letter largely have genuine ideological problems with liberal norms and laws regarding free speech. "Please, think for a minute and consider: what does it say when a completely generic endorsement of free speech and open debate is in and of itself immediately diagnosed as anti-progressive, as anti-left?" he wrote. (Emphasis his.) "There is literally no specific instance discussed in that open letter, no real-world incident about which there might be specific and tangible controversy." He goes on to explain, accurately: "Of course Yelling Woke Twitter hates free speech! Of course social justice liberals would prevent expression they disagree with if they could! How could any honest person observe our political discourse for any length of time and come to any other conclusion?"

Hit dogs holler, in other words. The reason people are so mad at the pro-free-speech letter is that they aren't really in favor of free speech. Not when it comes to anyone who isn't their ally, at least. They can make up other reasons to be mad, of course; they can complain that people they view as transphobic signed it (Rowling, to take the most obvious example, though a subset of people have also lobbed that accusation at both myself and my podcast co-host, Katie Herzog, who is also a signatory), or that it's unfair Harper's published a letter about free and open speech while not paying its interns (a separate issue)—but at root, their beef is ideological.

Another example of the hit-dog-hollering principle in action yesterday: "i really wonder if some of the people who signed this thought long and hard about whose names they'd appear next to," tweeted Matt Gabriele, who teaches medieval studies and chairs the Department of Religion and Culture at Virginia Tech.

Again, the amount of stuff being revealed, right in the open, if you only care to look, is surprising: Gabriele, who holds an important, gatekeeping position at a major American university, wants people to think "long and hard" before putting their names on an unobjectionable expression of liberal values, lest someone come along and wrongly judge through the lens of some ridiculous guilt-by-association standard. The writer Oliver Traldi calls this style of discourse "rhextortion": It would be a shame if someone unfairly judged you as a result of the names on this letter rather than the content of its text itself.

One of the points of the letter is to push back against the fire-anyone-for-anything trajectory of the present moment, especially when it comes to social media posts. Gabriele, who enjoys academic tenure, doesn't have to worry about this. He can call people on Twitter names like "piece-of-shit bigot" or "asshole" without having to realistically fear repercussions, unlike those stiffs out there who have to worry that if the wrong person takes some random Facebook post the wrong way, they'll be called into their boss's office and canned on the spot. So Gabriele and his pals get free rein, while anyone who points out that maybe it's not a good idea to promote the norm of firing people over social-media blowups gets yelled at for being part of the problem, or for being an evil, bigoted reactionary—because who else could possibly want a more forgiving, liberal approach? This combination of enjoying virtually unfettered online speech while angrily lashing out at those who want to extend this benefit to as many people as possible is a good system! If you're in the in-group, at least. 

Then, finally, there's Emily VanDerWerff, a critic at large for Vox who happens to be trans. One of her colleagues, Matt Yglesias, signed the letter, and VanDerWerff didn't like the letter, so she did the only reasonable, adult thing: She sent him a quick DM asking if they could talk the matter over.

Kidding! She publicly announced that she had reported Yglesias to his editors for signing the letter. She posted a version of the note on Twitter, and in it she claims the letter was "signed by prominent anti-trans voices" and contains "many dog whistles toward anti-trans positions." "Dog whistles" used to mean something like coded, racist appeals of the sort Richard Nixon employed but has more recently, on Twitter at least, taken a definition closer to referring to an accusation I don't want to provide evidence for. That Yglesias signed a document with such signatories and dog whistles "makes me feel less safe at Vox," she wrote.

The note contains some boilerplate closing language about not wanting to get Yglesias in trouble, suggesting an interesting strategy that makes perfect sense: After all, when I don't want to get a colleague in trouble, the first thing I do is send their bosses an email about how something they have done has made me feel less safe, and the second thing I do is post that note publicly to Twitter. It's just a classic example of not wanting to get a colleague in trouble, if I ever saw one.

And so on. It was an exhausting day on Twitter. Near the end of it, Boylan, one of the signatories whose name helped show how widely concerns over the climate of free speech span, publicly apologized for having signed a document that also has the names of people with which she disagrees. "I did not know who else had signed that letter," she tweeted. "I thought I was endorsing a well meaning, if vague, message against internet shaming. I did know Chomsky, Steinem, and Atwood were in, and I thought, good company. The consequences are mine to bear. I am so sorry."

I am so sorry. That sums it up nicely. There's no real problem with any of this stuff in the left-of-center universe: It's just that if anyone expresses unvarnished pro-liberal sentiments, they will be cast as a bigot trying to shut up marginalized people, and if you sign such a letter, you may be hearing from HR because your colleagues are watching you. To quote a certain internet-famous dog: This is fine.

NEXT: Supreme Court Strengthens First Amendment Protections for Religious Employers

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  1. the fact that President Donald Trump and right-wing authoritarianism in Europe are both major threats to liberal society.

    I am so fucking tired of this focus on the right wing, when it was the lefties who murdered 100 million last century, polluted eastern Europe, destroyed their economies and economies throughout the third world, and continue to be the worst abusers and wannabe abusers in civilized society today. Get the damned Marxians out of academia and watch the world become much more polite and sane.

    Not to mention that the left wing’s definition of right wing means Trotsky and everyone to his right. Hillary, Bernie, Lizzie, and all their ilk are farther to the left than Trump is to the right.

    Fuck off, slavers.

    1. I think the real problem here is that you identify so strongly with the right wing that you get triggered when someone attacks right-wing authoritarianism. Step outside the left-right divide, my friend. It’s ok.

      1. Nope. The real problem here is lefty shits like you who deny history.

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        2. For real

        3. Sevo,

          And where in Chipper’s comment did he deny history? Authoritarianism exists on the right and on the left. It should be opposed whatever ideology it uses at the moment or in a particular circumstance.

          You can still be right wing, still think left wing people are horrible, and acknowledge there is right wing authoritarianism and it is a very bad thing that should be opposed. You know, kind of like how the left wing signatories to the letter were able to point out that anti-free speech actions and attitudes on the left are a danger just like the anti-free speech actions and attitudes by some on the right. It’s called intellectual honesty and consistency. Try it.

          (If you have a specific example where Chipper did deny history, then say quote it. Otherwise, maybe stop with the knee jerk reactions.)

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        4. A Communist is just a Conservative Socialist – The only difference is who the ruling Oligarchy is that most of the fruits of people’s labors get redistributed upwards to.

          At the end of the day, Conservatives are a societal malignancy who will always perform as a body of enemy operatives.

      2. Damn dude I love sucking dick and even I know you don’t have to actively chug commie cock 24/7, take a break for a minute amd pretend to be a real human.

      3. Right wing? I doubt right wingers have any more use for me than left wingers. If you think liberty is right wing, you are really confused.

        I follow self-ownership, or as I called it before I learned that term, self-control: the right, and the duty, to control self and property.

        1. Well good for you, then. Liberty is most definitely NOT right wing.

          1. And you’re most definitely an idiot.

            1. For agreeing with your comment? I think you just insulted yourself, my friend.

              1. That wasn’t me. Copy the two handles and compare. You’ve been trolled.

                Well done, Mr Extra Spaces!

                1. Looks like you lose again shit eater.

                  1. Just because you got my posts nukes and that sock banned doesn’t mean you won.

                    1. This bullshit of copying people’s handle and then shit posting is getting old real fast.

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      4. Hey everyone Chipper just called free speech and open debate “right-wing authoritarianism”

        No seriously.

        1. No he did not. Read it again.

      5. I don’t identify with the right wing, I greatly dislike them, but the left flat out scares me lately. They remind me more of Bull Connor than MLK, but then again Connor was a democrats so not sure I should be surprised. BLM has murdered more unarmed black men so far this year than the police did all last year. They’ve burnt down, robbed and vandalized the very stores that black people in black neighborhoods depend on to get their sundries, now elderly black folk have to find a way to go miles away to fetch their groceries. And democrats seem to not only support this, they’re encouraging it.

        1. Most of us who lean right simply want to be left alone to live our own lives. Leftists have at best an interventionist mindset – at worst, an eliminationist mindset. The highest body counts in recent history are almost exclusively the property of both Islam and the totalitarian collectivist Left. I will submit to neither.

          1. American Democrats are comparable to other left wing parties in the civilized world. You would put everyone who’s not a Tory or a nationalist on the side with Stalin, and probably include the Tories too. Meanwhile Trump is so proto-fascist he even looks like Mussolini after Mussolini let himself go. Rightwing parties of his ilk are emerging and are based on the same old racist grievances. You know like Hitler.

            1. What side… left or right… is currently espousing the idea that all of the nations problems stem from one particular race and that members of that race ought to be singled out by law, and that dissenters ought to face something ranging from ostracization to actual punishment? I will give you one guess… and it doesn’t rhyme with right.

              Yeah… proto-Hitler my ass. Yes, Trump is a boor. He’s not particularly thoughtful. He makes dumb choices. But that is a far cry from espousing a coherent ideology where virtue or vice is tied to blood unlike some groups out there.

            2. Oh Tony, I have missed your utterly simple minded and incorrect posts since I’ve been gone.

      6. I’ve been called a right wing extremist since college, I think because I’m something of a patriot. I don’t think Europe is uber cool or something like that. Only in America can an openly gay pro-choice pro-pot guy be right wing. I’ve always thought that with right wing extremists like me and Trump, the left should be dancing in the streets with asuch patriotic glee as I do.

        1. I’ve become slightly more traditionally right wing as I have aged and become more of a realist, and not as retardedly utopian… But one of the things I like to say when talking to commies is that it’s kind of insane that in just a few years the left has ideologically run past me on many issues, since I was a guy who was fine with legal weed, gay marriage, etc long before Obama would admit it publicly. The commies have gone so far so fast it is crazy.

      7. No, the problem is letting people getting away with conflating all conservative — and usually libertarian — thought with “right-wing authoritarianism”.
        Right-wing authoritarianism exists, in the Philippines, as well as… well, that is the only place that comes to mind. When has one person in the US ever been fired for opposing Trump? What writer has even been forced to apologize for supporting left-wing issues too vigorously?
        It’s a smoke-screen and it’s dishonest.
        Today, in the US, the problem is left-wing authoritarianism

        1. Well said Malvolio
          The same people who were afraid of, and talked bad about the authoritarianism of the Evangelicals in the 70’s and 80’s are now telling people they better say and do the ‘right thing’ or their life is forfeit
          Mueller was a tipping point for me, all the people who HATED him for lying about WMD now loved him because he was going to help ‘put orangemanbad in jail.
          Amazing character turn around by Mueller from worst kind of warmongering villain to ‘toast of the town’ just because he said ‘the thing’: OrangemanISbad

        2. Well stated. I get so tired of people screaming about ring-wing authoritarianism like it’s actually a thing. Our country keeps trucking to the left and yet we keep hearing about this scary right-wing authoritarianism happening when there is literally no indication of it anymore.

          I laugh too because growing up I despised the moral majority of Focus on the Family and the Christian right. But those days are long gone. Now the left is the driving force behind authoritarianism. And what almost makes it worse is they pretend they are freeing you all while throwing you in a cage. At least prior right-wing authoritariansim was honest about what it was.

          And Trump is no right-wing authoritarian. Heck, Trump couldn’t even explain what a right-wing ideology is. The guy is an idiot, but not some scary authoritarian. He’s literally just a troll and honestly one of the least concerning presidents we’ve ever had because he doesn’t care enough about anything to actually be an authoritarian.

          1. Yup. Even if you genuinely fear the theoretical specter of right wing authoritarianism, the reality is it is a 0% issue in the western world today.

            Unless the left kicks off a violent civil war that forces the right to restore control, there is a zero percent chance of right wing authoritarians taking over.

            Of course what the commies mean by right wing authoritarianism is resisting their ACTUAL left wing authoritarianism. Nothing more. Anybody who doesn’t fall in line is Hitler. It’s getting pretty tired at this point.

            1. You know who else was Hitler? A National Socialist named Hitler.

      8. It depends on what you mean by right wing. The right and left terms have become so distorted that there’s not much meaning left in them. The original definition was that the right wing was those who supported the French monarchy, and the left was those who supported the revolution against them. I for one have no opinion on 18th-century French politics.

        A lot of people still haul out the old trope about fascism being right wing, even though it and communism are peas in a pod. Left wing is collectivist, not being concerned much or any with the rights of individuals, and judges people based on what group it thinks they are in and not as individuals. Freedom of expression, the press, association, and essentially anything else in the Bill of Rights is nonexistent. Everyone is expected to have undying fealty to the government (although the communists call it “the revolution,” the ongoing revolution is, in fact, the state), to the point of cults of personality. Members of the officially hated groups (be they bourgeoisie or Jews) can expect to be persecuted or killed.

        By that token, you can see that fascism is essentially the same as communism, with a few differences in the implementation. They’re not polar opposites by any means, and the two mix together quite nicely. Obama was (and is) left wing, but his crony capitalism and close ties with leftist Silicon Valley CEOs is fascist in nature.

        Compare that with “far right” figures like Barry Goldwater, essentially a libertarian. The individual is everything. They want the government out of everyone’s life, decentralized to keep the power from being concentrated, and to be made as weak and small as possible, and to have virtually no day to day role in anyone’s life. They favor the free market, laissez-faire, and little to no regulation, taxation, and social engineering. Loyalty to anything is never demanded. Gun rights, free speech rights, limitations on government search and seizure far beyond what is currently considered constitutional. Freedom from coercion is the underlying philosophy of all of it. If you’re here and are not a Reason editor or writer, you presumably know what libertarianism is about.

        That picture truly is the polar opposite of communism… and fascism. Both are as illiberal and coercive as it gets. Communism makes great promises about the freedom it will bring with the withering away of the state and the worker’s paradise and all of that, but that can never happen. The reality of communism is the same as fascism… it cannot exist without massive use of coercive powers, propaganda, secret police, people being “disappeared,” and monstrous levels of government intrusion into every person’s life.

        That’s not to say that every person left of center is a de facto communist, but there’s no doubt that communism is left wing, so it is a valid point of reference when considering what the right wing actually is.

        1. Great comment. I recently read Jason Stanley’s “How Fascism Works.” While Stanley goes to great lengths to equate Trump and those who support him to fascists, I couldn’t help but find numerous parallels between current “woke” culture and Stanley’s conception of fascism.

          As you stated, communism and fascism are on the same side of the spectrum. Respect for individual liberty and free expression are on the opposite side. It really comes down to methods and objectives rather than labels.

        2. Exactly this.

          Fascism and communism come from the Marxist left-wing collective strain. Fascism is to the right of those ideologies. It’s a retard fight basically.

          When classical liberalism was killed off for good after WWI, there was a vacuum and Mussolini (a SOCIALIST) along with Hitler (another socialist who devised his version of it) and Stalin (a communist continuing in the Lenin tradition) filled it.

          I recommend ‘The Strange Death of Liberal England’ to get an idea that the contemporary liberal is in fact an illiberal progressive.

          Progressives in North America filled the void in the early 20th century and wore the ‘Liberal cap’.

          They were in the same intellectual dimension as the Marxists but with a slice of cantaloupe.

          What you see today is a direct connection to the tacks laid in the early 20th century and Hayek warned about in ‘On the Road to Serfdom’.

          Liberals were deceived. They spent a lifetime thinking they were walking among fellow liberals when in fact progressives were waiting for their moment. They were useful idiots.

          Anyway, I’m too drunk to expand or make sense now.

          Fuck the left. They’re enemies of the essence of Western civilization and the knocking off A Frederick Douglas statue and Biden that retard saying ‘all people are created equal’ is all you need to know about the state of modern progressivism and the DNC.

          Illiterate and illiberal.

          Nice for these fricken writers to finally take the red pill.

          We’ve only notice this trend for the last five years or so.

          And vociferously and strenuously took Reason writers to task over it.

          I almost feel vindicated.

          Now fuck off slavers.

          1. Actually the book describes how liberals lost the plot through their incompetence. Part of it, and this is just my theory, is they weren’t quite able to handle ‘irrational’ thinking laced with emotions. So they did….nothing. Then it was poof, par, yada, yada, yada, illiberal progressivism taking over.

            I saw progressive but even they’re being pushed out now. It’s the socialists now muscling in. Sanders is a ‘wha? I thought we were DEMOCRATIC socialist’ naif, lazy dumbass. The real socialists are slowly coming in and they sure love themselves a Robespierrian reactionary purge.

            It’s called BLM, cancelculture and everything in between. You don’t need to kill peasants in the countryside when you have Twitter for the twits run by punks like Dorsey.

            Bah.

        3. Spot on analysis! The left have gone too far. I’m tired of being expected to go along with all kinds of ridiculous liberal utopian solutions to all social ills because I’m black and grew up in the hood. These people need to grow up. Many of the ones screaming the loudest for freedom and equality have never known any real hardship.

          Too much government intervention in peoples lives leads to the panic we are seeing today with COVID-19. The left is full of moral outrage at the idea that not everyone one agrees that we should tank the world economy to hypothetically save lives. Everyone who’s out of s job just needs to take one for the team of humanity… even if it saves one life.

      9. No, CMW. What we attack is the straw man. Trump is NOT the one who created this toxic atmosphere. If anything, he’s shedding light on it.

      10. Not bad chipper – I’m with you for once.

      11. I’m all with you when you attack “right-wing authoritarianism”. The problem with the assertion is that Trump is the least authoritarian president in a long, long time.

        Calling Trump a “right-wing authoritarian” is merely a propaganda technique; the left is trying to get you not to notice its authoritarianism, racism, and intolerance by accusing others of what they are guilty of.

    2. I could not have summed it up any better . Unfortunately the facts you mention regarding lefties and Europe are continually ignored . That closing rant was great.

    3. Tiresome and misguided indeed.

      I was going to wade through 222 comments before passing my comment on this.

      Again. People like Jesse miss the damn point. The mess he speaks of is 100% ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE EQUATION.

      Produce to us here Jesse actual proof Trump silences free speech or else knock it off already.

    4. Yes, you’re tired of having the truth pointed out. Because like most right-wingers you live completely divorced from reality.

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    6. The nazis weren’t lefties (regardless of whether you find a scare word in their name). They were right wingers. Russian commies started out as left wing but just became a dictatorship, just like China. Anyway, ignoring distracting arguments about what group nazi’s were in, today’s problem is right wing terrorism in the us, see boogaloo boys etc.

      1. For all this talk and fear about “right wing terrorism”, it’s awfully odd how none of it seems to come from actual right wing terrorists … and all of it seems to be coming from BLM, Antifa, and other left-wingers.

        It’s as if those “right-wingers” are either completely powerless … or they are biding their time, planning on ending this in a civilized manner, with their votes.

        Oh, and it doesn’t matter whether Nazis or Communists are “right wing” or “left wing”: what is clear is that both viewed the Collective more important than the Individual, and thus dictatorship for either one, when they took power, was inevitable.

    7. DERP?!
      You’re the slavers, dipshit.
      Absolutely EVERY policy that was implemented to continue slavery and institutional racist and classist discrimination for over a hundred years and counting, after the Emancipation Proclamation, was based on right-wing ideology, which is why the “slavers” are the GOP, and have been for decades.

    8. Trump is a monster who only has whatever political ideology is beneficial to him at that particular moment. But mostly agree that the Marxists are more evil than the evil capitalists.

    9. It’s just a boilerplate disclaimer, required for any writer who wants those on the left to keep reading the article. I’m tired of it, too.

    10. Notice how Conservatives significantly inflate the number of dead that Stalin sacrificed to turn a nation of peasants into a super power (in a lame attempt to whitewash the murders committed by alt-Right hero Hitler) – Yet want to emulate Stalin’s actions by sacrificing “the weak and old” to the coronavirus in order to keep the Conservative Donor/Parasite class in comfort.

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    12. You appear to think Hitler was a leftist, tho, as I recall, he sent all the lefties to the first Concentration Camp at Dachau. And when the American Nazi Party, which adores Hitler, supports Trump and celebrates his victory, is that because he is a fellow socialist. Your tirade remind me of how Hitler riled up his right wing base, with hate speech and demonization of the left….as a prelude to locking them up and exterminating them.

  2. “Please, think for a minute and consider: what does it say when a completely generic endorsement of free speech and open debate is in and of itself immediately diagnosed as anti-progressive, as anti-left?”

    Ya know, it probably IS anti-progressive and anti-left, since lefties like nothing better than telling everyone else how to think, how to live, what to do. That is the definition of socialism, progressivism, statism: running the government which tells everybody else how to think, how to live, what to do.

    Fuck off, slavers.

    1. Oh it’s the right wing shit eater again.

      1. ^This is why you need moderation. It’s time to admit the experiment at an unmoderated comment section has failed.

        1. In case it wasn’t clear I am demanding a safe space Reason.

          1. Which is why you are ridiculed so much here. Fuck off slaver.

        2. And it only took two more comments for me to remember why you lick boot.

    2. WEAR THE MASK.

      More anti-science bull shit.

      Notice they use pleas to emotions more than actual data.

    3. DERP?!
      You’re the slavers, dipshit.
      Absolutely EVERY policy that was implemented to continue slavery and institutional racist and classist discrimination for over a hundred years and counting, after the Emancipation Proclamation, was based on right-wing ideology, which is why the “slavers” are the GOP, and have been for decades.

      1. I find it funny how the places that apparently have the most ingrained issues of systemic racism are places that have been under Democratic control, from local, to county, to State, and have even had the opportunity every now and again to work with those in Federal power, and have been this way for decades.

  3. The note contains some boilerplate closing language about not wanting to get Yglesias in trouble, suggesting an interesting strategy that makes perfect sense: After all, when I don’t want to get a colleague in trouble, the first thing I do is send their bosses an email about how something they have done has made me feel less safe, and the second thing I do is post that note publicly to Twitter. It’s just a classic example of not wanting to get a colleague in trouble, if I ever saw one.

    Thanks for writing this. I do love the caginess of it.

    1. I second this. Sometime people say something so blatantly untrue, I can’t even come up with a way to point out its false. I always appreciate when someone steps into to explain exactly how its bullshit.

      1. Also, going through her twitter. It’s amazing to see her actually trying to argue that she was totally not trying to get him punished in any way. I think she’s so used to saying she feels unsafe whenever she disagrees with anyone, she’s completely forgotten that that the word has meaning.

        1. Leftists in general have forgotten that words have meanings. This is one of the reasons they’ve gotten their knickers in a twist about Trump, because he says stuff he doesn’t necessarily mean all the time, and the one thing leftists really hate is having their own tactics turned on them.

          1. People with corrupt agendas are dismantling the check and balance structures of civilization systematically bit by bit to install fascism that supports their objectives.

            One method is redefining the words we use.

            If you think dictionary definitions should change then you are already caught in a circular loop of faulty logic.

            If the meaning of words should change then any argument you make has changed before you can even deliver it.

            All past present and future recorded information, all science and logic becomes meaningless, erased like the statues that are being torn down.

            Maybe that’s your goal.

            After all, if you’re too stupid to understand the meaning of anything or the meaning opposes your agenda, the only way to compete is to make everything meaningless for everyone.

            1. “…One method is redefining the words we use…”

              Like, oh “Holocaust”?

              1. Holocaust is a word.

                You are too much of a bigot to recognize that arguing with evidence that it did not occur is not redefining it.

                1. Your attempting to redefine my argument is a cancel culture dipshit tactic.

        2. I was just thinking about that. What does she mean when she says she feels unsafe?
          Is it just a verbal tic? Is the Left really that fear-ridden? Or do they know they are lying but think that other people believe them?

          1. The fact is that nobody else is responsible for how someone else feels.

            It all goes off the rails when you can persecute me for how you feel. I have no ability to mount any defence.

            This is because no feeling requires rational confirmation. Where there is no reason there can be no reasonable defence.

            That’s why the greatest generation lived by “sticks and stones”.

        3. All these people are sociopaths. She ABSOLUTELY intended for that.

        4. If a co-worker’s signature on a public letter calling for free speech makes her feel less safe, this person is so utterly neurotic that she has no credibility. Of course what she is actually doing is invoking a political hot button, rhetoric that indicates she has no credibility.

      2. Sometime people say something so blatantly untrue, I can’t even come up with a way to point out its false.

        I find burning sarcasm of the kind Jesse Singal used here to be pretty effective. For one thing it demonstrates their hypocrisy in a much more effective way than attempting to argue against them with mere reason or logic, and secondly, they’re usually not able to respond effectively because of the burn. Plus deep down they know their bullshit has been exposed for anyone with eyes to see it.

      3. This statement is false.

  4. The reaction to the Harpers letter was the point of writing the letter. It is a performative call and response, designed to draw a line and make the signatories’ careers a little more corporate friendly.

    1. The SJW is blatanly opposed to cultural support of free speech. It’s nice to have it out in the open so even they don’t have to pretend anymore.

      1. Very true, but you have to realize that they think they support free speech… they just don’t actually know what that is. In their view, people have the right to free speech, but anything that makes someone feel bad is not protected. You can say whatever you want, as long as the powers that be agree with the statement.

        Which is, of course, not free speech at all. North Koreans have that kind of free speech… they are free to praise dear leader and talk about how great North Korea is all they want.

      2. Yes. While I welcome this, we’ll see just how much they believe in free speech moving forward.

        People like Yglesias CONTRIBUTED to this toxic atmosphere.

  5. I love left-on-left self immolation. My schadenboner couldn’t be harder.

    1. “schadenboner”

      *claps*

      Im sure someone has used this term before, but love it.

      Also is that a town in germany perhaps?

      1. Yes, just up the road from scheisskopfburg.

    2. I’d like to see them challenge each other to a group duel, pistols at dawn.

  6. “a hit dog will holler”

    Never heard that shit in my life. Is this a saying in Appalachia?

    1. Like many “quotes”, it has been transmorgified over time.
      The southern folk saying is “If you throw a rock at a pack of dogs, the one that holllers is the one that got hit”.

      1. Like “happy as a clam” leaving off “at high tide”.

        1. Or how “the proof of the pudding is in the eating” became “the proof is in the pudding,” which doesn’t even make sense.

      2. Never heard that one either. Doesn’t mean it isn’t a sage, folksy cliche.

    2. Coulda’ done better with ‘methinks he doth protest too much’

      1. *mic drop*

      2. the lady doth protest too much, methinks

        1. That’s the reason there are no quotation marks.

    3. Born in Kentucky. Never heard that phrase.

  7. If you accuse someone of having an anger-management problem and they fly into a terrifying rage, well: A hit dog will holler.

    If you accuse someone of being in denial and they deny it, well…

    1. White fragilityiterally claims denial of racism or being racist is proof you are racist.

      1. >>White fragility

        why is this everywhere this week?

        1. It’s the name of a book Tucker excoriated the author over.

          1. gracias.

          2. Apparently it was written a while ago and no one cares but the last few weeks its shot up the best seller charts because of all the well off white woketards having struggle sessions over their supposed “racism.”

            1. *cared*

              EDIT BUTTON DAMMIT!

              1. not caring can remain open perpetually

          3. She was on every major media outlet prior to tucker due to BLM. Her bullshit was out there and number 1 well before sane people started noticing it.

            1. never heard of her. i feel lucky

          4. It also appears in EVERYONE’s recommends on Amazon, Kindle, etc
            It’s being pushed HARD now to take advantage of this moment of heightened racial tension.
            Using that ‘white guilt’ to lure in more potential cult members.

            1. And for the “woke” author to make a pretty penny off of white guilt.

              Not bad for someone who’s white herself!

        2. It’s the flavor of the week
          Out = White Priviledge
          In = White fragility

          1. How about privileged fragility? Describes the SJW left pretty well.

          2. White privilege is still in. If you say it’s out, that’s White Fragility.

          3. How about:

            White – NOT SORRY

            That should trigger a few fragile snowflakes.

        3. Because Di Angelo’s book came out. I read a paragraph in a book store and damn well nearly fainted at the utter pseudo-intellectual stupidity of it all.

          She may as well get on her back, spread her legs open and scream ‘PROJECTION!’ from her twat.

          Illiberal buffoons.

          1. A year or two ago I did the same… saw the book on the shelf and thought, “Maybe THIS will make sense unlike all of the other garbage I’ve seen.” Picked it up… made it maybe 15-20 pages in. I couldn’t help but notice she was simply making a self-supporting argument rather one that was affirmed by outside fact. I am white and therefore racist and privelaged. If I object it is because I am too mentally weak to assess myself thereby proving my fragility and reinforcing my place is the systemic nature of racism. If I agree, I accept my guilt of having a place in the systemic nature of racism. There is no possibility that a white person can avoid being racist. It is apparently a genetic condition.

            1. Privilege yourself with a dictionary

      2. Ya ! Thats crazy. WTF

  8. >>and am a veteran of the Twitter wars

    ay gevalt no. no. no. no.

  9. Why should I give a shit that a bunch of leftists that have aided and abetted this monstrosity are concerned about the consequences only now that they think it will come for them? Fuck you all, you created this you deserve the consequences. The people you’ve been targeting with this horseshit have grown inured to demands for trigger warnings and cries of racism, sexism, ???phobia every time you encounter something unpleasing to you personally.

    1. I’m reluctant to go after people who are victims– especially when I don’t know for certain they were personally for cancel culture when it attacked other people.

      Having said that, there were times, especially during the Evergreen kerfuffle as I watched the college president be subjected to a literal struggle session– where he attempted to comply with every demand of the students, including not allowing him to use his hands while he spoke with them, dutifully holding his arms still at his side– I couldn’t help but wonder if the president felt like Dr. Frankenstein, cowering in the corner of his lab as his own creation attacked him.

      1. I couldn’t help but wonder if the president felt like Dr. Frankenstein, cowering in the corner of his lab as his own creation attacked him.

        I doubt he had enough self awareness for that. More likely he was probably “proud” of his creation.

      2. I’m reluctant to go after people who are victims

        That’s like referring to a dipshit who abuses pit bulls in order to turn them into killing machines as a “victim” when one of his dogs turns on him and rips his throat out.

      3. Speaking of which, I saw Bret Weinstein on Rogan pat himself on the back for having ‘called’ the mess at Evergreen.

        I have a slight problem with someone who fostered this type of faux liberal environment and only changed when the mob turned on him.

        Sorry pal. It doesn’t work that way. People here and Benjamin Boyce were way ahead of you on that.

        That being said, welcome to the dark side of liberty.

    2. >>Fuck you all, you created this you deserve the consequences.

      +1 I’ll have the boiled frog.

    3. What we are seeing today is the inevitable consequence of the poisoning of the well of academia that began all the way back in the 1960s. It seems like folks are engaging in Soviet-style oppression of free speech because it is Soviet-style oppression of free speech.

      Socialism requires a grant of authority, in contrast to capitalism requiring consent of the governed. So they must keep the media on message: capitalism is slavery; you are a victim of capitalism; only our party can provide safety. They define who is a slave, who is a victim, and what is safe. Anyone who questions their definitions is guilty of transgression. Anyone who questions their authority is an enemy.

      1. Well said. And they really want to live in world with this BS?

        1. Most people like the comfort of black and white. Only the minority of rebels enjoy the gray area and making discerning choices in the shaded areas.

          The left is offering black & white morality to the masses and they are accepting… as long as it doesn’t keep shifting. Which their flux might be the impetus to a widespread backlash that just didn’t exist a decade ago.

          The church used to offer an alternative to this stuff with their own black & white. But lately, they’ve been shifting wildly as the lefties have been.

        2. Yes.
          As long as we are at war with EastAsia.

      2. See climate change cult and their ‘Science is settled’ vapidity and you’re a ‘denier’ if you resit them.

        Language. They’re masters at manipulating it.

      3. Very well said!

      4. A Russian professor at Northwestern recently described a story he tells in class that used to get a big laugh. In short, it was about a person in the Soviet Union arguing, “Of course we have free speech. We just don’t allow people to tell lies.” Always drew a big laugh. Today, no laughs, which makes him genuinely concerned about the future of this country.

        1. “Of course we have free speech. We just don’t allow people to tell lies.”
          Isn’t that now the Twitter/Facebook/YouTube/…shared motto?

  10. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSHL-rSMIro

    I came across this the other day. The guy’s delivery is a bit wooden, but maybe it’s because of the venue. Anyway, I never really knew what “Critical Theory” was. I tried to get explanations, but got a lot of gobbledygook. This guy explains, well, that’s all it is. By design.

    1. Basically, it boils down to, “Anything that doesn’t produce an equality of outcome is oppression, and counter-oppression is necessary to change that outcome.” That’s why they use “equity” as their buzzword.

      These people are straight-up evil. They don’t even have the cover of “good intentions”–they’re flat-out totalitarian in their motives and goals. They’re monsters that want to see you dead, your children raped and brain-washed, and they think it’s funny.

      1. Their protests are like rave parties.

      2. Look up Herbert Marcuse’s doctrine of “repressive tolerance” for an example of the corruption and evil that drives the collectivist agenda.

      3. I always wonder who is behind all this and why in the world the want it. I know the vast majority are sheep who think this is a route to a better society. But the real drivers have to just be after power? Or is this from external sources who’s goal is to destroy the country?

    2. I never really knew what “Critical Theory” was.

      Someone wasn’t “there” in the 90s.

    3. Wait, is this the dude who hoaxed the social sciences department?

      1. The Sokal hoax, 1996.

        1. No wait, that hoaxed leftie “journals”. Don’t know about any department being hoaxed.

          1. No, this guy’s too young for the Sokal hoax, no this is the one where he wrote a bunch of gibberish papers and got them successfully peer-reviewed and published.

            1. That was Sokal. I believe there was another later, actually a small group, and their intent was to have fun, whereas Sokal was a leftie himself trying to shame them into better standards.

              1. whereas Sokal was a leftie himself trying to shame them into better standards.

                Yeah, and it didn’t work.

              2. A more recent and ambitious version of what Sokal did was indeed performed by James Lindsay along with co-authors Helen Pluckrose and Peter Boghossian. In what some have called “Sokal 2.0,” they got a bunch of nonsense papers, including one detailing the power dynamics of dog on dog rape in the dog park, accepted at a bunch of “grievance studies” journals. There’s a detailed account here: https://quillette.com/2018/10/01/the-grievance-studies-scandal-five-academics-respond/

                1. My favorite one was where they took a chapter from Mein Kampf, substituted some of the words for words from modern Feminist Theory, and changed the title to “My Struggle” (which is the English translation for “Mein Kampf”).

                  It was accepted for publication.

              3. Leftists are incapable of shame. They exhibit very hallmark of malignant narcissists and serial nihilists.

          2. Yeah, sorry, not ‘department’ I meant the journals… which… might be the same thing technically?

        2. “The Sokal hoax, 1996”

          Laugh, I thought I’d die!

          1. It was an amazing caper. Too bad it wouldn’t make a good movie.

            Truth is stranger than fiction because fiction has to sound plausible.

    4. “Critical Theory” is the output of something called the Frankfort School. It was a communist think-tank in Frankfort Germany. In 1933, the writing was on the wall for communists in Germany (Hitler became Chancellor that year), and they got out. Columbia University in NYC took them in.

  11. I’m not usually a fan of the saying “a hit dog will holler,” which basically boils down to “if someone responds angrily to an accusation, they are probably guilty.”

    I’m not sure that applies here anyway. Cancel culture was called out, and the people who were anti-freedom of speech and behind cancel culture merely defended anti-freedom of speech and cancel culture.

    1. Yeah exactly… The piece reads like a “gotcha”–“You have just proved that you’re against free speech!”–but none of these people would have said “I support freedom of speech” in a bare, unqualified way begin with. They think freedom and equity are in tension with each other, and they believe in equity.

  12. Vanderwerffs letter is the pure, distilled, pristine representation of the cancer that is going on with left-wing twitter and really the personality disorder (not yet DSM classified…yet) that they suffer from. I mean it is truly perfect.

    So cringy to read, but to these ever-victim claimers, its brave and virtuous. They cant see just how truly disgusting it is.

    1. Gey job just became slightly more difficult!

      1. Ah stupid Reason comments! “Hey her job…”

    2. Iglesias should file a complaint with HR about taking a workplace disagreement public. Threaten as many lawsuits as necessary.

      But he won’t.

      1. She sent the Letter to Vox Management. It used the word “unsafe”. They are legally required to forward the matter to HR. HR will open and investigation. There’s no way to prove she didn’t actually feel “unsafe”, so likely he’ll be reprimanded and maybe asked to resign.

        There’s an outside chance this will backfire and they’ll fire he for making an internal matter public, but this is Vox.

        1. They’ll fire He?

          1. Ah, the casual sexism of random typos.

  13. What is even more amusing is as the twitter mob descended on the signers of the letter, some (about two) of them backed down, saying
    “they didn’t know who else would be signing with them” and rejecting the letter that they signed because people they didn’t like also signed it.

    1. That’s why true libertarians must oppose reforming qualified immunity: because Democrats support it. Can’t be associated with Democrats.

      1. Democrats aren’t for it. They’re virtue signaling. The moment the details of a real QI reform package would hit their desks, they’d refuse to sign on, claiming “it doesn’t go far enough”.

        1. You are welcome to examine the legislation to see if it does indeed go far enough for you. That way you don’t have to waste energy assuming nefarious motives beforehand.

      2. “That’s why true libertarians must oppose reforming qualified immunity: because Democrats support it. Can’t be associated with Democrats.”

        Is it possible for a lefty shit to post without some form of mendacity?

    2. “they didn’t know who else would be signing with them” and rejecting the letter that they signed because people they didn’t like also signed it.

      Thus outing themselves as cowards capable of nothing beyond group-think and believing whatever the cool kids believe.

  14. “Heterodox” commies have only one choice come November…MAGA..VOTE TRUMP.
    Unless they wanna get put up against the wall…

  15. “Please, think for a minute and consider: what does it say when a completely generic endorsement of free speech and open debate is in and of itself immediately diagnosed as anti-progressive, as anti-left?” he wrote.

    Put another way: if you find yourself on the side of censorship and book banning, you should probably stop and ask yourself “Are we the baddies?”

    1. “I don’t understand your ‘position’. Why would *anyone* be opposed to censoring/banning *obvious* hate speech?!”

      1. Because they’re the baddies.

        1. “Exactly!”

      2. Because they are truly liberal?

    1. I think the “tripe” above is actually good… as it deals with only a specific case of the trend overall… one that the author is a part of. I mean, yeah… he’s stupid if he thinks that for the last decade when the right has said the left is full of illiberalism that that somehow proves the right to be illiberal and now all of a sudden, “OMG… I can’t believe it’s not butter… I mean, I can’t believe the left is illiberal!”… it just speaks volumes to the tunnel vision, bias, and stupidity of the author on a macro level. BUT… his awakening, late as it may be, is still welcome.

      But having said that… the article you linked was pretty amazing. The guy did a very thorough job of laying out the process and why it is such a dangerous one. It also explains the left’s worldview well, without being necessarily “mean” about it. It’s juts plain and fair description with warning of the danger it poses. It was very rational and understandable and level-headed.

      1. Read Dostoevsky’s Demons. That novel describes this process and way of thinking perfectly. The left hasn’t changed a bit in 140 or so years since that novel. They just use different terms but it is the same demonic nonsense.

        1. Wow. Haven’t read that for 45 years. Need to get a copy. Fyodor was the man.

        2. Demons and The Gulag Archipelago should be required reading.

          But they’re so self-absorbed with nihilistic tendencies they’d not notice it’s about them.

  16. Is it ok to question the timing of this letter?

    Seems a tad bit late to the topic to be treated with complete credulity.

    1. The aggressive eating of their own by the left is only now affecting the privileged. Hence, they protest, not wanting to ape Robespierre.

  17. Well, I would care a lot more if Jesse cared enough to quit twitter.
    Quit whining about how bad social media is and stop generating revenue for them.

    1. Or even better, take his content to a competitor.

  18. I don’t really care because they coddled they far left trannies and Karens for too long. Now they are paying for it. Appeasement never works.

    1. Exactly. And even now as the mob comes to get them, they still can’t condemn the mob without equivocating about how the right is just as bad even the right isn’t the one there to destroy them.

      Yet, they expect those of us on the right to come and help them or give a shit what happens to them? No thanks. They created this monster, they can figure out what to do about it.

      1. “…they still can’t condemn the mob without equivocating about how the right is just as bad…”

        Why, it’s almost as if they are working from the same playbook as Reason. but that can’t be, because Reason authors are libertarians, not soft leftists, right?

        Right?

        1. Vigorous defense of free speech and expression these days might sound a bit too…Trumpian? Hence, they must avoid doing so. I will enjoy seeing their heads roll, before mine.

  19. …and some less famous ones—like me.

    Don’t sell yourself short, Singal. You’re a tremendous slouch.

  20. The cancel culture is a civil war on the left. It isn’t people on the right who are being canceled. It is the center left. And they are being canceled by the mob of lunatics that they have help create and enabled over the last 50 years.

    The letter shows that the signatories have learned nothing from this experience. Most of the letter is the usual throat clearing about how bad the Right is and that the left is just imitating them. The letter is half excuse and half plea to spare the signers.

    It still doesn’t occur to the author or the other signers that their constant virtue signaling and excuse making for the sins on the left is what created the monster that is about to eat them. The mob has come to destroy their careers and lives and the best they can do in response is to curse how awful the right is. It is pathetic and show the signers to be in many ways deserving of their fate.

    1. The cancel culture is a civil war on the left. It isn’t people on the right who are being canceled. It is the center left. And they are being canceled by the mob of lunatics that they have help create and enabled over the last 50 years.

      Both are being canceled by virtue of the fact that the right is to the right of the far left.

      It still doesn’t occur to the author or the other signers that their constant virtue signaling and excuse making for the sins on the left is what created the monster that is about to eat them.

      This is absolutely true.

      1. The mob wants to cancel the right but it is unable to since the places where it has power, the media, Hollywood, academia, are places where everyone on the right has already been purged.

        1. I dunno. They seem to be doing a bang-up job in places like professional sports, video game design, other areas that were at least centrist, if not utilized by the Right.

          1. The left has and continues to purge any conservative or anyone on the right from every institution it touches. And this guy did exactly jack and shit about that. But now that the mob has come for him, everyone is supposed to think it is different.

            1. First they came for the Jews… It is as poignant now as it was back then.

        2. Remember Roger Scruton? Trust me, they’re equal opportunity on this crap.

    2. For years it’s been Democrat versus Democrat. Police unions are Democrat, teacher’s unions are Democrat, the mayors are Democrat, the rioters are Democrat. There isn’t a Republican or anyone else in all this within miles.

    3. It isn’t people on the right who are being canceled.

      Well, the leftards pretty much managed to cancel Milo Yiannopoulos. They’re trying like hell to cancel Jordan Peterson (whom I wouldn’t call a right-winger), and Ben Shapiro, but not getting a whole lot of traction there.

      -jcr

  21. Can we cancel those responsible for the cancelings?

    1. Isn’t that what the letter is doing? Effectively saying to their fellow travelers “this far, but no farther.”

  22. They scream, “His opinions make me feel unsafe! Fire him, immediately!” without a single ounce of self-reflection.

  23. The letter was drafted with sufficient care to maintain the culture of virtue signaling while at the same time attempting to defend free speech.

    1. It’s less a case of virtue-signaling than virtue-sniveling.

      1. virtue-sniveling.

        Very nice. Thank you.

  24. Please, think for a minute and consider: what does it say when a completely generic endorsement of free speech and open debate is in and of itself immediately diagnosed as anti-progressive, as anti-left?” he wrote. (Emphasis his.)

    It means the truth is right in your face and you still insist on living in FantasyLand.

    1. Spot on. He (Singal) remains blind.

  25. When I was a kid in the 1950’s it was social conservatives who tried to ban books and movies. Liberals founded the ACLU in part as a reaction to this.
    It’s sad now to see liberals in the forefront of the censorship movement.

    1. These people are SoCons with a different religion!

      1. These people are the aggressors in the Culture War and feel their ultimate triumph is at hand.

    2. Progressive leftists founded an organization in the 1920’s to fight events occurring three decades in the future?

    3. Think the ACLU would support its most famous cause – Nazis marching in Skokie – today??

      Someone should propose a new March and see how the aclu responds.

      1. The ACLU only defended Nazis marching in Skokie as a way of defending Communists marching without having to be seen defending Communists. Which they wanted to avoid because they WERE Communists.

        1. I wrote the ACLU off when they tried to send that Russian teenager back to the Soviet Union just because his idiot loser commie prick parents wanted to go back.

          -jcr

    4. If you think this is new to progressives, study how early progressive heroes like Wilson and FDR used the power of their office to attack newspapers and other media that dared to step out of line.

    5. The funny thing about the vast majority of the “bans” on books and movies, though, was that SoCons were just trying to keep particular books out of schools and public libraries; in some cases, parents wanted special controls on particular books in an attempt to keep those books out of immature hands.

      And they didn’t demand people to be fired for reading these things — but that may have been because it’s harder to demand someone to be fired without having a Twitter mob to push for it.

      I happen to agree with SoCons on this, by the way: no one book has any particular “right” to be in a public place, and librarians have to make decisions on what is and is not in the library at any one time (and it’s for *this* reason I came to appreciate the value of owning books, rather than counting on libraries to always have a copy ready for you). If it’s paid for by the public, then the public *should* have a say about whether or not certain books should or should not be there.

      About the only times I agree with the ACLU on an issue is when someone gets thrown in jail for publishing something, or when a student has something taken away, and it isn’t returned after the day is over (and even then, if it’s only *some* books, and not others, that are taken away, I’ll side with the student, with the possible exception of pornography).

  26. “Dog whistles” used to mean something like coded, racist appeals of the sort Richard Nixon employed but has more recently, on Twitter at least, taken a definition closer to referring to an accusation I don’t want to provide evidence for.

    Actually “Dog Whistles” always had the second definition. What changed is that you supported using it against Nixon and the right and hate it used against you.

    1. Bingo. The entire concept of a “dog whistle” was to slander someone as a racist by claiming that a statement that was not racist on it’s face somehow was racist.

      The dog whistle was nothing but an early version of “white fragility”. Sure you didn’t say anything that is racist on it’s face. But we know you are a racist and your denying it is proof that you are.

      And of course what was and was not a “dog whistle” was entirely up to whoever wanted to make the charge. So, it didn’t matter what you said it was subject to be called a “dog whistle” and be proof of your racism.

      And the sleazy little shit of an author of this piece was totally okay with that as long as it was done to “bad people” like Nixon. But it is different when it happens to a “good person” like the author.

      Cry me a fucking river.

      1. It’s funny… in conversations when this phrase is used I am always implied to be the dog. Yet… I’m not the one who hears the whistle. That’s always amused me.

      2. I learned early on to hear “dog whistle” as a declaration by the speaker of their own racism/sexism for hearing racist/sexist undertones in facially neutral speech.

      3. I have found the following reply useful: “Seems like only Democrats can hear racist dog whistles. Makes sense, considering their history”. Then, point out that BLM murders black children. They really hate that.

        1. See Don Lemon’s interview with Terry Crews. Lemon is lucky it was a remote interview because I am pretty sure Crews could beat him down without breaking a sweat, and probably make it hilarious while doing so.

          1. I would pay to watch that over sportsball any day of the week.

            -jcr

  27. It’s fantastic the Voxer refers to nuanced thinking in a letter claiming free speech makes her “unsafe”. She’s insane.

    1. I’m glad that most of the top-liked responses to her tweet were calling her out for her bullshit. She then proceeded to block a ton of people before shutting off her twitter.

  28. Media Matters is “left leaning”? It’s literally the most partisan sort of organization that exists, essential an arm of the Democratic party

    1. The SPLC is offended for being underappreciated in it’s contributions to the cause.

  29. But it’s funny, I remember being lectured in school about the evils of McCarthyism (as demonstrated in The Crucible) as part of a lesson plan in an English class

    I was literally the only student that even knew what McCarthyism was (since our history class basically stopped at WW2), but it’s always struck me how the problem the left has with McCarthyism was not the tactics, but simply that it was directed at Communists.

    1. It didn’t matter that he didn’t have power in HUAC (he was a Senator). It didn’t matter that he was right that there were commies in the gov (like FDR’s advisors). It didn’t matter that the commies were spying on us (Rosenberg). It didn’t matter that the Venona documents proved he was right on some accounts. No… the only moral truth we are allowed to accept is that he was 100% evil and therefore 100% wrong.

      Was he a dick? Yeah. Was he right 100% of the time… not even close. But by smearing him completely the education-government complex has erased a truth about Communism and its attacks on liberalism and the US from most of American’s minds.

      1. Hell they still teach that the New Deal ended the Depression and cover both FDR and Wilson’s blatant racism. They also teach that the Lusitinia sinking was what caused the US to enter WW1 (despite it happening in 1915 rather than 1917) and that Germany was completely unprovoked in WW1 and that the Lusitinia was only carrying civilians despite hard archeological evidence that it was carrying armaments and therefore a legitimate target. And they teach FDR tried to keep us out of WWII despite his ordering US warships to guard convoys in the spring of 1941 and the fact that during those operations US warships sank two German U boats despite our official neutrality. He and Wilson both were looking for an excuse to go to war after their reelection. I think in the case of WWII there is definitely an argument as to it being justified to fight Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. For that matter they still teach Hitler was the largest mass killer of the 20th century and completely absolve Stalin and Mao of their crimes and Imperial Japan of their crimes.

        1. Actually… I teach both US and World History at a public school. I make Danny sure that not only do I but my fellow cohort of subject teachers cover some of that stuff. I can’t get them to do it all… but I do what I can. In my class, however, I call put public education for either by choice or by habit hiding the evils of socialism. Yeah… we cover Hitler and the Holocaust pretty hard. But we do that as a one day unit in a full week long unit we call the Atrocities Week. The Allies get a day (fire bombings, killing of POWs, how a Democrat is the only president to put minorities in camps [and that Trump has never advocated for anything close to that… this causes their ears to prick up because it is a mostly Hispanic school], and the nukes), The Nazis get a day with primary sources film footage of Buchenwald, the Russians get a day with quotes from Lenin about killing people in public to scare people, the purges, the gulags, the starving to death of TWO WHOLE COUNTRIES ON PURPOSE by Stalin, and the really hard day to do is Japan. We cover the Rape of Nanking, comfort women, the Bataan Death March, canablism… and most of it is actually from interviews from Japanese soldiers talking about eating prisoners or throwing babies off cliffs.

          So for what it is worth… at least about 100 kids a year are being told that most of their education is bullshit. I do my part as small as it may be.

          1. My kingdom for an edit button.

            Danny sure = damn sure.

            Prob other mistakes but I’m not proofing it. I teach history, not English for God’s sake!

  30. You should probably explain this to Ezra Klein.

    1. Lotta names to add to that list.

      Jess better stock up on coloring books.

  31. The thing about dog whistles is that only dogs hear them. If VanDerWerff claims to hear racist or anti-trans dog whistles, then they are the bigot, obviously.

  32. It does make sense on one level: if you believe (sincerely) that free speech and open debate are simply instruments used by fascists and white supremacists (and nothing more), and have been used for centuries of oppression, then you have to be against those things that oppress you and other marginalized groups.
    But that’s, again, if it is only how you view these traditions or rights. If you don’t see that they were used by black and gay people, by women and other mistreated groups, for their cause, for their liberation, then it makes sense to set them aside.
    The liberal tradition is that people can sit down, and in good faith, come to some agreement. That this give-and-take will end in a mutually satisfying solution. But this movement doesn’t believe in this good faith exchange. Since the other party are racists and oppressors, why negotiate with such people? They have no good faith nor should we.
    Boy, we are in quite a mess here, aren’t we?

    1. Whichever side has more bullets, wins.

      1. Not exactly, whichever side can get the most beans and bullets to the front the fastest and most consistently wins the war. Logistics is the key to any battle and war.

  33. Ugh!

    I agree with the Harper’s letter. The solution to bad speech is not censorship but is more speech. I truly applaud the courage of your conviction.

    But your retort to VanDerWerff is the same whining she did about Yglesias. She did it on Twitter, you did it here.

    I don’t think she was expressing an interest in censoring Matt. I would agree that she over-reacted to the letter or at least body of signatory. The classy thing for her to do is simple file it with Vox editors and leave it at that, rather than broadcasting to the world. Other the other hand, the classy thing for YOU to do is sign the Harper’s letter and leave it at that!

    1. No, the classy thing for her to do is to approach the person who literally only said he was interested in free speech, and then to speak to him.

      The passive aggressive, “I don’t want anything bad to happen to him but he makes me feel unsafe,” letter blasted out to her employers and then shared on Twitter (to prompt her bosses into action by shaming them) is literally what the original letter was arguing against. She claims she’s different because she doesn’t want him to be punished, but her actions are not consistent with that stated goal. And her main issue is not that he’s ever said anything bad, but that he is guilty by association with other people whose names appear on the letter.

      Anyone who tries to imply a standard of guilt by association deserves to be shamed and mocked, hard stop.

    2. The letter was a warning about people who do what VanDer Werff did. Then… she did it. This article is pointing to her action as proof that the letter was a) correct and b) needed. I don’t think that’s the same thing. He isn’t, in any way, saying she should be fired, harassed, harangued, etc. He’s simply pointing out her lack of commitment to liberal values. She, on the other hand, is claiming that Yglesias’ actions were damaging to her even though they, by any rational examination, are not and in doing so she is doubling down on censorship as a means to protect herself from her imagined dragons.

      1. Isn’t all that a fancy way of saying the VanDeWeff is a lying sack of shit? (among other things?)

        1. It’s better to demonstrate the exact way in which she’s demonstrably lying instead of simply falling into name-calling. I’ve never heard of her before or read anything she’s ever written, so I can’t definitely say that she is a “lying sack of shit.” For all I know, she might smell rather pleasant.

          I can, however, point out that her actions are at odds with her stated goal, demonstrating that this tweet is dishonest and scummy. Better to engage the argument than to fall into her trap of attacking the arguer. She never engaged the letter, only shamed her colleague for associating with some of its signatories.

          1. He. I don’t ascribe to the obvious science-denying of calling people who are male, female. I don’t validate or appease mental illness.

    3. She made a public statement about something that shouldn’t be, but is, controversial. I fail to see how it’s not “classy” to discuss it — particularly since it illustrates perfectly how the letter is right.

      Perhaps, had she kept the letter private, and someone else leaked it, you’d have a point. But that’s not what happened.

  34. If you had a time machine and went back to strangle baby Hitler in his crib, would you do a side trip on the way back and strangle babies Dorsey and Zuckerberg?

    1. Can we add Wilson, Sanger and FDR to that list? Possibly also Teddy?

    2. Why that recently?

      I mean, Marx, Engels, and the rest of them were in the 19th century, not the 20th.

      I haven’t done any deep research on the subject, but without them to kick it off I suspect there would be quite a few less ideologically driven deaths than what’s currently attributed to Stalin, Mao, and so forth.

  35. When I was a kid in the 1950’s it was social conservatives who tried to ban books and movies so still i am agree with the letter .

    1. Don’t fool yourself the left did as well, it just wasn’t as obvious. I remember complaints about Huck Finn starting in the 1980s.

      1. And it was hardly the Right that tried in the 1980s and 90s to ban Bible and Christian clubs in schools.

        1. Or Nativity scenes, even privately funded, in the public square (even if the town allowed others to display religious ot non-religious holiday displays).

      2. Don’t forget Tipper Gore’s antics!

        THE WORLD NEEDS FRANK ZAPPA.

  36. “”if someone responds angrily to an accusation, they are probably guilty.”

    IOW, “me thinks thou doth protest too much.”
    I read that somewhere in a book.
    I think it was written by some dead, white guy who progressives hate for being a dead, white guy.
    But have no fear, children.
    It wasn’t Saint Karl Marx.

    1. Funny how images of Marx remain un-attacked.

    2. It was bullshit when the Salem witch hunters used it, and it’s still bullshit today.

      -jcr

  37. This is fine=)

  38. Emily VanDerWerff may claim to feel unsafe in the presence of people who don’t share her lunacy, but the rest of us plainly ARE unsafe because people like her exist.

  39. Why do people like VanDerWerff, the very same type of person the open letter was speaking of, enjoy playing the victim so much? Living that way must be exhausting. It really is possible for someone to be a decent human being and disagree with you on basic things. Why would you want to live in an echo chamber of your own thoughts and beliefs? I simply cannot with these people anymore – and no, I don’t mean trans people, I mean people on the extreme left who cannot handle the real world unless it is a reflection of exactly what they want it to be at all times.

    1. The same can be said for Trumptards as well.

      This is what the USA has devolved to; “Either you agree with my positions 100% (no, 99% just will not do) or I will attack you and accuse you of being completely emblematic of the ‘other side’ and I refuse to engage in any form of civil discourse on any differences we may have. And I hate you.”

      I just want out of this shithole.

      1. The doors open, no one is stopping you.

    2. I’m sorry, but you’ve answered your own question. Mental illness, baby.

  40. “… build a more diverse and thoughtful workforce …” at Vox by removing all diversity of thought and opinion?

    1. The liberal, Dem way.

  41. This is a well written article that neatly summarizes reality for the cancel culture warriors,

    There is also the future of unintended consequences that the cancel culture warriors might want to consider. When you drive your victims out of a job and trash them in the public forum so they have difficulty getting a job, eventually one of them is going to snap and put a bullet though your head while you walk to your car. Of course they might flatten the back of your head with a baseball bat or slit your throat with a kitchen knife, you will be just as dead.

    It is not a good idea to destroy someone’s life on a whim. If they decide that they no longer have anything to lose, irrational as that might be, you as the destroyer will the target of the rage.

    I don’t expect the woke class to get this. I fear things will continue to escalate. But maybe one day I will get to say “told you so”, for whatever that’s worth.

    1. Very conscientious attempt at getting the warriors to swerve at the last minute, MJBinAL, but it ain’t gonna work. Bullets will fly.

    2. I expect that’s why the last guy who doxed me (Not hard, I don’t use a pseudonym.) used a burner account with a fake name to do it.

  42. “none of these signers have ever been sanctioned”???!!!???

    Salma Rushdie signed it. After he wrote “Satanic Verses” (a book accurately analising the koran, while pulling no punches) the “is” guys put a price on his head and he has been in hiding now for at least twenty five years. Talk about censoring, sanctioning, cncel culture…. it cannot get worse except by making good on the death threats. Which they are still trying to do.

    This nonsense is looking more and more like a gaggle of whiney bratty selfish grade schooll kids who cannot even play in the sandbox together without each one of them, in turn, getting mad about something and throwing a hissy fit. And these spoilt children think they have something to say?

    Watching the gang of them as they attempted to establish a “new order” in the “zone” in Seattle was an epic exercise in endurance. They proved how capable they are of running society… they ARE NOT. Not by any stretch of anyone’s imagination. That was a dead ringer for Lord of the Flies, played out on the six block stage up on Cap Hill inSeattle.

    1. They aren’t the problem…it’s their idiot employers, who capitulate and appease them, firing offensive employees, etc.

    2. The irony was that it was Lord of the Flies after they carved themselves out a spot from actual civilization.

      There were six young men from a Catholic school who found themselves in a real Lord of the Flies situation, and they did just fine.

      It makes one wonder: What kinds of philosophies and upbringings give us civilization? What kinds end in disaster, when left on their own?

      (I suspect that the “Rugged Individualists willing to negotiate with each other to the benefit of both” will always beat out “Collectivists who expect Government to make all people equal to the benefit of all, whether they like it or not” every time.)

  43. Leftists are anti-free speech totalitarians.

    1. Water wet, sky blue.

  44. The nature of the reaction to the letter is not about the letter, or the language in it.

    It is about the nature of the medium/media used to deliver it and to respond to the letter.

    You can spend all your days carefully crafting a piece of writing only to have it torn to shreds via instamedia.

    That’s the world we live in if you choose to communicate that way. I know it can be tough but you *can* choose to communicate off the grid. You just won’t have the potential to get too many “likes.”

  45. “Of course Yelling Woke Twitter hates free speech! Of course social justice liberals would prevent expression they disagree with if they could! How could any honest person observe our political discourse for any length of time and come to any other conclusion?”

    This pretty much nails it and it’s been pretty obvious for some time and that’s why Jesse’s account of his internal shock over it is so, so very disappointing.

    Hopefully this clarifies to many liberals that they are dating a psychopath.

  46. It’s vital for the Marxist movement to successfully stifle any criticism due to the fact that their bizarre beliefs are totally unsupportable by rationalism, science and reason, leaving threat and violence as their only means of political ascendancy.

    When they come together as a Twitter mob to enact some social justice they do so with the threat of further agitation. Well we’ve seen over the last few weeks their threats brought to bear which would have been no measurable pressure at all had any form of government actually done their jobs. Democratic strongholds seemed instead to have invited it.

    It’s all fictitious, really. The hardcore left is too lazy to organize an actual revolution because that requires such monumental effort that people only muster it when their lives are actually threatened.

  47. Someone should remind the illiterati what the Soviets did to dissenters. Non-party members were sent to Siberia; party members were shot in the head.

  48. I know what it is like to draft a statement or report, seeking a large number of signers–you have to add, delete, massage things with a constant eye on the effect. I am sure that was the case, here.

    Nonetheless, the gratuitous and incorrect swipe at Trump told people on the right and in the center that you are a bunch of hypocrites who care only for your own rights and not for free speech in general. You reject potential allies in order to virtue signal, and you make this liberals against radicals rather than all civilized people against barbarians.

    Well, you make your choice, you don’t want allies. And seeing what you chose, I made mine.

    1. Agreed. Had they been truthful about this (that for the last decade or more the right has been screaming ABOUT censorship by the left and not FOR censorship of the left) then I would gladly stand shoulder to shoulder with them.

      But instead they kicked sand in the face of the person who told them “don’t date that asshole,” then act like they discovered the heretofore unknown truth… that the person they are dating is an asshole. At that point the person with sand in their eyes is justified to think, “God you two deserve each other.”

  49. While it seems almost understandable for one side in the Great Western Schism of today to do what they can to at least force some argument of equivalence with the opposing side, but “While we have come to expect this on the radical right, censoriousness is also spreading more widely in our culture” is about as blind a statement as I’ve heard in a while.
    Call them prone to irrational, anti-science beliefs or point out that they cynically exploit the worst of human bigotries and hatreds for their own uses and I can at least entertain your argument. Even closer to such an argument, one might mention their propensity to engage in ad hominem attacks and absurd hyperbole (although usually exclusively and anonymously on line). But it is patently absurd to accuse the right; even the “far” right of partaking in behaviors anything like the left’s cancel culture, now or ever. And the idea that somehow conservatives even could get someone fired or even demoted in this world is nuts, not in a million years,

    1. Ad hominems? Really? The left has owned that tactic for decades, the right just seems to have decided to okay the same game. As for pandering to bigots, see BLM, reparations, affirmative action, Title IX, white privilege etc and then answer me how that is any different than the right?

      1. The “(_)phobics” accusations are all intrinsically ad hominem attacks, as well as begging the question that the they are irrational.

  50. The reaction is exactly as you’d expect but this is 4 years too late I am afraid. With the colleges completely infested with this Marxist ideology how can we ‘reopen’ the next generations eyes to Western Philosophy and Discourse? How can we push the Socratic method when they are literally going after STEM right now?
    We need to pull our kids out of the government schools and quit sending them to debt creation centers that double as Indoctrination and ‘Right Think’ reeducation camps.
    Colleges are the problem, with the media being a close second.

    1. 4 years? More like 4 decades (at least).

      1. Many on the right have been warning about this since at least the 1990s.

      2. Yeh, when I was in university in the 90s they were already installed.

        Like I mentioned way up top, this is something that has been in the works for over 100 years.

        We won the war but the ideological war. Lenin is getting the last laugh because there was no shortage of useful idiots to keep the charade going.

        I also don’t get Chomsky or even my compatriot Atwood (who I believe engaged in lame anti-Harper rhetoric). I don’t see how socialism and freedom of speech are mutually inclusive.

  51. Thanks for signing the letter.

    “”There is literally no specific instance discussed in that open letter, no real-world incident” — that’s clearly false: e.g. “Editors are fired for running controversial pieces” is clearly a reference to the NYT Cotton op-ed fallout. Why undercut own credibility like that?

  52. Gotta love the obligatory “Trump is bad” statement. The darkness of totalitarianism is always falling on the right and landing on the left. Sorry the signatories have to deal with the mob. Now they know how conservatives feel.

    1. Until they knock it off with the TDS I’ll consider them fair-weather on free speech.

      Say what you want about Trump, he hasn’t come for you or your liberty.

      That’s the job of Democrats.

      I bet you they’ll still vote Democrat.

      If they do, fuck off slaver.

  53. There’s still a bounty on Rushdi’s head. His persecution has not ended. Proggies are insane.

  54. “Noam Chomsky, Margaret Atwood, Steven Pinker, Salman Rushdie, and Garry Kasparov, and some less famous ones—like me.”

    Respectable but old. Younger people are different and don’t have the faith that discussion will resolve seemingly intractable issues that motivates cancel culture.

    The young have taken to heart Foucault’s teaching which might be summarized thus: there’s a policeman inside your head and he’s telling you what to do. Cancel culture seeks to set the policeman’s agenda. These old farts like Chomsky aren’t interested in these new fangled ideas.

    1. You call these ideas “new-fangled” but they are the tools of tyrants, and have been tools for centuries.

      It is free speech that’s the new idea.

      1. “It is free speech that’s the new idea.”

        Young people are not interested in debating whether rape is a good thing or blacks are genetically inferior. They also question the usefulness of such debates.

        1. First of all, there’s only a very small number of people who are debating whether rape is a good thing or blacks are genetically inferior. Of all the topics that ought to be very easy to defeat in an argument, these should be among the top.

          If our young people can’t do even that, then perhaps they should be the ones who are silenced.

          They won’t be, in a free society. They will be, in a totalitarian one.

          If young people can’t learn the fundamentals of freedom, and why they are important, then they should be kept from power for as long as possible — and we should be even more diligent in maintaining the very structures designed to keep what power they do get, very limited in scope.

          (Incidentally, these aren’t the first young people who have come along, thinking that freedom is old-fashioned and done away with. They won’t be the last, either: the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.)

  55. I wish I were important enough, or unimportant enough, to have been asked to sign the letter. I would have.

    1. Me too… right after blacking out the insipid lie about how the right in the US has been this forever-enemy of freedom while the left has been in the figurative streets for decades seeking to police thought, association, religiou, education, you name it.

  56. “Veteran of the Twitter wars.”

    Basic millennial trash.

    “Because the American left is basically a war zone at the moment.”

    If only we could return to the times when the American right was turning the Middle East into actually a war zone. Simpler times without all the trans people.

    Both sides are right and talking past each other. But it’s not like everyone is being beaten to death with she-dicks. This is an academic ethical and linguistic debate that’s not even really much to write home about except for the public attention and titillation.

    It shouldn’t be at the center of political debate in the middle of a fucking apocalypse. It’s a culture war fake crisis and when that happens you know Republicans are fucking things up royally and trying to distract you.

    1. If you think free speech and what it means, as well as tolerance of dissenting opinion should not be at the center of political debate in a constitutional republic that guarantees such rights, than you are fucking an idiot and an enabler of authoritarianism. Also, it isn’t the right firing people. Stop with your blaming everything on the right. As for the apocolypse, no one fucking sees it that way but you authoritarians asshats who are using it as an excuse to gain more power. This is nowhere close to an Apocalypse. What a fucking asinine statement. In fact your entire last paragraph is pure bullshit.

      1. I don’t understand what possible business it is of a libertarian what independent companies do with their payrolls. Some of these things are regrettable. Liberals aren’t perfect. They overreact. What they don’t do is start wars based on lies and inflict Trump on the world.

        Nobody is being put in jail for their speech (though Trump does have a few months left, so don’t count it out). You’re overreacting way more than the goddamn NYT. And you’re not overreacting to a threat to your free speech, but for being made to feel slightly ostracized by decent society because of the bad opinions you have. Just… fucking snowflakes.

        1. There is a difference between being opposed to government censorship and understanding the rights of free association and being in favor of mob induced censorship. Also,any of these practicing this on the left are all in favor of so called hate speech laws that will in fact codify this behavior. I can support the ideal of free speech and dissent protection, even in the private world, because it is necessary for a civil society, while also opposing that the government actually force companies to live by these ideals. I know nuance is to hard for most progressives to grasp. But at least try.

          1. Hey that’s exactly what I say when I argue in favor of workplace rights. That the elements of freedom are not only worthwhile in the public sphere, they’re a good idea everywhere. But I got the impression the libertarian line was to permit employers to do whatever the hell they want; get another job!

            If all you’re complaining about is private-sector and social pressure in response to speech, you are being the definition of a snowflake. If you don’t want your speech to have any consequences, don’t say anything interesting.

            1. No, criticizing people who pressure companies to fire people for not toeing the current schadenfreude is not being a snowflake, it is defending the concept that disagreement should not carry the risk of job loss etc. The concept of cancel culture is the antithesis of civil society and free exchange of ideals. The fact that you can’t understand this explains more about you than it does about anyone you are criticizing. It shows a complete lack of intellectually honesty and self awareness and rather simplistic and sophomoric thinking.

              1. I’m coming from the point of view of every libertarian I’ve ever talked to when the subject is workplace rights. I can’t imagine their hardline stance doesn’t extend to letting employers do whatever the hell they want in response to employee speech. Social pressure is market pressure, and that is, I’m told, what makes the world rotate on its axis.

                I personally might agree about the nascent thought-control tendencies of the left (though not about their relative import), especially if I were arguing the other side (remember I said both sides are right). But I try not to have strong opinions about stuff.

                1. You are completely, and I think purposely, misrepresenting libertarian ideals on private employees. Yes they have they right, but that doesn’t excuse bad behavior. If this was organic popular pressure, yes that is how markets are supposed to work. However most libertarians don’t actually support organized boycotts, especially if manufactured. But they also don’t support making them illegal. I don’t support you using crack cocaine or meth, and will criticize those who do, but I also support legalizing them both. Libertarians can entertain dichotomous thoughts. Progressives, however, appear incapable of doing such, as evidenced by the cancel culture.

                2. Also, pointing out the dangers of illiberal ideas, such as the cancel culture is not akin to wanting it banned or calling for anyone to be fired. In fact, the very act of pointing out the dangers is to encourage thinking and hopefully stop this before it becomes codified in law via hate speech laws like had already happened in Europe.

                  1. Okay so you want to move the conversation away from basic libertarian principles as they apply to the matter and toward how liberals are trash. Fair enough. But if all we’re talking about is social pressure, there’s a bit of a can of worms. I have a vast agenda of things I think employers shouldn’t do to employers? Want to go through them one by one? Or we not really taking about private-sector bad behavior? Aren’t we actually talking about a very specific bug up your ass and, coincidentally, the asses if the entire right wing in America? Just in time for the GOP to collapse into a heap of failure once again. How do they always manage to time that for right in the middle of a Very Serious flare-up of the culture war?

                    Take comfort in the fact that Trump’s judiciary will never let leftists make laws violating the first amendment. Though I can’t promise they won’t make Christianity the national religion and mandate daily prayer to the confederate flag.

                    1. oh my gosh confederates under the bed again? I’m waiting to hear any major party politician advocate taking the bill of rights away from anyone not with European or North African ancestry…crickets….

                    2. No we just have a president of the United States taking the side of neoconfederates. He’s not under the bed, he’s on tv.

                    3. Again, you are completely missing the point. It is okay to point out how dangerous this mindset is, while also supporting their right to be idiots. As for your whole screed about neo-confederates and making Christianity the national religion, how sophomoric can you be with that empty trope? Did you read anything I actually wrote or just make it up as you went along. Because you seem either to not have read it or not have comprehended the point. So the first choice demonstrates intellectual dishonesty, the second choice juvenile reading abilities.

                    4. From a certain point of view, the shenanigans of overemotional college students on Twitter is somewhat less serious than the open embrace of neo-confederates by the president of the United States.

                    5. Once again you disingenuously try to call it a couple college kids. BTW, it was mainly college kids that led the cultural revolution in China also. And trying to label anyone on the right as neo-confederates is also disingenuous.

                    6. All you are doing now is deflecting.

                    7. There is zero backing for making Christianity the national religion or mandatory prayer. Really. None.
                      There is however, significant impetus for banning speech deemed “problematic” by the critical theory types, and in nations where the left holds just a bit more sway than the US there are serious legal consequences for such speech.

                      I would say that the only point of view where these can be seen as equivalent threats is the one where you have your head up your ass.

                      Further, I would say that Trump is a response to the threat posed by the critical theory types. So he’s their fault. As long as the left is insane and stands to disrupt the daily lives of average citizens, they will be rejected, even in favor of someone as problematic as Trump.

                      Even the liberals are starting to figure that out

        2. WWI, Korea, Vietnam, Yemen, Libya, Syria…Democratic Wars…

          Gulf 1 and 2…neocon wars…

          Real conservative wars? Can’t seem to find one since 1860.

          1. What about Scotsman wars?

            1. He countered your point fairly easily so you resort to a junior high attempt at sarcasm and sophistry?

              1. He just said neoconservatives don’t count as conservatives and I’m the sophist? Also despite this, I’m personally responsible for WWI?

                1. No his point was that WWI and II, as well as Vietnam and Korea were started by self proclaimed progressives. As for Neo-Conservatives, they chose that label to distinguish themselves as a blend of socially conservative, but moderately progressive. Albeit they tended to be very progressive in using state authority to gain power. Many conservatives have long been suspicious if not outright hostile to neoconservatives. Hell, Bush the senior is almost as despised as Clinton.

                2. And he’s right: neocons are not conservatives; they are war mongering progressives, refugees from the Democratic party that invaded the Republican party.

        3. The Left doesn’t start wars with lies? What’s Vietnam, chopped liver?

          And if the Left is so eager to avoid starting wars, why were so many Leftists behind George W. Bush’s Iraq War? They were in Congress, and they had just as much access to the intel as anyone in W. Bush’s cabinet, yet they still went along with it.

          If you’re fine with cancellation, perhaps it’s time to dox you and make sure you can’t work again.

        4. Nobody is being put in jail for their speech

          At least they would have due process and could face their accusers before they were.

  57. Just as an aside (and yes I mentioned it upthread, who saw the Don Lemon’s interview with Terry Crews and thought to themselves Don is sure lucky Terry was on remote for the interview? How condescending was Mr. Lemon’s?

  58. Welcome to Reason. It only took for you fuckers to actually be touched to pen this. While I appreciate it, I ain’t gonna give you bravery points. You still haven’t fully grasped the severity of the problem.

    Let us watch you lefties eat each other up in peace. It’s all we have. Misery loves company around here.

    Feel free to write a true tome to liberty and free speech when you do finally realize it.

    We’re busy making Robby a true believer.

    1. Why are you not being permitted to do that you want to do? And why is it such a severe problem right now?

      1. I misplaced my ‘ACME Tony K-78 translator ‘. What are you asking exactly?

        1. Sorry I am fingermashing my phone and there’s no edit button.

          I’m curious what you think the problem is and what’s so serious about it. Employers just got the right to tell their employees to follow their religious practices or be fired. It’s a good day for employer rights!

          1. The point is that it isn’t the employers who are doing this. The employers are responding, sometimes openly, to threats (including in at least some cases threats of violence). This is an organized movement to destroy dissenting opinion manufactured by a very small, but vocal cadre. And in at least some cases this has actually resulted in people being assaulted, when they’ve been doxxed.

            1. And Rep. Omar gets mountains of death threats from fans of Tucker Carlson for saying things they don’t like. Why aren’t we freaking out about that?

              1. Again, a false analogy. Representatives of both stripes get death threats as part of their job. And their job really is to react to public concern. Buy an IT worker who believes in traditional marriage, who is doxxed and then has someone show up at their home threatening violence is entirely different. Also, it is different than an activist launching a public campaign to get someone fired from a company because that individual doesn’t support BLM or had the audacity to state all lives matter. Omar is a public figure, as is Carlson. Trying to get a private individual fired because they don’t toe the line is something only a brownshirts would support. Yes, this strategy is straight out of the handbook of the SA. Read some fucking history. This is how totalitarian regimes come to power. The SA gained power but using threats and boycotts to limit any dissenting opinions. You claim to be antifascist but you seem to be okay defending tactics used by fascists.

                1. Those goal posts are awfully mobile. I think death threats are worse than college students disagreeing with you on Twitter. I won’t assume one side is more physically threatening than the other, but if I had to guess I’d say it was the friggin Nazis.

                  I can only assume that the complex network of standards you’re applying to free speech is meant to avoid just saying you want people to agree with you on trans people and you’re mad that they don’t.

                  1. No, if you disagree with me, fine. It also isn’t just a few college kids. That is pure misrepresentation of what is happening. And no, the goal posts haven’t been moved. You are purposely misrepresenting what I am actually saying and purposely being disingenuous about what is actually happening.

                    1. I’m denying that you’re characterizing what is actually happening correctly. It is just college students on twitter. It’s not armies at the gates. The constitution isn’t going anywhere. And you don’t in fact have to alter anything about your life. Just don’t talk to any trans people. They’re not exactly common.

                    2. The article gives plenty of examples, as has Robby Soave and Matt Welch and many other authors here on Reason. You usually even comment on these articles. It wasn’t a few college students who got a 54 year old fired from the Washington Post, it was her co-workers aided by an organized mob that got her fired. It wasn’t a few college students who took down the editor of the NYT editorial page, it was grown adults. The author even gives an example of one of his co-workers turning him into his bosses because he signed this letter. That isn’t a few college students on Twitter. The fact that you purposely ignored these and numerous other articles over the past decade is all the proof we need that you are either willing idiot or intellectually dishonest.

                  2. ” I think death threats are worse than college students disagreeing with you on Twitter”

                    No shit Sherlock. That’s why one is illegal and the the other isn’t. See? No equivalence.

                  3. Tony, it’s pretty obvious that you’re just a shitty troll, but I can’t help but comment on how hilarious I find your “it’s just college students” argument. This was literally the exact same argument that Yglesias made back in 2017 after the Bret Weinstein controversy at Evergreen State College. Yglesias just laughed off any concern coming from prominent intellectuals at the time such as Jonathan Haidt and Sam Harris that the free speech issue was becoming an increasingly concerning problem with those who hold left-wing opinions. Now, pretty much the exact same thing that happened to Bret is happening to Yglesias himself. This is karma working at its absolute finest.

              2. Why do you believe what that anti-American twat-moron says?

                I’d love to see proof of that.

                I doubt they send her death threats.

                1. Oh I’m pretty sure some do. Hell, there are idiots in any crowd. The difference is in Omar’s district and most of the media the idiots on the right have no real power. And any power they had on social media is quickly being destroyed by the social network companies.

                  1. They make it sound like it’s the average viewer.

                    It’s well known people in the public eye get all kinds of threats and weird requests. It comes with the territory and already discounted in any discussion about them.

                    Ilhan and her ilk do it in a way that generalizes everyone at Fox is capable of this kind of behavior.

                    I’m almost certain the left do it on a far more regular basis and with much more gusto. Just a hunch.

                    1. I think the Nazis do. Just a hunch I have because they’re Nazis.

                    2. It is funny you keep saying Nazis when your defending tactics first used by the Naxis

          2. Tony, employers are scared to death of their own shadow.

            They fire people for mere opinions.

            At some point, they’re gonna have to grow a pair because the people they’re doing this for are poison and will eventually come for them.

            I don’t think this is all too hard a thing to grasp.

            1. I fully suspect he grasps it just fine he is being purposely intellectually dishonest at this point. If it were the right doing these tactics he would be screaming the loudest.

            2. I agree. You don’t have to convince me that private-sector actors behave irrationally and on whims. It’s why the market is an imperfect tool for organizing all of society, see.

              1. Everything is imperfect. The government is worse than the private sector, because the government uses force as it’s only means to organize society. Also, if this was an organic movement you would have a point, but it is organized to succeed in forcing a single mindset and political ideology. It is meant to destroy any dissent and individualism.

                1. And the ultimate goal is not to keep this in only the private sector, they have publicized for many years that their eventual aim is to reform society to the point that the government is the ones enforcing conformity. As you are well aware.

              2. Look at it this way Tony. If I were your employer or colleague I’d still think you’re a commie at heart but would NEVER look to cancel you or take away your right to earn a living.

                I’d tolerate you just like we do here.

                THAT’S what it means to live in a mature, civilized, and tolerant pluralist society where we’re all our own moral and intellectual agents with FREE WILL.

                I don’t think the signatories get this part. They hear the words but still don’t get it.

                1. I’m not unconcerned with the move to make everything kid-friendly by well-meaning progressives. The trans activists have hardly left my kind and my spaces alone (think gay bars where I think political correctness is actually illegal). But be wary whenever you’re told there is a nation-defining crisis and it’s just another culture war squirmish. Those always happen when republicans are failing. As a distraction, see.

                  1. Yes, vast right wing conspiracy. Not that people on here haven’t been pointing out this for almost a decade. It is all because Republicans are losing. That is why these mostly left of central people decided to pen this letter, to help Republicans. Can you be any more intellectually dishonest? I mean really? A left of center author writing about the evils of cancel culture and it is just another vast right wing conspiracy?

                  2. This!

                    Republicans always force the far left to do things like enforcing speech codes and excommunicating people they disagree with from society! They do this every time they are about to lose power!

                    Way back in 1980 Jerry Falwell wielded some power within Republican circles, therefore 40 years later any suggestion that the far left is doing something bad is simply the would-be theocrats crying that they might be losing power. Al Gore’s wife trying to censor music was simply a symptom of the Republican Theocracy. Now it is only to be expected that those who value freedom should demand that people who disagree with them be silenced.

                    How dare these left and far-left writers and academics call for open discourse that includes people that disagree with things like the Green New Deal and Defund the Police? People should be free to discuss the methods and priorities of the Green New Deal or the process for expunging white privilege, but that is certainly not the same thing as allowing the open hate speech promulgated every day by the enemies of the people.

              3. The private sector is imperfect and can behave irrationally. The public sector is imperfect and also beehives irrationally. The difference being is the private sector cannot legally use violence to enforce their whims and the public sector can, also the public sector has more perverse incentives encouraging irrational behavior.

              4. Does this mean you’ve made peace with Senator McCarthy’s efforts, then? Or is cancel culture only bad when we’re trying to root out Communists?

      2. Tony: “Why are you not being permitted to do that you want to do? And why is it such a severe problem right now?”

        I’m pretty much free to do the same things I could before Trump was elected.

        Is that your point? No big deal?

  59. What a bunch of asslicking little quislings. Man up to your speech and tell people who don’t like it to go fuck themselves. if you get fired for your speech, you are working in the wrong place anyway.

    1. +100,000,000

  60. the whole bunch of these folks are so removed from normal society and normal Americans..but they control the media and academia and hence control the debate. Cultural Marxists the lot of them and yes let’s go there and have a debate on why these folks have been peddling hate for 50 years. Old world issues for the most part. They are very sick people who hate liberty and freedom and are deeply lacking in self esteem…everyone is a nazi or reactionary to them…sound familiar? Not much different that the commies in munich or st petersburg in the 1920….

    Calling them out as the bolsheviks they are is necessary and proper..defending natural rights over equal outcomes (at least for some groups but not for others who don’t “deserve” it) is essential…

    1. Twitter has consolidated into a new communist party. And like all communist parties it keeps infighting, aggressive bolsheviks against milder fractions, purges, condemnations, extrajudicial punishments. Unfortunately, the “party” has control over parts of the society and wants to grab more power.

  61. If a co-worker’s signature on a public letter calling for free speech makes her feel less safe, this person is so utterly neurotic that she has no credibility. Of course what she is actually doing is invoking a political hot button, rhetoric that indicates she has no credibility.

  62. Only a complete tool could argue that employers get to impose their religion on their employees, and then out of the other side of their face argue that employees should somehow be protected from employers for being transphobic.

    1. No one is actually making that argument. They are arguing that employers should not be pressured by outsiders and their own employees to fire someone because that person’s opinion differs from their own. Do you understand the difference? I actually think you do, but are being purposely intellectually dishonest. Also, is it truly transphobic to have the opinion that biological sex is immutable and for a woman to object to undressing with someone who claims to be a woman but is still biologically a male? Also, the USSC did not rule that they can impose their religion on their employers, but rather the government can’t force religious employers to provide services that are against their religious beliefs. Again, this was explained to you at length, the fact that you keep repeating this tired talking point either proves you are incapable of learning or flat out lying. Which is it Tony?

      1. I don’t think people should be fired for capricious reasons either, but that’s a liberal argument not a libertarian one. As long as we cleared that up. And they’ve been capriciously firing people for years before the trans fascists came along, so what gives with the concern?

        Nobody is actually stopping you for having what are now considered retrograde opinions on trans people. Certainly not any more so than the death threats the rightwingers are fond of making. You’re just being disagreed with. That’s how disagreeing works. Arguably the death threats are not part of civil discourse, however.

        1. Considered retrograde by whom? When was it decided. Also, libertarians are classical liberals. It is not classical liberals pushing this, it is progressives. You are not a liberal, not are these people. They are the antithesis of what classical, true liberalism is. The right is wrong for labeling you liberals. And you are even more wrong for donning that label. If you don’t understand that libertarians are classical liberals, while most of today’s self proclaimed liberals are authoritarian progressives, there is no help for you. BTW, the exact tactic you are defending (minus the social networking aspect) is straight out of the SA handbook. Study some history.

          1. I labeled myself liberal and I was a free speech guy when your grandfather was in diapers. I said multiple times that there’s good points on both sides, that liberals can overreact. I just don’t think it’s the civilization-ending problem you do. I don’t mean to be rude, but it seems as if you’re acting like a basic conservative bitch whining that society is moving too fast for you. Luckily your lashing out is protected speech and hasn’t ever been otherwise.

            Clearly there’s a disagreement in the prevailing social attitude about whether trans people should be lectured at that they’re not the gender they think they are by people whose opinions they have gone out of their way not to solicit. Maybe this will be the one time conservatives win this kind of thing.

            1. You were a free speech guy in the 1910s and 1920s? Fuck Tony, I bet I am at least as old as you are chronologically but definitely more intellectually mature. If you were truly free speech, you would understand why this trend is so troublesome and concerning.

              1. If 76 is any clue you’re about a decade older than me. I was paraphrasing Captain Kirk with the diapers thing.

                No point to make, I just didn’t want to leave the wrong impression.

                1. Millennial from Oklahoma. That explains a lot.

            2. by people whose opinions they have gone out of their way not to solicit…

              nope… once you go to lobbying congresses to make or change law, you have necessitated the inclusion of other’s opinions, prejudices, and counter-lobbying.

        2. The point is that no one but a select cadre decided the opinion is retrograde. And then once they so decided they then went on to attack anyone who held on to this arbitrarily decided “retrograde” idea. And most people have gone along to avoid conflict. But their tolerance is quickly waning.

          1. This letter scares the hard left because it shows how much the tolerance for this arbitrary decision making and actions are waning.

          2. So don’t be tolerant. If it’s just a radical fringe then there’s nothing to worry about. But don’t go complaining to me if it turns out that they actually have market power. Market power is market power, as I’m sure you would agree if it we were discussing retail monopolists and oil dictators.

            1. I notice you didn’t even attempt to answer the question l, but instead double down on the abitrary definition of intolerance. Just because I believe biological sex is immutable doesn’t mean I am opposed to anyone calling themselves transgender and living that way. And I really don’t care what bathroom they choose to use but I don’t besmirch a biological woman the right to voice their discomfort either. Nor do I think it is fair, given the scientifically proven differences in strength, endurance etc between males and females, and therefore I agree that a biological male has a built in advantage in most competitive physical sports. Even if they claim to be transgendered. The fact that you label this ad intolerance just reinforces my point about the pure arbitrary nature of what is and isn’t acceptable by these activist. And sometimes a vocal radical group that insists that you follow their rules or else are the most dangerous. In fact, history says almost every time they are the most dangerous group to be worried about.

              1. It seems like an awful lot of concern for a problem that amounts to a difference of preference over semantics.

                Dude. The fact that you care even a little bit about chicks with dicks using the wrong bathroom is because Republican politicians are playing you like a meat flute. They are ruining the country and losing an election, so they need a culture war to keep the unwashed rabble occupied and angry at someone else. Don’t be the rabble.

                Good manners can handle any interaction you may have with a trans person. If you need any help in that regard, lesson 1: don’t even bring up the subject of bathrooms. If you want to spout out on the internet about the meaning of words, nobody is stopping you. On the contrary you can hardly move on the internet without bumping up against that opinion being regurgitated by someone.

                1. The fact that you think I care about what bathroom they use after I just said that I don’t care shows you aren’t engaging what I actually say but what you want me to say so you can just dismiss any ideals that even remotely disagree with yours. I said it doesn’t matter to me, but I also am capable of understanding and even empathizing when someone else, especially a woman, says it matters to her. And I am pretty sure most old school feminist that have been labeled TERFs, including Rowlings and Steinem, are not Republicans. Trying to make this all a Republican driven conterversy is complete and honest bullshit and deflection.

                  1. It may or may not be a real problem (though I can almost guarantee it will never be a real problem for you). I’m talking about seeing things in proportion to their real seriousness. I’m talking about caring more about gay marriage ending civilization in 2004 that Bush’s war based on lies. It’s a distraction. It’s always a distraction. If it combines genitals and politics, you can bet there’s a shitty Republican politician trying to make you too dumb and paranoid to notice how shitty he is. (Did any of the hysterical predictions about gay marriage come to pass, by the way?)

        3. You do realize that there are precisely zero progressives who are on board with your “liberal” argument?

    2. Quit with the question begging ad hominems.

  63. Emily VanDerWerff needs to grow a pair

    1. Don’t you know, Emily cut her’s off to become a “she”. Why is it not surprising that “she” is leading the charge to “feel safe” instead of protecting free speech.

      1. She needs a backbone then.

    2. LOL!! You mean another pair?

  64. “And so on. It was an exhausting day on Twitter.” – All of these “journalist” engaging in “research” and “investigation” while on Twitter. Seriously, GET THE FUCK OFF TWITTER AND SOCIAL MEDIA. THAT ISN’T THE REAL FUCKING WORLD!!!!

    1. It’s truly sad how little progressives value free speech anymore.

  65. I’m a liberal not a libertarian. It’s 2020 and I can’t believe the only defenders of free speech left are Reason and Bill Maher. The social justice avengers are enraged because some people associate themselves, however casually, with people they don’t always agree with? And the right constantly refers to the progressives as liberals?
    It’s too bad the sociology discipline is dominated by leftists. They’ve done a lot of analyzing of right wingers, but left an intriguing area of study alone: How people who fervently believe in equality become so intolerant.

    1. See Tony above, progressives are just as much to blame for progressives being called liberals as conservatives are. Progressives don’t understand what classical liberalism is, and that libertarians are very much classical liberals.

      1. Liberalism to me is a political approach that necessarily requires evolving and adapting itself to new circumstances. You took a snapshot out of the history of liberalism and declared that those values and solutions are correct for all people for all time. Which is, of course, an illiberal attitude.

        1. Libertarians are like that.

          The liberals you describe (people like my hippie 60s liberal sister who LOATHES modern feminism and all this bull shit from her side because she views them as anti-science and illiberal) were co-opted by progressives.

          Progressives wear the liberal carcass as a hat – and the blood is still dripping down their faces.

          1. Replace 60s with old school.

          2. Maybe progressivism is the natural evolution of liberalism. Don’t let its increasingly granular focus on civil rights get you down. All you have to do to beat them is engage them in the marketplace of ideas. Good luck with that.

            This bullshit distinction that you guys make where you desperately want to reclaim liberalism for yourselves, apart from being pointless bickering about definitions, comes from the economic world. Classical liberals forgot to keep evolving when Keynes came along, and real liberals embraced him because he proved to be a massive practical success. Making your politics into a religion is not liberal.

            1. Are suggesting economics ended with Keynes?

              A couple of points:

              1) Keynes once remarked, in a room filled with liberal economists, they were more Keynesian than he was. Or some variation thereof.

              2) That comment was likely made because Keynes never fully formalized his theory. Keynes said, as far as I understood and remember, ‘sure spend your out of a recession through public works but provided this idea doesn’t become a means to an end’. That is, it’s not a panacea. Nor did he think racking up debts for posterity was wise. He probably believe in the notion of ‘save for a rainy day’ that way you’ll be ready should anything happen.

              Instead, we have this absolute spending monstrosity in the West where Keynes’ theory has turned into a hideous gargoyle. Spend, spend, ball out, spend, spend, etc.

              With the latest manifestation of the Keynesian death spend in the pandemic budget.

              Madness. And I’m almost certain he wouldn’t approve.

              1. I believe they’re now referred to as new Keynesians. And like all Keynesians they do not support massive pro-cyclical spending. Of course some weird things are happening in recent years that may require adjusting the theory. When is the vulgar version of classical economics (the Ayn Rand school, some might say) plan on adjusting itself in light of real-world evidence?

                1. They coulda fooled me.

              2. I will say, we have managed to prove that something is broken with economics. Pre-2020 we had inflated the money supply beyond all reason with little inflation to show for it… which is impossible.

                But in 2020 we have managed to do it at cartoonish levels. We’ll probably rack up 10 trillion this year, with another couple of trillion in QE. We should be in for 25% inflation for years to come. But so far.. no signs of such things happening.

            2. Progressivism is not new. It has been around since at least the 1890s. And at one time, Nazis were embraced by progressives, as was eugenics. Learn the history of what you are describing. In the late 1960s progressives began to exert more power over the liberal movement. They co-opted the liberal movement. The fact that you think progressivism is new and tolerant shows how little you actually know. You don’t even understand what you are arguing about. Progressivism is a centuries old movement that generally leads to totalitarian regimes. Communism and it’s more socially chameleon cousin socialism are both products of progressivism dating from the 19th century. National Socialism and Fascism were outgrowths of these and embraced through most of the 1930s but progressives in both America and Europe. Socialism is today embraced by the progressives and many are even openly calling for full on communism and some even calling for forced re-education. This is the movement you are defending. One that has a history of authoritarian tyranny and forced suppression of dissent. The cancel culture is just a non-government (at this point, though many of it’s proponents openly call for it to to be codified and the 1A rewritten to allow the government to control “hate speech”, conveniently by their definition alone of hate speech) version of progressive continuous war on any dissenting opinion. Let me give you a clue, if history is any indication, and the progressives do gain power, you will be standing against the wall right next to me. in fact, if history is any indication, you will be aced against the wall first.

              1. Thank you!!! Saved me the time of retelling over 100 years of political ideology.

                I would only add that progressivism was a perverted “next step” of classic liberalism and the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment thinkers believed man’s capacity to reason could allow us to come to an understanding of truth about right and wrong. It sought to understand the social world in the same way as science did the physical world. And so guys like Locke ended up concluding that the only rational worldview was one in which, if people are equal (and how can you prove they aren’t without just arbitrarily picking a measurement… strength? Smarts? Skin color? Born to nobility?) then they have equal claim to life and the world around us… equal rights. Progressives got hung up on the “science” part and discarded the ethics. They believed that man was smart enough to understand the social world like a lab experiment. That they could uncover all the variables and then purposely tweak them via controlling populations to bring about utopia. It was progress in man’s capacity to understand and thereby influence the physical world. The problem is that not everyone agreed with them… hence the need for them to codify their way of life via government violence and to literally compel lesser men to behave in enlightened ways. The easiest to understand example was prohibition. Make men stop drinking and they will act closer to perfect thereby bringing about a better world. As we know… things didn’t work out so well. Progressives are The Architect from the Matrix when he is amazed that the first, and perfect, rendering of the matrix was rejected by humans. His solution, like Progressives, is further attempts at enslavement rather than acknowledging human rights.

              2. It’s ok. Just stick the word ‘democratic’ in front of socialists and presto! We’re not that kind of socialist! We’re different. Our misery comes with a ribbon and a vote!

                I don’t think it’s all that hard to trace back progressivism. Just look at the Fabian Society and the Frankfurt school. The reason why the entire progressive structure of governance is under scrutiny is because we now have over 100 years of data to examine. And the results aren’t pretty; well, not as ‘progressive’ as claimed anyway.

                Cartesian and Lockean logic were thrown right out the window when the progressives came along. Progressives are HUGE on social engineering. In their ranks you will find support for different reasons for stuff like population control (for the environment. What this has led to is turning Africa into a big lab experiment), censorship, minimum wage…etc. All rooted in attempts to change habits to fit a mould of their conception. Or, to put it another way, build things in their image.

                Their ideas and ideals are spectacularly intoxicating. For example ‘you’re entitled free health care AND education’ resonates for obvious reasons.

                But we need to get it through to people every single time we pass something through the government, it means you LOSE part of your agency. Sure, it’s nice to have “free things” paid for by others but the government WILL ask for its favour back in some form or another. It really is a Faustian deal.

                Look at the pandemic. I don’t think people really, really thought about what just happened. The government, with a long smile, just showed that if it wants – under the justification of the collective well-being – can shut down a NATION. And we all took it like the good sheep we are because….free goodies. The line between order and a functional economy came so close to being blurred, one could see how easily a country could turn into a Venezuela. Imagine if Trump was a Chavez. The United States of America should thank their lucky stars and kiss whoever God they worship it’s Trump in power because at a baseline, he grasped how dangerous a shut down is.

                The Democrat governors? Not so much. Hilary would have likely gone the route of those incompetent Democrat governors.

                It’s a horror fairy tale where Hansel and Gretel (Hansel?) get fatten up because the witch wants to eat them.

                This is the face of government in general regardless of ideology but it’s particularly strong with progressivism.

                The other part that citizens need to get through their fat, thick skulls is when twats like Ilhan Omar and AOC and commies like Sanders say ‘dismantle’ they mean DISMANTLE.

                The cynical Democrats who pounce on this for votes (say Pelosi, Biden, Schumer, Obama, and Warren) using terms like ‘transform’ play their part in this act.

                Transform America into what exactly?

            3. It does not come from the economic world it comes from the writings of people like Jefferson, Paine, Henry etc and yes from Smith. But also from noted 17th and 18th century philosophers and the Protestant Reformation. From the Renaissance and the industrial revolution. It comes from English Common Law, the Magna Carta, the Anglo-Saxon mead halls and the Norse Thing. But it was formed as a formal concept in the 17th and 18th century, some by economist, some by philosophers, some by politicians.

              1. Additionally, progressive forefathers were actually opposed to liberalism.

              2. Modern progressivism has little to do with the form of progressivism that flirted with eugenics, other than a shared interest in making society better through technological and social progress. Today’s progressives are synonymous with today’s liberals. Which term they use is simply a matter of which one has been demonized lately by Rush Limbaugh.

                What you’re calling liberalism and linking with Jefferson and co. is actually libertarianism, a niche 20th century cult philosophy that gained prominence in large part due to affirmative action from quirky billionaires. They like to sound intellectual-like by having endless debates about what to call themselves now that “libertarianism” has lost some cache. But in reality they are not intellectual-like. They are an explicitly anti-empirical movement tied to the Austrian school, but even more vulgar than that in popular discourse. One foremother stands alone as its founder. She wrote a bad book about a bunch of whiny billionaires going on strike.

                1. Modern progressivism has nothing to do with early progressivism? Really? Does it support socialism? Check. Does it support censure of non-conformity? Check. Does it support classifying people by race? Double check (they just has changed which races are acceptable and which are not). Does it support state control of businesses? Check. State control of education, including private and home? Check. State control of private property? Check and check and check. State control of association? Check. State control of science? Oh hell yes. State control of just about every aspect of your life? Anyone who is being honest has to say beyond a shadow of a doubt. As for eugenics. Encouraging abortions for lower class, or any fetus with mental or other handicaps, most abortion clinics placed in poor, generally minority dominated neighborhoods may not actually call itself eugenics anymore but it has all the hallmarks and the same eventual outcome as eugenics. You really don’t realize how little modern progressives are different than their forebearers. The fact that you still idolize FDR, despite his actual record, the fact that you don’t realize that the cancel culture is just another form of progressives using threats to silence dissent just shows that you really are a useful idiot. No, progressives haven’t changed, they just learned to hide their true motives better, even from their followers.

                  1. Which is why progressives adopted the term liberal. And once that game was up, they reverted to progressive since it had been several generations and the youth had no idea what progressive ment. It sounded good which was enough. And once progressive started to get a black eye some finally tried out dem socialist. That it worked (again, the youth today do not remember the Great Leap Forward or the gulags) caused some to try just socialist. But their actual ideas have changed only very little in the last hundred plus years. Changed… yes. But little.

                2. Like a true die in the wool left-wing progressive. Re-write history. It’s not even revisionism, it’s outright RE-WRITING.

                  Contemporary progressivism is directly linked to progressivism of 100 years ago.

                  It still adheres to all its tenets. Planned Parenthood chopping up live babies IS a form of eugenics. You see progressive calling for all sorts of social engineering ALL THE TIME. They even use language to help it in the form of censorship.

                  They’re ILLIBERAL. Same with you. You don’t follow empirical evidence. You follow ORDERS.

                  Libertarians, conservatives and what’s left of any of the old world liberals follow the facts and evidence. The only place where I see questioning of authority is there. Meanwhile, on the left side it’s constant demands and coercive action. WEAR THE MASK BECAUSE IT’S SETTLED. ZERO room for an actual discussion. It’s just submit or else.

                  About those masks. ZERO CONCLUSIVE evidence they work. NONE.

                  Try and tell me otherwise.

                  As for the Founding Fathers, they were a mix of Whiggish conservative and radical classical liberals. An eclectic bunch.

                  Gee, I wonder where you see more of this in modern America?

                  Right. The GOP. The DNC is filled with far left loons engaging in identity politics. BORING.

                  The irony is Tony would be embraced on this side.

                  1. And when the subject of abortion came up, the debate became more honest and good faith, said no one ever.

        2. No liberalism is a set of ideals that honor personal liberty. What you describe is progressivism. Which based upon it’s history leads to totalitarian states where personal freedom is subjugated “for the greater good”.

          1. Every political philosophy thinks it is serving the greater good. Would you want one that didn’t? Some kind of cartoon villain philosophy that is on Team Eeeevil?

            Totalitarianism comes in as many flavors as there are political philosophies. Stalin was a communist and Hitler opposed him to the death as a fascist or whatever. Both totalitarians. Pinochet was a goddamn libertarian!

            The key is not to be totalitarian. I’ll just be over here on the only side in American politics that actually gives a damn about democracy.

            1. You can just come out and admit that some progressives are complete Karen asshats who would ignore or repeal the first amendment if given the political capital necessary to do so.

              No need to argue all over the comments all night trying to distract from the obvious.

            2. You think libertarians and Conservatives don’t care about democracy (well actually constitutional republicanism, to be accurate)? You really think your side cares about democracy? Please, if you really think that I have some ocean front property to sell you, it just happens to be in Arizona.

              1. It’s an interesting question Tony inspires, though: is the right to vote the one right progressives would respect for those they disagree with?

                Or is it the last right to take away from them?

                1. The last.

                  The end road for progressivism IS totalitarianism.

                  1. Stop being hysterical. You’re embarrassing yourself.

        3. hominem. Is fascinating that your take on liberalism has no principles, just fluidity as the highest value.

    2. BUT BAD PEOPLE SAID SOMETHING!

      IT DOESN’T MATTER IF IT WAS… y’know, correct.

      Those people are unpersons. Doubleplus ungood, if I ever saw it!

    3. How people who fervently believe in equality become so intolerant.

      It is the disconnect between beliefs and results. It was believed necessary to actively harm people through Affirmative Action in order to demonstrate the quality of 100,000 years of previously under-appreciated resources.

      After 50 years of AA the results disprove that there was hidden value and the disconnect between desire and reality necessitates violence to continue rendering that fantasy.

  66. “Lefties act like psychos, news at… no wait, that’s not news.”

  67. Is this a good time to mention Paul Krugman is a douche who supports this stupidity?

    I will laugh my head off if and when they come for his over rated ass.

    1. He’s too old to avoid saying something stupid eventually.

    2. OMG yes, he is such a loser weasel.

  68. I am a libertarian conservative. I am fiscally conservative and on social,issues, I just don’t care. Live your life however you want but that doesn’t obligate me or anyone else to approve of it, endorse it or pay for it anymore than my religious beliefs obligate you to follow my beliefs or pay tithes. (I’m actually atheist- just trying to make a point.) I heartily agree with the spirit of the open letter even if I have little in common with the vast majority of the signees. We need to stop trying to punish people for having different opinions or the next disallowed opinion may be yours.

    1. Jeff, you’re considered a ‘far right extremist’ not just by progressives but the MEDIA. They often paint anyone who veer off their narratives as such.

      How Jordan Peterson became ‘alt-right’ in their views is a mystery.

  69. Why would somebody be concerned with authoritarianism in Eastern Europe (not all Europe) when their own house is on fire? And what Eastern Europe has to do with Trump? Which, btw, didn’t become a dictator as predicted.

    Should the left (I’m a centrist, I ran a quiz on myself) recognize that they themselves have been feeding this beast for quite awhile by not being able to disagree without labelling an opponent immoral, dangerous and “right wing”, and claiming ownership of the truth itself? Complaining about censorship one moment, then refusing to unite with conservatives because their views are “immoral”. Driving away potential allies with your hubris is pretty bad. And if you misuse words and enjoy name calling (racist, rapist, fascist, violence, totalitarian etc) they lose their meaning.

  70. How are we ever going to get over our White privilege if we cling to racists ideas like freedom of speech and objective thinking and even Math is racist. If we can agree that 2+2=5 then we can agree that we are all equal.

    1. The value system underpinning our common Western heritage is fractured.

      How do you reconcile any intellectual differences with people who think ‘math is racist’?

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  72. So far the libs have managed to make themselves look like fools and the commies just love your willingness to help them create havoc, destroy free speech and choice and twist commonsense until it is no longer comprehensible……Why not fund the folks you have managed to cause grief and harm to and pay up for the damage you have caused to property and individuals, most of all apologize and become responsible adults….Your destructive acts have lost you support and Americans are preparing to insure that you understand, America is not interested in socialism or anything like it….

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  74. The reality that most leftists don’t want to grapple with is this:

    The people in charge on the left NEVER cared about freedom of speech, or any of the other things they said they did. They were the underdog in the free democracies and republics of the western world, trying to subvert those systems when most people supported those systems… So they cried about their ability to speak out, which frankly never really were being suppressed to begin with.

    In short, they supported all the things simply as a means to power. They never believed in any of it. They sure as hell don’t believe in “equality” which is supposedly their central tenant. It’s all about power. That’s all it has ever been about, or ever will be about.

    Now, there have been many useful idiots who actually believed in those things… But not the people in charge directing things. Purist libertarians have been some of the stupidest and most useful useful idiots of all too.

    As I’ve said a million times, the right and libertarians need to start playing as dirty as the left, and realize that some principles need to be shelved for awhile… Why? Because we’re in a war right now. A war for the future of all humanity. Darkness or light. In war time some things that aren’t acceptable in peace time must be done, and now is that time. If we don’t start playing hard ball politically RIGHT NOW, stop being principled losers, then it will become a shooting war sooner or later.

    If everybody agrees to a boxing match with gloves, AKA a fair fight… But the opponent busts out a pair of brass knuckles with no gloves, is one not in the right to AT LEAST match their brass knuckles? Or indeed to one up them for their treachery and bust out their Glock? Libertarians and the right both have become too comfortable with not cheating like the left, while losing every battle. That’s fine during “peace time,” but you can’t do that when the stakes are high. Winning is more important. You can restore principles after you defeat the crazed communist takeover of the world.

    Somebody needs to pull a Sulla for the western world, or we’re all doomed.

    1. “the right and libertarians need to start playing as dirty as the left, and realize that some principles need to be shelved for awhile”

      Nah.

      1. Well, if you want to be a principled loser, you better spread them cheeks and get the lube out… Because when you’re playing against a cheater, you can’t win staying within the rules.

        1. It depends on which principles we’re talking about.

          Free speech? I’m going to insist on keeping that.

          Say nice things about your opponents? As much as I dislike President Trump’s tweeting, I respect it. If the Democrats want a nice opponent, they could be nice themselves. Until then, they deserve Trump.

          I just hope that the Democrats settle down by 2024 — then maybe we could try another nice guy — or, if not, we can find another firebrand with a spine willing to take the Democrats on.

          Heck, I’d settle for a nice guy with a spine! But the Republicans haven’t had such a being for years, and Libertarians (putting aside their lack of viability) typically tend to be too crazy to be able to determine whether they are either nice or well-spined.

          1. Sure. There are some lines that shouldn’t be crossed period.

            But as I listed below, it’s more spine to actually use power even within the rule of law than anything. I think the commies could be obliterated 99% within the rule of law, without being immoral, or breaking any really important principles.

            But with some stuff it’s stretching principles to an insane point too. When the founders used the word equality they didn’t mean it in the way the crazy modern left means it. Free speech doesn’t mean the right to lie through your teeth like the media does… I think there are moral ways that respect true free speech where you could tighten up libel laws to crush outright lies, say when knowingly told.

            But yeah, basically just growing some balls is all it would take. The nice guy approach is nice in theory, but when you’re dealing with murderous thugs like the left is, it just don’t cut it. We need a Donald Trump x10 charisma with Ron Paul’s principles, but who is willing to be a little Pinochet-ey once in awhile when it is called for.

    2. Cicero and Cato disagree.

      You can’t shelve principles. You have to stick with it.

      They say the left plays a long-game. Sticking to your principles and keeping your ideas strictly in the halls of battling ideas will eventually win the day. It’s just that it’s a slightly harder – and I submit bloodier- game. I view it like that scene in ‘Walk the Line’ when Cash was in withdrawal and wrote, ‘Ring of Fire’.

      We have to hug the left hard and keep at it and eventually this poisonous ideology will collapse.

      Note. Nowhere in my comments am I saying we should NOT discuss issues on how to care for the elderly, veterans, or the vulnerable as a whole. Or to rethink health care or education.

      I’m just saying time’s up on progressive notions on how to deal with these issues.

      1. History begs to differ.

        Let’s see, who ended up running Rome again? Oh yeah, not the Republicans.

        Who took over in Italy in the interwar period after stopping the communists? How about Germany? Spain?

        NOTE: In every single case people who were willing to do what needed to be done to stop the communist takeover won. Most people don’t want communism, but the republican minded people were doing the same cucky bullshit as libertarians and trad cons are now… AKA being ineffective. If sane and principled right wingers/libertarians don’t man up, we’ll end up with somebody far worse who WILL.

        See, the trick is one doesn’t need to toss everything out the window. I personally believe we can have a purge of the corrupt in the USA while staying 99% within the rule of law as it exists today. We will just need to have a LOT of treason trials, and a LOT of executions and long term jailings after said trials. People will call this being a dictator, but if you’re actually just going after treasonous assholes when they violate the law, that’s just enforcing rule of law IMO.

        The right and libertarians always lose because everybody is too scared to play hardball when they actually have power to do something. Why are their not hundreds or thousands of indictments against corrupt left wing politicians right now? Hillary can and SHOULD be in jail right now, along with tons of her associates. Tons of people from the Obama admin should be in prison for countless acts that have now been exposed as illegal and immoral. They go after Republicans any time the get a chance, and indeed MAKE UP conspiracy theories and literally charge them with no evidence… So when Rs have the power, and there was actually a crime, why don’t they do the same??? Cowardice and stupidity is why.

        Going after them HARD even within the rule of law would be “harsh” but totally moral.

        The thing is if we don’t end up doing that, we WILL get a Hitler or Mussolini who doesn’t respect ANY of that stuff. So setting aside one or two minor points, being harsh in the execution of the law, and just gettin’ shit done will save everybody a lot of trouble.

        If you don’t know who Sulla is, he was a leader in the days of Julius Caesars youth. He was made dictator of Rome (a legal role in their government system tantamount to a declaration of martial law) to deal with many problems they had. He sorted shit out like a boss, and then retired to the countryside. He did what he was supposed to as dictator.

        Caesar was a power monger who held onto the role when he got it. You must be wary of who you’re dealing with, but if I was president of the USA under a state of martial law I would clean house and retire to the country side afterwards like Sulla. I think Ron Paul would have done the same.

        So be very weary of who you let be in charge… But if we don’t purge the communists out of our government and other institutions we’re literally all fucked. The world these people can create with modern technology will make 1984 look like paradise.

        If you’re so fucking stupid you’d rather have that than a few semi-questionable acts take place to save humanity, then you’re a fucking moron. Thankfully not everybody is as stupid as you, so eventually somebody with the brains to see what’s what will probably come along. We’ll just have to hope they’re a Sulla and not a Caesar… A George Washington and not a Mussolini… Although in truth, Mussolini or Caesar are both preferable to Stalin or Mao, so I’ll take what I can get at this point.

        1. What would be examples of tough but fair (and legal)?

          In states with Rs as governor, and out of control cities, they could have sent in the national guard to guard monuments. They could send the state police along for the ride. If the local sheriff is good, send his boys too. Arrest and charge, at the state level where they have control if possible, every single person that they can arrest.

          Encourage citizens to defend monuments and property too. Tell them in a public address that if a corrupt local prosecutor tries to charge you for self defense you will pardon anybody who defends themselves, but not if they’re aggressors of course. Because commie prosecutors in big cities charging people for defending themselves is a real problem. The feds can play much of this same card when federal property is involved. The president can declare he will pardon anybody, even in a D run state, if they were using self defense.

          Fire and indict every corrupt FBI agent they can find.

          Fire every single executive branch official you know is a shithead for any reason you can cook up. Replace them with patriotic Americans if possible, or better yet leave the jobs unfilled!

          Cleanse the military of the communists that Obama put in place. I don’t know how many people recall, but he literally purged the military of over 1,000 (IIRC) officers because he didn’t like their politics more or less… Do the same in reverse. They do it, why shouldn’t we?

          Prosecute corrupt business and media people for any legal violations you can find. Vilify them if you can’t find anything illegal.

          Many college professors are involved in illegal acts, organizing riots etc. Arrest them. Prosecute them. Defund colleges when they do crazy shit if you can.

          Etc etc etc.

          This is all shit the left ALREADY DOES when and where they have power. That’s how ANTIFA assaults people, people defend themselves, and the guy who defended themself ends up in prison. It’s outrageous… But it is an exercise of power. The right needs to match or exceed that stuff to even stay afloat and prevent a communist takeover.

          Not one thing above if executed properly is outside the rule of law, OR immoral to a sane person. It is just fighting fire with fire. It will send the left into a tantrum, because they greatly prefer being the only side willing to use their power, but who cares? If we don’t fight back we’re done.

          1. I’m feeling like the fire-breathing purge-all-the-nonbelievers outright fascist hysteria look is a bit on the outs right now. I understand you’ve been away?

            1. I have indeed been busy with real life!

              What did I list above that is illegal? Or immoral? Everything is just strict application of the law against people who are committing crimes and subverting the government.

              As I said the left does this EVERY SINGLE DAY to people in the country. Sane people need to start returning the favor.

              1. To a Leftist, anything that is done to give them power is moral, and anything that keeps them from power is immoral. Legality has nothing to do with it.

                1. That is pretty much it. They have no limits on what they will do for “the greater good.” It really is too bad that they have so many good hearted, but emotional thinking, people fooled. If they really understood what the left is all about they’d hate them.

    3. Christ, where’s Ron Bailey? We need some optimism and calm exhortations not to call everything the end of the world.

  75. This talk of right-wing and left-wing has become ever more nonsensical. When even libertarians are called fascists, you know we’ve gone full retard.

    There’s never been a better time for the world to embrace the Nolan Chart.

  76. The Left is authoritarian and illiberal. It has been since the Jacobins instituted The Terror. Right now, the worst of them are feeling their power and don’t think they have to play nice anymore.

  77. It’s truly sad how little progressives value free speech anymore.

    1. They never did. It was all a means to power. Their arguments don’t hold water, so they clearly can’t allow counter arguments.

  78. “They are totalitarians in the waiting,” she wrote. “They are bad people.” There’s just no sane connection between the text of the letter and such a reaction.

    There is a clear connection: a large number of people (like Parker) whose livelihood depends on propaganda, outrage, and social media. And their behavior is fueled by desperation and self-itnerst: they really can’t do anything else other than make a living this way.

  79. Message to blacks and trannies :
    Fuck your feelings !
    Fuck your entitlement !
    Fuck your authoritarianism !
    No more conversations, no more compromises.
    Just war !

    1. You can’t fight a war from your piss-stained Laz-e-boy.

  80. This all much ado re: nothing. This is pure and simple, basic human nature: We are selfish, we want our way, and don’t want any challenges to our personal paradigm. We have already been told we are like this and we have a solution to the problem. We have to aim at a standard beyond any human or human group/tribe/faction/organization. We are created, we have a Creator, He has spoken. He inspired people to pen letters to us telling us as much. We have it there, in our language, to read, everyday online and in print. Even without it, we know Who our Creator is. We know there is “good” and “bad”, “right” and “wrong”. How much more evidence do you need for something you already know is there? When we start aiming at Him as the target, He is Who we want to be like…not needing to read extra socialism texts outside of His Word to understand His Word…then things will start changing. Stop camping on specific rebellion and “sin”, let’s pull the weed out by the root. Let’s take the log out of our own eyes before we complain about the speck in someone else’s eye. No, not talking about tribalism or “racism”, I’m talking about Commandment issues; stop lying, stop stealing (that includes downloading music that you’re supposed to pay for), stop wanting other people’s stuff, stop saying OMG, stop saying JC, stop making an idol of God that your own mind came up with, so you can be comfortable doing things you know are wrong; things He said not to do. True change comes thru repentance and turning from rebellion to God. That’s how you change each and every “systemic” problem we have. All other attempts at change are sinking sand.

    1. What does God need with a pen and paper?

  81. What did Emily Think was anti-trans?

    1. Being able to voice a contrary opinion is automatically tansphobic!

      Also, some of those evil signers believe there are 2 biological sexes! It’s utter madness of course, there’s gotta be at least a few dozen… Or something.

      1. Have you ever been sanctioned in any way for your opinions about trans people? Has a hair on your head been disturbed? No? You might have gotten pushback from someone with a different opinion on the internet? Is that it?

        Fucking. Snowflakes.

        1. Don’t play that BS. I am self employed, but if I had a corporate job, and talked around the office watercooler about this stuff, there are good odds I’d be fired. ESPECIALLY if I happened to state an opinion to an SJW or an actual trans person. You can’t deny that this shit is happening all over, and would be happening 1,000 fold more often if people hadn’t been terrified into hiding their true opinions. Why should it be okay for somebody to loudly declare crazy left wing views, but even mile centristy views on those touchy subjects will get you fired?

          Even with my own business, I bet if I became a YouTuber on political subjects, and got doxxed, some of the companies I do business with would cut off my contract and cost me 100s of thousands of dollars.

          I’ve said it before, and perhaps you remember, but I am not a prude bible thumper. I hang out at clubs where trannies actually are! They can use whatever bathroom they want, and have been able to for a long time! I don’t really care. But I appreciate why some people do.

          I’ve had trans friends (not my besties, but I’d call them friends) for well over a decade at this point. I think they’re weirdos for that part of who they are, but realize it’s probably just a hard wired defect they had from birth. It’s a little weird, but it’s not much worse than having a foot fetish or whatever I suppose.

          But I have lines. Forcing trans people into locker rooms, or bathrooms for that matter, when people don’t want it isn’t cool. Demanding I accept it as being awesome and cool is bullshit. It’s not cool, it’s weird, but not the end of the world. Demanding everybody pretend they’re ACTUALLY the sex they want to be is BS. Forcing them in sports is the biggest BS of all.

          You can’t deny that stating such things in 2020 would get people fired. So don’t even try. And this is from a guy who generally doesn’t even give a fuck. If I were more hard line bible thumper my opinions would be that much more fire worthy.

        2. Fucking totalitarian Tony.

          How do you explain treatment of Brendan Eich, Roseann Barr, Drew Brees or Goya Foods Robert Unanue to name just a few?

          Speak the truth and liars like you on the fascist left demand their destruction.

          When confronted with your psychopathic behavior you ask, wide eyed “Who, me?”

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  84. Being able to voice a contrary opinion is automatically tansphobic!

    Magnificent !

  85. “There’s just no sane connection between the text of the letter and such a reaction.”

    C’mon now….of course there is.
    As R.G.Collingwood noted, if decisions & actions are not intelligible — if they seem insane — then we must conclude that either the Decider is mentally ill (highly unlikely)…OR….that we ourselves have not yet truly understood the nature of the position they hold such that their actions can be seen as rational. History is opaque to the extent that we fail to make that internalizing leap.

    So clearly, when we see & are shocked by the tidal wave of outrage which greets the exceedingly pablum-like declaration that speech is and should be free, we have failed utterly to understand the nature and the depths of the totalitarian intolerance which characterizes the Woke Progressive.

    The Spanish Inquisition, however, provides us with some critical insight.

    It is rightly argued by the West and more particularly by the Enlightenment as given voice by the Constitution that Truth is a function of dialogue and discovery. This dialogue, this discovery is only possible given freedom of speech. In turn, that freedom enables challenge, enables learning, and inevitably moves us closer to Truth.

    So — why would anyone NOT wish to engage in such dialogues that can lead to an improved understanding of Truth?

    Because they already OWN the Truth, as did Tomás de Torquemada, the Grand Inquisitor.

    The 15th century Church — and in particular — the Holy Office of the Inquisition had no need for dialogue or free-speech-driven doctrinal challenge. No! Indeed, such was heresy punishable by death. There was and is no need to improve an understanding of the Revealed Truth because it IS the Revealed Truth (understood most clearly by its Priests and Progressive Potenatates)

    So when 153 Heretics band together to publicly suggest that the Revealed Truth can be challenged … OF COURSE that generates not just bloody outrage but the Mob, complete with pitchforks, tar, feathers, and lots of pikes upon which can be placed all the heretical heads.

    We’re not dealing with a Political Philosophy given voice by the Left, we’re dealing with True Belief and Religious Fervor, hair shirts, self-flagellation, and the ongoing auto-da-fe. Welcome to the New Inquisition; say hello to the New Red Guard.

    1. We’re dealing with a threat to their power. Until Trump, they had succeeded in stealthily taking over almost every facet of government.

      Trump stands for the restoration of the people controlling government and that is not to be tolerated.

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  87. “a hit dog will holler,”

    One could make that claim about this article.

  88. Inside every “progressive liberal” is a totalitarian screaming to get loose.

    Trump has done more to uphold, protect and encourage individual liberties in 4 years than the Democrat party has done in 200.

    The “right” is not excusing rioting, looting, arson, killing, silencing and confiscation of private property.

  89. “While we have come to expect this on the radical right” lol what? The last time the right wing managed to get a book banned, or a song banned, or a person “canceled” was when? 1960s Alabama? The right hasn’t had the power to suppress speech in 40 years, at least. I guess there was Tipper Gore’s attempts to rate records for age appropriateness, but, again, I’m not sure that Al Gore’s wife is really on the right.

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