…Anti-liberalism is, after all, supremely useful to the right. Some day president Paul Ryan or Ted Cruz or Rand Paul is going to be sworn in, and an ascendant, empowered conservatism will once again try to curtail dissent in pop culture and academia, just as it always does. Public art won’t be taken down because it’s considered triggering—it will be taken down (or covered up) because it’s considered indecent. There might be another #CancelColbert campaign, but it won’t come from the left. Maybe people will be ashamed, then, that this one did.
What hit your trigger? Her accusation that a leader from the Right will somehow squash freedom of expression? Her assertion that the morality of the Right isn’t a good enough method for defining acceptable and unacceptable forms of public speech? Was your first reaction to rise to the defense of Ryan, Cruz, or Paul? Or, to get stymied in a debate over which one is the better conservative? Or to defend the Judeo-Christian morality of America? If so, congratulations: You’ve fallen for the trick. When the next law is passed, you’ll gasp at it just as you would at the rabbit being pulled from the hat.
The first thing we should take from Goldberg’s article is the theory that we must be the watchdogs for anti-liberalism, real liberalism, on both sides of the aisle. Such unity is possible. Take, for instance, the many liberal gay marriage supporters who were outraged by Eich’s forced resignation from Mozilla this week. Need further proof? Leftist Goldberg’s thesis confirms conservative Seth Mandel’s declaration: “Religious Americans and others in favor of natural rights should not be complacent when a specific battle on this front is fought that doesn’t involve them, because the ground is continually shifting beneath our feet.” Now is the time for conservatives and anti-radical liberals to rise up and lay claim to America’s classically liberal roots, distinguishing themselves from the radical Marxists who seek to fester chaos, trigger crisis, and take over, lest we allow ourselves to get hashtagged out of existence.