The Coercive Left
Coercion, Current Events, Intolerance, Political Correctness, The Left
Kevin Williamson argues that the real issue in the battle between left and right in America is about intellectual and political coercion.
The Leftâ€™s last big idea was Communism. When Lenin turned out to be the god who failed, the Left undertook wide exploration for another grand unifying idea: environmentalism, multiculturalism, economic inequality, atheism, feminism, etc. What it ended up with was an enemiesâ€™ list.
That and a taste for brute force.
The enthusiasm for coercion and the substitution of enemies for ideas â€” Christians, white men, Israel, â€œthe 1 percent,â€ the Koch brothers, take your pick â€” together form the basis for understanding the Leftâ€™s current convulsions. The call to imprison people with unapproved ideas about global warming, the Senate Democratsâ€™ vote to repeal the First Amendment, the Ferguson-inspired riots, the picayune political correctness and thought-policing that annoys Jonathan Chait, the IRSâ€™s persecution of conservative political groups, Barack Obamaâ€™s White House enemiesâ€™ list, the casual violence against conservatives on college campuses and the Leftâ€™s instinctive defense of that violence â€” these are not separate phenomena but part of a single phenomenon.
The difference between Elizabeth Warrenâ€™s partisans and the Tontons Macoutes is very little more than testosterone and time.