16 Oct 2020 Left-Wing Extremists Take Polite Debate Through the Looking Glass
“Like the crazed Queen of Hearts in Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland, progressives prefer a ‘verdict first, trial later’ approach – it’s faster and keeps their ‘cancel culture’ agenda moving along more briskly.”
In a commentary for American Greatness, Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper laments that leftist political discourse has stooped so low that the willingness to call someone hateful for simple disagreements is at a hair trigger. For example:
- The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) made an “extremist file” on current Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson back in 2014 because of his traditional views on marriage.
- Because British Muslim politician Maajid Nawaz spoke out against radical Islam, the SPLC labeled him an “anti-Muslim extremist” in 2018.
- In 2020, President Donald Trump was called a racist during a debate – and the moderator did not immediately demand proof.
This profound disrespect for the values of tolerance, free speech and open debate that have fostered American exceptionalism is hurtful to the preservation of our founding ideals. Horace writes:
Americans have always understood the value of hearing different opinions, gaining new perspectives, and seeing things from a point of view that is different from their own. Most Americans were taught to respect other people’s rights to express their views, to debate those views, and to politely and even publicly disagree with prevailing views. Now we are being taught a different way.
The left no longer accepts this framework. To progressives, discussion, debate and respect for differences of opinion are all overrated and stand in the way of swiftly imposing their radical policy agenda.
Name-calling and epithets like “racist,” “white supremacist” and “hate group” are part-and-parcel of the cancel culture currently on display. This approach is not only radical, it is antithetical to the American way and the values and freedoms that the Constitution and its Bill of Rights were designed to protect
“Gone are the days when to be a racist required skulking around with hoods at night, destroying ballots or intimidating citizens on the basis of race,” he notes. “Now racism has been fast-tracked to mean mere advocacy of deregulation, free-markets and equal justice before the law.”
And, in a dangerous trend, the increase of casual accusations of racism, sexism and other alleged extremism “has caused the charge of racism to lose all meaning,” Horace warns.
This poses a challenge going forward in which tolerant Americans “must remain vigilant and push back against these tactics or else we’ll be the next target.”
To read all of Horace’s American Greatness commentary – “Queen of Hearts: The Newest Race Card” – click here.