J.K. Rowling, Noam Chomsky, Salman Rushdie, and leaders of Ivy League universities such as Harvard and Yale could hardly be called conservative thinkers. Even so, they are coming to the same conclusion that we have been for years: the left has gone way too far.
In an open letter to Harper’s Magazine, the above-mentioned authors and about 150 other signatories have called out far-left activists for shutting down anyone who doesn’t embrace their progressive viewpoints.
The open letter, titled “A Letter on Justice and Open Debate”, rightly notes that restricting debate won’t get the far-left what they want. Rather, it will create a culture where problems cannot be solved because they can’t even be discussed. The letter also asserts that justice cannot exist without freedom, calling attention to the fact that punishing people for disagreement won’t change minds.
“The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted,” the letter reads. “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.”
To be sure, the letter takes plenty of swipes at the right. After all, this was penned by liberals. However, the point still stands — a free society cannot exist without free speech.
Naturally, the far-left activists who are calling for democracy itself to be remade didn’t take kindly to the friendly criticism. The signatories of the letter are now facing online abuse, cancellation, and other forms of harassment for daring to disagree with the agenda.
One signatory, Vox journalist Matt Yglesias, was reported to his employer as if he had committed a crime. The colleague who reported him is a transgender who claims that Mr. Yglesias’ signature makes her feel “less safe” at work.
The over-reaction didn’t stop there. Huffington Post took a dump on everyone calling for freedom of speech and thought, calling the letter “fatuous”. Others said the signatories were thin-skinned, worried about losing relevance, and privileged.
Not surprisingly, the pressure was too much for some to take. One author went on social media to publicly beg forgiveness, stating that she didn’t know what the letter was really about or the types of people who had signed on. Another signatory claims that she doesn’t endorse the latter and is trying to get Harper’s to issue a retraction.
The hysteria surrounding is downright scary. It shows that leftists, far from being tolerant, are eager to destroy anyone who doesn’t enthusiastically cheer them on and embrace their every single policy proposal or talking point. The call to publicly shame, boycott, and drive out anyone who thinks differently is reminiscent of the 1960s Cultural Revolution in China.
While we mourn for the loss of freedom, we have just one thing to say to the liberals being cancelled by the far-left: we told ya so.