Culture Wars/Current Controversies

The Ever-Radicalizing Republicans

By Andrew Sullivan The Weekly Dish

How do we fight back against left extremism if the alternative is worse?

I was a different person in the time before I realized that the only way to stop the far-Left was through radical use of state power to reorganize nearly every institution.

That’s a quote from a tweet that seems to me quite typical of one theme now resurgent on the right. That theme is that the only way to defeat left illiberalism is through right illiberalism. It was the single cohering thread at the recent National Conservatism Conference, as David Brooks reported. It’s where a lot of the intellectual excitement is. And in a country as ideologically and culturally diverse as this one, it’s a total dead end. It does nothing but intensify the mutual cycle of revenge and resentment that is cutting what’s left of the sinews of our liberal democracy.

It means using state governments to ban books, censor classrooms, and silence teachers, with overly broad laws that chill debate and free speech. In Kansas, more than two dozen suspect books have been taken out of school libraries for evaluation; in Texas, they’re reviewing up to 10,000 books for removal; in Virginia, a school board removed books from school libraries on the grounds of being “sexually explicit”:


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